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Friday, June 08, 2018

Reader's Diary #1840- Mario Puzo: The Godfather

I've never been a fan of mafia stories. But, because of their pop culture significance, I still on occasion give one a shot. It never goes well. I even found the classic film adaptation of The Godfather boring. So imagine my surprise that I actually didn't mind the book!

I was engaged throughout and found it plausible and, despite being one of my usual beefs with the genre, didn't think it particularly glamorized the mob. It did have some provocative themes regarding fate and there was a cynical tone which I actually enjoyed in this time of Trump that suggested that large business and government were not much better in terms of questionable practices, effectiveness, and corruption.

Back to the non-glamorization thing though, the Corleone family is shown to be quite misogynistic and while perhaps less frequently commented upon, also racist and homophobic. Some I think helps in order to decrease any respect for such a lifestyle as the mafia, but I did question why Puzo himself. Granted every character in the book is flawed in some way and so asking for a good, strong, smart female character might be asking for a lot, just one that was at least as fully developed as the males would have been nice.

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