GODFATHER, THE NOVEL- A TRIBUTE

GODFATHER! When did I came to know about Godfather, the novel?? I remember vaguely that in my childhood my father used to carry this novel and read it frequently. But my first real encounter with the popularity of the novel happened when I read an article by an youngster singing paens about the virtues of this novel. My first reaction to that youngster was he was a crazy guy but it never occured to me that moment that one day I too would be writing a similar praise of this brilliant masterpiece.

I was hooked to “GODFATHER” after I saw the movie which was played to perfection by “DON” Marlon Brando and “Mike” Al Pacino. Once I saw the film, I asked my father to give me the paperback version for which his answer was “I have lost it after a person borrowed it.” Familiar tale of a book lover, I thought and got a copy of the book from a retail store and gifted to my father, a gift for namesake but it was a gift for myself and I hooked on to it.
What is GODFATHER all about? Is it a Crime story or else a Family story or a Film Story? I would rate it as the family saga of a Mafia Chief, his rise to the demise and the rise of the successor in the name of the son.
Vito Andolini, born in Sicily is driven to the US of A by his relatives in fear of vengeance from a local don who killed all of his family and vowed to kill the 8 year old too. Vito Andolini takes the name of Corleone and becomes Vito Corleone and starts his living and grows up on the streets of New York in the early 20th century and as destiny and fate would have it he becomes the Mafia chief and is affectionately called GODFATHER by his friends and those who hold him in high respect. Respect is the only thing which the DON asks for and longs for the offer of Friendship. A person who offers friendship and gives him Respect is the most loyal one for Don and he would go any lengths to help his friend. But yet, the Don knows where to draw a line between favors and friendship. He promises just treatment and remains JUST.
The family of Don consists of his wife and 4 children. The elder son, Santino Corleone, a hot blooded one is expected to take over the reigns of he Corleone Empire whereas the second son, Fredrico Corleone is a loyal “Yes” man to his father and the third, Michael Corleone, is a rebel of sorts in the Corleones as he joins the army in the second world war much to the disappointment of the Family. The youngest of the lot, Connie Corleone, a girl, remains a father’s daughter and marries Carlo Rizzi, Santino’s friend.
A small business meeting which happens turns the world upside down for the Corleone Family. Virgil Sollozzo, a drug dealer takes it to heart when he is rebuked by the Don of his offer of business. Don is not interested in narcotics but Santino is. Sollozzo figures out where the chink in the Corleone family is and immediately strikes at the heart of it by attacking the Don in broad daylight. The darkest hour of Mafia wars start to engulf the city of New York as the Five Families of New York and the Corleones go to war with the police too joining the act. Santino Corleone with his short-tempered ways attracts the wrath of the Mafia society and is brutally murdered due to his own bad temper. Michael Corleone is drawn into the world of his father when he happens to gun down Sollozzo and Captain Mc Cluskey at a restaurant.
Now with Santino dead and Fredo having his own problems of stable mind, Michael has to look after the welfare of the Family established by his father. He becomes a good student of his father and finally becomes “THE GODFATHER,” putting himself as the leader and cleans up the mess created by the rest.
Through the pages of the novel, the author, Mario Puzo shows us not just the world of Mafia but of the world treachery, politics, human greed and violent nature of humans beings. He also explores their humane side with a brilliant portrayal. He takes us through the journeys of the characters he has created in such a way that they remain with us even after the completion of reading the novel. A great work. All I can say of this novel and to Mario Puzo is “HATS OFF—- HATS OFF—-HATS OFF —-HATS OFF —- HATS OFF —-HATS OFF,” and I am not yet close enough.
It is of customary note that the novel has been made as a film with the name of ‘GODFATHER’ and is considered as one of the best movies ever made. The film had its sequels too and charmed the audience of the day and continues to charm even today. Many film makers have got inspired from the film and have acquired a name for themselves in the process. A certain Ram Gopal Varma says that he owes his entire career to “GODFATHER.” Such is the aura of the film and also the novel too that once exposed we cannot come out of  it unaffected.
Krishna Chaitanya.
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About krshychait

A working individual who has a great passion towards arts of India. The literary and cinema field have captured my imagination like no other.

2 comments

  1. Well, the thing is i've read the novel around 4-5 times and its incredible how it offers something new on every repeated reading…..

  2. Anonymous

    nothing new is given after repeated reding of this novel.but the way Puzo has taken to the reality not only under world activities,but we can see all those characters in our real life.any where in the world the same story is happening .kudos to PUZO.

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