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The Godfather

Series: The Godfather, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 48 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (184 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION - WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA

Mario Puzo's classic saga of an American crime family that became a global phenomenon - nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.

A #1 New York Times bestseller in 1969, Mario Puzo's epic was turned into the incomparable film of the same name, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the original classic that has been often imitated, but never matched. A tale of family and society, law and order, obedience and rebellion, it reveals the dark passions of human nature played out against a backdrop of the American dream.

With a Note from Anthony Puzo and an Afterword by Robert J. Thompson

©1969 Mario Puzo. Introduction © 2019 by Francis Ford Coppola. "Note from Anthony Puzo" used with permission of Anthony Puzo. Afterword © 2002 by Robert J. Thompson. (P)2011, 2019 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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What listeners say about The Godfather

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Great Book That Is Difficult To Put Down

I bought this book because I have never seen The Godfather movies and wanted to understand what all the hype was about. From the moment I began I found it difficult to stop listening. It was a captivating story, which was narrated very well. I am now planning on clearing my schedule this weekend to marathon the movies.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing, incredible. Greatness

This is one of the greatest stories ever told. A more in depth look into the greatest movie ever made. Joe Mantegna is a great narrator. Very cool to have someone from the trilogy narrating the story. To me, Godfather 1 And 2 are the greatest movies ever made. There is so much more detail and insight into what’s going on in the characters minds and a lot of unexplored stories. To those that are new to the novel, it’s the first movie with some of the second as well. It’s a must for any fan. Just wonderful.

2 people found this helpful

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Finally got around to this one!

I've always liked the Godfather films, and have been meaning to get around to the book for years. I'm glad I finally did. There are a lot of places where the book filled in holes left by the films, and as good as they were, I think the book has a more satisfying ending than the trilogy of movies.

2 people found this helpful

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Very good

Would’ve been nice to have a woman read over the female lines instead of hearing a man struggling trying to make his voice feminine. other than that, it was great

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A great story, well performed

For decades, I have loved the first two films, but had never read ( or heard) the book upon which they were based. I enjoyed going to the source; although the structure of the story is different, as are some characters, many of my favourite lines were here. The reader, one of the characters in the the third film does a great job. The newly added extras outside of the novel itself are unnecessary and should be skipped.

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A must read for lovers of crime fiction

The Godfather exceeded my expectations, and they weren't low to begin with. Puza's writing style makes for a unique and wonderfully detailed story I couldn't get enough of. Joe Mantegna was also an excellent choice to narrate. His accents and pronunciations were perfect. If you love the films do yourself a favor and buy this book!

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A demonstrated classic and must read

I never understood why people were fascinated with the godfather as I couldn't watch the movie so I decided to give it a read and it beat my wildest expectations. Rich narrative, character development and deep insight into Sicilian mafia proved a powerful combination for this master storyteller.

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non stop excitement!

loved it, couldn't stop listening. recommended highly looking forward to the other titles in this series.

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what can I say.

riveting right to the end. great story, great narrator. I didn't want it to end. I hope his other books are as good! I'm hooked!

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Fantastic!!

This one surprised me in that even though it was 18 hours long, I was never bored!! and Joe Mantegna was the perfect person to perform it. Very well done.

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  • Dana
  • 2013-10-04

Huge fan of the movie, loved this audiobook!

I have seen The Godfather movies too many times to count. It's part of the lexicon in my family, we quote lines from it all the time in regular conversation. So, I thought this book might be a little boring, just because I already knew the story so well. Not the case! The book adds so much detail to the story that I think I'll be watching the movie again soon in a whole new light. Joe Mantegna does such a wonderful job narrating this story and I'd absolutely recommend his version as opposed to the other full cast version that's out there, especially for people that are really in tune with the movie.

Give it a try!

93 people found this helpful

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  • Anon E Mouse
  • 2015-04-15

Simply a classic!

One of the best! A truly moving saga that was fantastic even though I had seen the movie. Much better than any of the sequels or imitations.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Delman
  • 2012-09-23

One of a kind. A masterpiece.

The book upon which the movie was based, this is an astonishing feat of fiction writing. Most of us have seen the movie, I imagine, but listening to the marvelous Joe Mantegna tell the story lets us know that Mario Puzo wrote all those incredible scenes that Francis Ford Coppola turned into one of the greatest movies of the 20th century. Listening to the book gives us so much more detail about the Corleones and their fellow Mafia families. Of course Coppola had to leave out much of the book in order to make the movie(s). Even through the third movie in the cycle, there is still more enjoyable detail here. It is impossible not to see the faces of Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and the rest of the actors. In my view, the actors enrich the book. Even when you know what is coming, as in the scene where Michael shoots Solozzo and Captain McCluskey, the background and all the planning that lead up to the scene in the book will just grab your attention and hold it. Very few movies are a match for a great book. This book is so monumental in how it taught us the story of immigrant families and their struggles to adjust to life in the United States that it informs our understanding of many other immigrant stories. Joe Mantegna is so great at this that it is really hard to imagine any other narrator reading it. The feel of New York is also a wonder in Puzo's description of it. You see Don Corleone's opposition to joining the Solozzos and the other families in the drug trade, and you think, how principled he is, not what a monstrous gangster he is. This, again, is a feat of fiction writing that may never be surpassed. Sit back and enjoy one of the finest audiobooks you will ever experience.

94 people found this helpful

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  • Null Hypothesis
  • 2013-01-08

Solid.

What did you love best about The Godfather?

Having seen the movie first, I came away from the book very impressed with how well Coppola treated the story. Anyone taking the time for the book will come away with greater insight of the characters and setting and will view the theatrical version with greater perspective. A solid story.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Tinise
  • 2017-03-20

Outstanding!!!!

There is not one single aspect about this that I didn't enjoy. I bought the book many years ago but because of busy everyday mom life, I haven't been able to really dive into it. This gave me the chance to do so and I couldn't be happier. The narrator, the story, all of it. Sublime. A thousand times better than the movie and the movie is one of my favorites.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Donna70
  • 2013-02-01

What an enjoyable journey.

What made the experience of listening to The Godfather the most enjoyable?

Joe Mantegna was the perfect choice for the narrator for THE GODFATHER. The timbre of his voice, his varied accents were all the perfect additions for the audio version of this novel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Just as it was when I read this novel as a young mother, Michael Corleone was my favorite character. However, at this point in my life, I found him in many ways to be the most dangerous of the Corleone family. His choices were made out drop grief and need for revenge, while his father made his choices out of a sense of "necessity" or "practicality."

What about Joe Mantegna’s performance did you like?

Mr. Mantegna's performance was so enjoyable by his inflection and interpretation. He did not try to replicate the female voices, but he just softened his voice. This was much more believable than an attempt to use a higher pitch to his voice. I also was pleased that there was only one narrator. This helped the plot to flow naturally.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

A good book is to be savored, not devoured. Especially since I was revisiting this book, I did not want to rush through any part of it.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Jt1976
  • 2013-09-29

wow

What made the experience of listening to The Godfather the most enjoyable?

Its like having a movie in your head as you listen made days at work fly by

What did you like best about this story?

Narrator

What about Joe Mantegna’s performance did you like?

The accents and inflections of his voice for different character

Who was the most memorable character of The Godfather and why?

The Don of course

Any additional comments?

More

8 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 2014-06-08

Good read, great narrator

I was surprised at how much I liked this story since I am not usually interested in gangster stories. However, this was so good I found myself taking a whole new look at the genre.

Joe Mantegna's voice matches perfectly to the story. His character inflections are especially good. He doesn't overdo the accents and yet each character sounds distinctly different which is impressive considering how many characters are in this book.

I found I liked the complexity of the book and felt more sympathy for the characters than I have ever felt for them in the movies.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Heather
  • 2020-02-28

Mafia, Character History, and Gross Adult Content

Really mystified why people praise this book so much. I assume these are movie super fans and thus liked extra background. But if you read the book with no previous knowledge, it's a strange read. There is some interesting mafia content but it wasn't nearly as much as I would have liked. You have situations that are gone into for chapters that are only to set up a sex scene or a woman's surgery to make her you know what smaller and then her doctor trying the goods out (ick). Beating of a pregnant wife and also when she's not pregnant. Lots of hooking up with hot chicks, and a whole section on one guys' big equipment. I was expecting this book to be mostly mafia but instead you end up with a lot of random backstory of the characters that doesn't relate much to mafia activity. Like a guy getting back his singing voice. And a love affair in Italy. I regret reading this book and have no interest in more.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Blythe
  • 2017-06-12

Complex, nuanced, moving story

Any additional comments?

I'd never seen the movies, and this is not a genre that interests me, but I picked up the audiobook on audible recently. Wow, what an impressive, detailed, and complex story of a complicated family and culture adapting to America. The characters were nuanced, and the reader can sympathize with even the nastiest of them. The plot spans decades and a generation, and while the Corleone family is at the center, the reader sees them and their actions both from the inside and the outside, through the eyes of various different characters, to give a very complete and in-depth picture. Although as I said this isn't a genre that usually interests me much, this book was well worth reading and all the more so because I'd never seen the movies and had no pre-set expectations.

4 people found this helpful