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The Godfather Returns

by

The Godfather Returns Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thirty-five years ago, Mario Puzo's great American tale, The Godfather, was published, and popular culture was indelibly changed. Now, in The Godfather Returns, acclaimed novelist Mark Winegardner continues the story — the years not covered in Puzo's bestselling book or in Francis Ford Coppola's classic films.

It is 1955. Michael Corleone has won a bloody victory in the war among New York's crime families. Now he wants to consolidate his power, save his marriage, and take his family into legitimate businesses. To do so, he must confront his most dangerous adversary yet, Nick Geraci, a former boxer who worked his way through law school as a Corleone street enforcer, and who is every bit as deadly and cunning as Michael. Their personal cold war will run from 1955 to 1962, exerting immense influence on the lives of America's most powerful criminals and their loved ones, including:

  • Tom Hagen, the Corleone Family's lawyer and consigliere, who embarks on a political career in Nevada while trying to protect his brother;
  • Francesca Corleone, daughter of Michael's late brother Sonny, who is suddenly learning her family's true history and faces a difficult choice;
  • Don Louie Russo, head of the Chicago mob, who plays dumb but has wily ambitions for muscling in on the Corleones' territory;
  • Peter Clemenza, the stalwart Corleone underboss, who knows more Family secrets than almost anyone;
  • Ambassador M. Corbett Shea, a former Prohibition-era bootlegger and business ally of the Corleones', who wants to get his son elected to the presidency — and needs some help from his old friends;
  • Johnny Fontane, the world's greatest saloon singer, who ascends to new heights as a recording artist, cozying up to Washington's power elite and maintaining a precarious relationship with notorious underworld figures;
  • Kay Adams Corleone, who finally discovers the truth about her husband, Michael — and must decide what it means for their marriage and their children;
  • Fredo Corleone, whose death has never been fully explained until now, and whose betrayal of the Family was part of a larger and more sinister chain of events.
Sweeping from New York and Washington to Las Vegas and Cuba, The Godfather Returns is the spellbinding story of America's criminal underworld at mid-century and its intersection with the political, legal, and entertainment empires. Mark Winegardner brings an original voice and vision to Mario Puzo's mythic characters while creating several equally unforgettable characters of his own. The Godfather Returns stands on its own as a triumph — in a tale about what we love, yearn for, and sometimes have reason to fear...family.

Review:

"When Random announced that Winegardner, best known for the critically acclaimed mainstream saga Crooked River Burning and baseball novel The Veracruz Blues, had been hired to write a fresh Godfather novel, eyebrows arched from coast to coast. But the decision was right: this is a phenomenally entertaining, psychologically rich saga that spans the entire Godfather years imagined in novel and film by Mario Puzo (the latter via his screenplays), filling in the blanks, fleshing out the characters, focusing primarily on the time (mid 1950s-early '60s) between when Puzo's landmark novel ended and the film Godfather II begins.Few remember that Puzo began his career as a commercially failed but critically celebrated literary novelist. He wrote The Godfather with the aim of hitting bestseller lists, but his earlier training showed in that novel's reach and complexity. Just so, Winegardner brings enormous talent to bear on this popular story and its immense cast of characters, deepening Puzo's work at nearly every step. Fredo Corleone, hapless Mafia scion, emerges here as a more central, vigorous and conflicted character than in The Godfather or even the films, as do Tom Hagen (the Corleones' adopted son and erstwhile consigliere) and Johnny Fontane, Puzo's dig at Frank Sinatra. There are many new and newly fleshed out characters as well, from assorted Mob bosses (most notably Chicago's Don Louie Russo, aka Fuckface, spiritual descendant of Al Capone, and Nick Geraci, a Corleone man destined to become the Corleones' arch-enemy) to various Corleones (most notably the slain Sonny Corleone's twin daughters). There are also sharply drawn cameos of, among others and by other names, JFK, RFK and, fleetingly, Andy Warhol. But at the center of the mesmerizing, sometimes dizzying Mob conspiracies and familial tensions is, of course, the Godfather, Michael Corleone — proper heir to Vito Corleone, the last capo di tutti capi: devious, brilliant, astonishing ruthless.The book isn't perfect — just nearly so. The enormity of Winegardner's reimagining of Puzo's epic can obscure the novel's overarching story line — Michael's attempt to legitimize the Corleones' businesses — and leads at times to an episodic feel. These, however, are quibbles in the face of a wholly absorbing novel that's written beautifully, with great skill and passion. Godfather fans will love this tale; Puzo himself must be raising a celestial glass and shouting a hearty 'Salut'! Let it be known that Winegardner, for his respect to the novel's antecedents and for his accomplishment, shall henceforth be known as a Man of Honor." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The Godfather Returns...lacks [the] movies' amazing resonance and the original book's pulpy energy, but as these sorts of follow-ups go, it's a solid enough performance: dutiful, suspenseful and only occasionally annoying." Michiko Katutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[A] thoroughly professional job. Winegardner's prose marches assuredly to Puzo's rhythms, and he deftly and imaginatively ties up whatever threads were left dangling." San Diego Union-Tribune

Review:

"The Godfather Returns is essentially a long, sleazy tabloid story in which the accumulation of detail does not add up to a vision." Newsday

Synopsis:

Winegardner — whose proposal for this novel was chosen in an international competition — brings new artistry and vision to Mario Puzo's mythic characters.

About the Author

Mark Winegardner received a master of fine arts degree in fiction writing from George Mason University and published his first book at age twenty-six, while still in graduate school. His books have been chosen as among the best of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the New York Public Library. His work has appeared in various publications including GQ, Playboy, Family Circle, American Short Fiction, Ladies? Home Journal, Parents, and The New York Times Magazine. Several of his stories have been chosen as Distinguished Stories of the Year in The Best American Short Stories. He has also served as a board member of the Associated Writing Programs. He is now a professor and director of the creative writing program at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400061013
Author:
Winegardner, Mark
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Subject:
Criminals
Subject:
Sagas
Subject:
Organized crime
Copyright:
Publication Date:
November 2004
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.34x6.40x1.44 in. 1.58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Godfather Returns Used Hardcover
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Product details 448 pages Random House - English 9781400061013 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When Random announced that Winegardner, best known for the critically acclaimed mainstream saga Crooked River Burning and baseball novel The Veracruz Blues, had been hired to write a fresh Godfather novel, eyebrows arched from coast to coast. But the decision was right: this is a phenomenally entertaining, psychologically rich saga that spans the entire Godfather years imagined in novel and film by Mario Puzo (the latter via his screenplays), filling in the blanks, fleshing out the characters, focusing primarily on the time (mid 1950s-early '60s) between when Puzo's landmark novel ended and the film Godfather II begins.Few remember that Puzo began his career as a commercially failed but critically celebrated literary novelist. He wrote The Godfather with the aim of hitting bestseller lists, but his earlier training showed in that novel's reach and complexity. Just so, Winegardner brings enormous talent to bear on this popular story and its immense cast of characters, deepening Puzo's work at nearly every step. Fredo Corleone, hapless Mafia scion, emerges here as a more central, vigorous and conflicted character than in The Godfather or even the films, as do Tom Hagen (the Corleones' adopted son and erstwhile consigliere) and Johnny Fontane, Puzo's dig at Frank Sinatra. There are many new and newly fleshed out characters as well, from assorted Mob bosses (most notably Chicago's Don Louie Russo, aka Fuckface, spiritual descendant of Al Capone, and Nick Geraci, a Corleone man destined to become the Corleones' arch-enemy) to various Corleones (most notably the slain Sonny Corleone's twin daughters). There are also sharply drawn cameos of, among others and by other names, JFK, RFK and, fleetingly, Andy Warhol. But at the center of the mesmerizing, sometimes dizzying Mob conspiracies and familial tensions is, of course, the Godfather, Michael Corleone — proper heir to Vito Corleone, the last capo di tutti capi: devious, brilliant, astonishing ruthless.The book isn't perfect — just nearly so. The enormity of Winegardner's reimagining of Puzo's epic can obscure the novel's overarching story line — Michael's attempt to legitimize the Corleones' businesses — and leads at times to an episodic feel. These, however, are quibbles in the face of a wholly absorbing novel that's written beautifully, with great skill and passion. Godfather fans will love this tale; Puzo himself must be raising a celestial glass and shouting a hearty 'Salut'! Let it be known that Winegardner, for his respect to the novel's antecedents and for his accomplishment, shall henceforth be known as a Man of Honor." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The Godfather Returns...lacks [the] movies' amazing resonance and the original book's pulpy energy, but as these sorts of follow-ups go, it's a solid enough performance: dutiful, suspenseful and only occasionally annoying."
"Review" by , "[A] thoroughly professional job. Winegardner's prose marches assuredly to Puzo's rhythms, and he deftly and imaginatively ties up whatever threads were left dangling."
"Review" by , "The Godfather Returns is essentially a long, sleazy tabloid story in which the accumulation of detail does not add up to a vision."
"Synopsis" by , Winegardner — whose proposal for this novel was chosen in an international competition — brings new artistry and vision to Mario Puzo's mythic characters.
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