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09 April 2010 @ 10:13 pm
The Godfather, Mario Puzo

Oh, this was so delightfully trashy! You gotta love a book in which one romantic pairing was based entirely on the fact that the dude's dick was so ginormous it hurt every girl except the one with vaginal prolapse.

I've always thought of the Godfather as one of the ultimate bad-guys, but in fact, he's more of a beneficent overlord. The violence, heavily sprinkled as it is, somehow manages to be almost quaint. The Families don't kill women and children; they look down on rape, incest and paedophilia. They have honour, even if it's pretty twisted. You could almost call this book a modern take on the Arthurian legends, with the Knights of the Round Table fighting amongst themselves. It also strikes me that if gambling and prostitution were legal - and I'm pretty sure gambling is, these days? At least, betting shops are - there would be no basis to the story.

The other funny thing was that everyone got a happy ending if they were 'good', and died if they were 'bad' (like Carlo). The Godfather dies thinking life is so beautiful -

Yet, he thought, if I can die saying, "Life is so beautiful," then nothing else is important.

Lucy gets another guy, Jules Segal gets a powerful position in Vegas, the entire Family gets a new, clean business enterprise; Michael gets two wives, the 'lightening' and his WASP surrogate. Sonny died, sure, but he was a philanderer and a bad leader. It could almost be said to be divine retribution, if we're elevating the Godfather to deific proportions - which this book pretty much does.

"Old friend," he said, "I have no such powers. If I did I would be more merciful than God, believe me.

In fact, Godfather > God.

It was a lie but he believed in telling lies to people. Truth telling and medicine just didn't go together except in dire emergencies, if then.

Well, my little hobby, unforgiveable as it is, is to keep people alive.

I did like Jules' outlook on life...

I stormed through this book in about a day and a half, while studying for my fifteen-essay obs paper. It's really easy and gallops along; I'd recommend it, if only so you can do what I did, and refer to your exams smugly as 'going to the mattresses.'

Previously, on Book Glomp 2010:
The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
I'll take you there, Joyce Carol Oates
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The School for Husbands, Moliere
On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks
The Famished Road, Ben Okri
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
The Sea, the Sea, Irish Murdoch
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
The Sea, John Banville
paddy clarke ha ha ha, Roddy Doyle
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough