The Godfather - Mario Puzo

I've not seen all of the Godfather film, somehow. I've seen decent chunks of it, out of order, as I catch it halfway through, or get called away before the end. The general consensus is that it's a very good film, and from what I've seen, I agree.

The book's a bit of a bestseller too, and so I thought I'd have a go at that. Mr. Puzo did the screenplay for the film, too, so it seemed like a nice faithful option.

For some reason, I assumed that a big-selling mafia book might come from someone with inside knowledge of said mafia, especially if it's by someone with an Italian name! I also thought it might have some literary qualities.

Nope. Mario Puzo cut his teeth writing pulp fiction, and constructed this from third-hand anecdotes. It's an epic, and well-composed story - a very effective page-turner, but not much more than that. The sex scenes are a bit embarassing. Basically, this is a perfect book to make into a film - normally you have to cut a book way down to fit it into a film, but this translates pretty straightforwardly.

I guess I'm being a bit snobbish. It's a fun read. Just not very challenging!

Posted 2012-07-10.