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by Mario Puzo

Pub Date: March 10th, 1969
ISBN: 0451205766
Publisher: Putnam

Ten years in the workaday progress of a New York Mafia sort of family dynasty tale with all the attendant flurries of great houses at war. Don Corleone is ruler of the Family, avenger and dispenser of favors, from judges boughten verdicts to rub-outs among the fiefdoms. The noble Don ages and there is the nagging worry as to who shall carry on. Eldest son Sonny is too impetuous; Freddie is a fornicator; Michael fancies a teaching career with his Yankee bride. Along with the manipulative, diplomatic and skull-smashing demands of the Eastern empire of real estate, manufacturing, and gambling, there is always the threat of treachery from within one unfortunate example of which snuffs out Sonny by the Jones Beach toll booths. Michael, forgetting the scholar's life, pumps bullets in revenge, is sent to Italy, and is finally returned miraculously intact after assassination attempts. It is Michael, after the Don's near murder and eventual death from heart failure who reasserts the Family as Number One in a coup which includes the garrotting of a traitorous brother-in-law. The scene roams from coast to coast, provides glimpses of the sex/love tangles of the Ladies Auxiliary, family fun and cosy Italian fiestas, boppings, bashings, shootings, hackings. A Mafia Whiteoaks, bound for popularity, once you get past the author's barely concealed admiration for the "ethics" and postulates of primitive power plays.