The Godfather Has My Respect

godfatherSo apparently this is not supposed to be a “good book”- I guess that makes me a little contrary- because I loved it. What’s strange for me is that I very rarely like books where I have seen the movie first, but I it was a testament to how good it is that it lived up to such a perfect movie. For me, this was an amazing chance to relive and re-experience one of my favourite stories as if it were new.

Because ultimately this is different and yet the same as the movies. Brimming with anti-heroes and dodgy characters, the rich cast is well drawn and complex. The Godfather himself is compelling and powerful in every sense of the word, with his enigmatic catchphrase “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse”. He rules with love, fear and the quiet, dangerous force of a Sicilian. And like Godfather: Part 2, this includes Vito’s story- which if you know the films, you’ll be aware is one of the most heart-breaking and yet striking rises to power imaginable.

The theme of Michael becoming his father is still present. In many ways, Michael is his father all over again- just like in film. In fact, the portrayal is so similar that the mention of the Corleone stare gave me heart palpitations in recollection of Pacino’s performance. The only difference I can think of is that in many ways by the end of Godfather Part 2, you get the sense that Michael isn’t just his father reincarnated, he is his father 2.0- a subtle difference, but here the similarities win out, whereas in the film, you get the sense that Michael is crossing lines his father never would.

Woven into the plot is also the knowledge of the Italian Mafia. You get the sense of the rapier of Sicilian subtlety, the secrecy of this society and most interestingly of all the thunderbolt Michael feels when he meets his bride in Italy. In the end, I felt this actually enhanced my knowledge of the films, and brought out elements I had not paid as much attention to before.

So if you like the films or just have a penchant for the Italian mafia, I can guarantee this is worth checking out!

Rating: 5/5 bananas


One satisfied orangutan…


Have you read this or seen the movie? What do you think of the Corleone family drama? Let me know in the comments!

37 thoughts on “The Godfather Has My Respect

  1. Honestly the topic doesn’t interest me in the slightest – but Al Pacino does – so I tried to watch the movie once – and just couldn’t do it. But I did watch a documentary on the making of. 🙂 That was where I learned about the complexities of the family relationships that you said had the most impact. I think that does show a deeper level to this novel, which is important to recognize so that it doesn’t get labeled as “just a crime/gangster story.”

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  2. I’ve never watched The Godfather before, but I really want to, and the book sounds worth checking out too! Alsooo, I love your new header! (Is it new, or have I just been away for a really long time?!) Anyways, it looks fabulous!

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      1. I definitely will check the films out at least – there are so many films you’re ‘supposed to see’ that I haven’t got round to seeing yet. I have some very shameful gaps in my film watching experience!

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  3. I’ve always heard that the books aren’t for women and that it isn’t good literature but it just seems like a lotta fun! I have my mum’s old battered copy that belonged to her big brother so i’ll dig it up an hopefully like it as much as you did.

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  4. YESS! So glad to hear you loved the book. I read the book first, before watching the first movie (yep. I controlled myself.) Totally worth it though. There’s a lot of scenes in the book that weren’t in the first book too. I also loved the explosion that served as a catalyst for Michael. It got my heart-rate up and sent chills down my spine. Absolutely loved the book. I plan on reading Revenge and Return before checking the movies, but man… The fact that it’s Mark Winegardner and not Mario Puzo sort of ruins my hype (not to say that winegardner isn’t a good writer, cause I have no clue. But I don’t know if he’ll do justice to Puzo’s! Hopefully I’ll go through the 2nd book this year so I can finally watch the highly-praised 2nd movie to the Godfather series. ❤ ❤ Great review!!

    – Lashaan

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  5. I have watched the movie and LOVED it!! It was simply amazing and it’s definitely one of my favourites. ❤ I do love stories about anti-heroes and morally grey characters, so this movie was definitely perfect for me. I haven't read the book, I just didn't hear the best things about it. But your review has made me very intrigued! I definitely need to check out the book and hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as you did as well. 🙂

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  6. I can’t believe that anyone could think The Godfather is not a good book. I read it ages ago, before seeing the film, and it’s fantastic. I’ve been meaning to read it again.

    I suppose if you were expecting a tight and pacey gangster thriller you could be disappointed, because it’s a book that covers a long period of time and has a lot of character development, but that is one of e reasons I like it so much.

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