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The Family Corleone    by Ed Falco order for
Family Corleone
by Ed Falco
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Carrol Wolverton

The Corleones live on. Unfortunately, many of the people surrounding them do not. This novel is the book version of Mario Puzo's screenplay by the same name. Author, Ed Falco, is attempting to cash in on the popularity of the Godfather novels and movies originally authored by Puzo, and generally does a good job.

The setting predates the Godfather books and provides background and earlier corruption leading up to The Godfather. Falco's descriptions of living conditions and practices of the era ring true. If you like old cars, they're accurately described, complete with problems. Gangster clothes, fedoras, and guns reign. Except for Mama, women are pretty much sex objects. It irritates Sonny Corleone having to properly court a proper young woman while Grandma hovers. The novel ends as he marries this proper woman and his father brokers a questionable peace.

As expected, mayhem exists in every other chapter, making for interesting but gory reading. The groups and families involved have few redeeming factors. You don't know what they will do next. You do know it won't be good. Don Corleone comes off as the best of the worst. Mama Corleone says there is no mafia in America. Junior Don, Sonny, kills his best friend because he would look weak if he didn't.

Can Falco continue in this vein to produce successful novels DBA Mario Puzo? I see no reason why not. Robert B. Parker wrote the same novel over and over with the same or similar characters to achieve a very successful writing career. Amazingly, he continues to publish even though dead. I'm sure James Patterson will continue publishing long after he leaves this earth. Read if you like the genre and don't mind dead bodies mysteriously falling off buildings and littering everywhere.

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