I’ve wanted to read this for years, ever since watching the films for the first time. But I’ve either not been able to find it or when I did find it it was a new edition and I didn’t have the money. Last week I found it in my favourite charity shop where I now buy most of my books.
I’ve been so busy over the last 2 weeks that I could only snatch a few minutes with it here and there when I had a smoke break. But yesterday, I found myself with a day off and I finally got it finished. I wasn’t disappointed.
The first thing I noticed was how accurate an adaptation, the first 2 films were. In fact I’d go as far as to say they’re 2 of the most faithful film adaptations I’ve seen. The second thing I noticed was that certain details had been changed and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they did change. But it in no way detracts from the book and films as a collective experience.
Normally, I like to read a book before watching the film/TV adaptation. But in the case of The Godfather I’m pleased I saw the films first. The book brings the films alive (if that’s possible). You get an awful lot more detail and certain characters are given a new understanding by their stories in the book (Johnny Fontane for example). You’re also given a new understanding of the Michael and Vito characters.
If you haven’t read the book or seen the films, then I’ll suggest you watch the films first – only the first 2 films are based on the book, the third is a new entity. If you’ve seen the films but not read the book, then I recommend you get a copy straight away. It’s a book you can’t put down and yet don’t want it to end. It’s remarkably well written (more so than I’d anticipated) and is extremely easy to read. Builds up tension so well that you find yourself holding your breath as you read. This is a book that I’ll revisit often.
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