New York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end.
For Vito Corleone, nothing is more important that his family’s future. While his youngest children, Michael, Fredo, and Connie, are in school, unaware of their father’s true occupation, and his adopted son Tom Hagen is a college student, he worries most about Sonny, his eldest child. Vito pushes Sonny to be a businessman, but Sonny-17 years-old, impatient and reckless-wants something else: To follow in his father’s footsteps and become a part of the real family business.
An exhilarating and profound novel of tradition and violence, of loyalty and betrayal, The Family Corleone will appeal to the legions of fans who can never get enough of The Godfather, as well as introduce it to a whole new generation.
About Ed Falco
Ed Falco is the author of three novels, four story collections, and numerous plays, poems, essays, and critical reviews. Among his many awards and honors are an NEA fiction fellowship, and the Southern Review‘s Robert Penn Warren Prize. He is a professor of English at Virginia Tech, where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.
Playing around in the Godfather universe is a tightrope act. The original novel is a pulpy, popular synthesis of influences, while its film adaptation is a timeless classic. The video games are slushy Grand Theft Auto knock-offs, and Mark Winegardner’s sequels are labyrinthine marathons with epic casts. This time, the franchise falls back on more workmanlike writer Falco (Saint John of the Five Boroughs, 2009, etc.), who reels the story back to its roots though moments resurrected from unproduced scripts by Mario Puzo. It’s 1933, and the Don is at the height of his power. Peter Clemenza is Vito’s capo and Genco Abbandando remains consigliere. Michael and Fredo squabble underfoot but it’s Sonny’s explosive temper that film fans will recognize. Meanwhile, dutiful college student Tom Hagen is having a harmless fling—that turns out to be not so harmless when psychotic Luca Brasi decides to kill Tom for messing with his broad. In other boroughs, Giuseppe Mariposa conspires with Emilio Barzini and Phillip Tattaglia in his slow tango with the Corleones, while a pair of Irish brothers adds a new element to this dangerous mix. What works well is Falco’s depiction of Vito Corleone, which captures both the cool reserve of young Vito and the insight he demonstrates as Don. “To understand the truth of things,” he cautions Sonny, “you have to judge both the man and the circumstances. You have to use both your brains and your heart. That’s what it’s like in a world where men lie as a matter of course—and there is no other kind of world, Santino, at least not here on earth.”More obsessive fans also get a reveal about a member of the Don’s family, as well as a juicy unveiling of Luca Brasi’s back story pulled from The Godfather. – Kirkus Reviews
Book World: ‘The Family Corleone,’ by Ed Falco, a prequel to ‘The Godfather’
The Washington Post Book Review – May 6, 2012 (Excerpt)
Mario Puzo (1920-99) was one of 12 children born in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen to two illiterate Neapolitan immigrants. Puzo graduated from City College, loved the novels of Dostoyevsky and in his 20s began writing stories for pulp magazines. He published two little-noticed novels, and then, in his late 30s, deeply in debt (he gambled) and with a wife and five children, he set out for entirely mercenary reasons to write a novel about the Mafia, an organization about which he knew almost nothing.
I remember reading “The Godfather” when it was published in 1969. Like millions of others, I couldn’t put it down. Puzo had drawn brilliantly on the pulps and Dostoyevsky to create a crime story like no other. His powerful narrative carried violence to shocking new levels (even horses weren’t safe). Most strikingly, in Puzo’s fictional universe, leaders of the Mafia, previously regarded as ignorant, homicidal thugs, were transformed into men of honor, men of respect, American businessmen who were sometimes obliged to do harm to others, although the best of them, such as Puzo’s Don Vito Corleone, deeply regretted that necessity. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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