The Godfather is an extraordinary novel which has become a modern day classic. Puzo pulls us inside the violent society of the Mafia and its gang wars.
The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes the rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation's mighty.
Mario Puzo, a master storyteller, introduces us to unforgettable characters, and the elements of this world explode to life in this violent and impassioned chronicle.
Puzo's story details the rise of Don Vito Corleone, the fall of his sons Sonny and, especially, Michael, the Mafia's peculiar behavior code and honor system, and the violent power struggle among rival "families." To some reviewers, Puzo's tale is a symbolic treatment of the corruption of the American dream. Although not all critics view the novel so seriously, most agree with Polly Anderson in the Library Journal that "the book is well written, suspenseful and explodes in a series of dramatic climaxes." Newsweek's Pete Axthelm calls Puzo "an extremely talented storyteller" and states that The Godfather "moves at breakneck speed without ever losing its balance." And a critic for the Saturday Review contends that "Mario Puzo has achieved the definitive novel about a sinister fraternity of crime."