Book Review: The Godfather

Reviewed by Daniel Levy

Often times when one hears “The Godfather” you think of Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. No one ever thinks about Mario Puzo. The Godfather movie actually originated from Puzo’s astounding classic novel about the Corleone family.

“The Godfather” begins in the yard of a mall on Long Beach, the yard of the great Don Vito Corleone. A great festivity is taking place, the wedding of Don Corleone’s only daughter. At this wedding the important family members are introduced. Sonny Corleone, the Don’s eldest son, is an ill-tempered, hot-headed man. Fredo, the second son, is a calm young man who enjoys the party much more than any formal business at hand. Finally, the youngest son of the Don, Michael is introduced. He lounges on the outskirts of the party with his new American girl. Michael is the most reserved of the three brothers, the least involved in the family, and the least in favor of his father.

The three brothers are in line to inherit the “family business.” To the outside world, the family business is an olive oil importing company. However, the true family business is far more complex. The Corleone family runs almost all of the illegal gambling in New York City. Needless to say, the Corleones are quite wealthy and are the most powerful family in America. Nevertheless, power is always accompanied by greed and jealousy.

The Godfather is a classic for obvious reasons. Its smart use of characters and dialogue sweep the reader up into the world of the Italian Mafia. However, the book is for mature readers, due to its explicit use of violence, offensive language, sexual situations, and minor drug use.

Daniel Levy is a sophomore in the Gifted program at Hahnville High School. He enjoys singing, playing piano, and watching sports.

Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.


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