"Like many young men, [he] thought that having struggled to complete his education and master the tools of his profession, his virtue would automatically be rewarded and he would earn a decent living. This proved not to be the case."
Have I said before about how much I love The Godfather? *Peruses archives* Oh yeah, here it is. I mean, those two films (the third one is unnecessary and DREADFUL, and we shan't speak of it here.) are just the GREATEST, and when I finally watched them having lived like 21 years without having seen them, I had to question what I'd been doing with my life a little bit! It's not for nothing that they're considered classic films, so you should probably watch them right away.
And then there's the book. And the book is equally as awesome, because it basically is the first movie (and half of the second one) only with some added bits, and so reading it is the equivalent of watching the movie and then watching deleted scenes that were only deleted because a tighter focus on the Corleone family was wanted, rather than because they suck. Which are obviously the best kind of deleted scene. But seriously, you've got all your important Godfather things in here: Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes, and I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse, and go to the mattresses, and ALL the important stuff, and frankly, I wasn't expecting the book to be as good as the film, but it was!
Obviously I say this from the position of having seen the film. And obviously I couldn't help but picture Al Pacino as Michael and Marlon Brando as the Don, but I don't really consider that a problem- they're such great actors that they embody and define those roles, and why would you want to picture anyone else? Exactly. Having said that, though, I do wonder what it would have been like reading The Godfather before the movies came out (which would give you like a 3 year window, daaaamn did they see the cinematic potential of it!) and just having to create your own pictures of the characters, like, you know, any other book. I reckon... trickier and more annoying. But only in this case.
Now I can hear you all asking 'but should I bother to read this book if I haven't seen the movie? I don't even like gangsters', and what I say to you is OF COURSE you should because it's awesome, and if nothing else an important cultural touchstone, but if nothing else, you should probably just watch the movie. Which is not to say that there's anything wrong with the book because there isn't (it's like literally reading the movie! It's great!) but the movie is so so amazing, and trims off a bit of the unnecessary (albeit interesting) fat from the storyline of the book. I'd say that the book is almost like... Something you want to explore because you're obsessed with the film and NEED MORE, but I think that in this case, the film really outdoes the book. Or at least, matches the book, and it's a film and therefore easier and oh my GOD I'm clearly not going to rest until you've seen it!
So. The book is well-written and compelling and I had trouble putting it down, and I believe I still would have enjoyed it if it hadn't been made into some of the greatest movies ever. I was totally THRILLED and then SAD and then also HAPPY and a bit SHOCKED (this in spite of knowing what happens!) and it's a real page turner. So you should watch The Godfather (and Part II) and then read this, and have all the emotions all over again and breathe a sigh of happiness at the end. Really you owe it to yourself!