The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Godfather is one of the most hitting novels, a work of Mario Puzo, who is an Italian American author. The protagonist, Don Vito Corleone, is the head of the most powerful mafia ‘families’, of New York. He is a tyrant, a murderer, a blackmailer, but also he is just a man, a friendly and reasonable man. He is the Godfather.


The book covers the period from 1945 to 1955. Don Corleone (Italian for Lionheart) has 4 children: 3 sons and 1 daughter. The Don also has one informally adopted son, Tom Hagen. The title refers to Vito Corleone, but the book develops to revolve around the life of the Don’s youngest son- Michael, who is destined to become the patriarch of the family, despite his wish to live a normal Americanised life.

The Italian mafia is supremely glorified, and the workings and functioning explained, is extremely well, with great poise and grace. In this modern masterpiece, the writer weaves an intimate story, engrossing you into its tiniest nitty-gritty. The compelling tale of blackmail, family values, revenge, and murder soaks you into its spirit so much that you feel as you’re witnessing everything firsthand. Beautifully narrated in the third person, with the use of direct and simple words, the book introduced Italian mafia terms, to the readers across the world, such as- ‘consiglieri, omerta, caporegime, etc; giving the unfolding a more authentic feel. The intense portrayal of the underworld gives a unique glimpse of the power struggle of mafia families, where each character is well- thought and significant to the story’s outline.

Though there is the absence of law and general society, it is an enjoyable read. No wonder it’s such an iconic book. The author does not provide any judgement or moral verdict, thereby allowing the reader to draw his own conclusion according to his reasons. The novel was adapted into a movie, with Marlon Brando playing the lead. I would highly recommend you to grab a copy of this book.