View Full Version : Has anyone read the Godfather?
02-12-2007, 10:30 AM
I just bought the book and I am flying through it. I have wanted to pick this book up for a number of years but never got around to doing it. The reason I am posting this question is that I just resently watched the Di Vinci Code, and I was not imnpressed, I was entertained though.
Frankly the book wasn't much better. Angels in Demons, a book I have not finished is much better. The Godfather the movie is a treasure, and the book is turning out to be I whole lot better that what I expected. I am getting insight into characters that I had no not been able to retrieve from just watching the movie.
Now, In the case of the Code, I read the book first and watched the movie second. I did not like Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. Nothing against Tom but I saw someone else, someone new playing that part. With the Godfather I saw the movie first. The problem with the Code is that They did not stray at all from the book. It was the book in movie from, that is it. From what I am reading in the Godfather novel the movie left alot out.
What makes the Godfather movie so good is the casting. Every page I turn and every character named, I see the actors face, but learning more about them than the movie good give. It is better that I did not read the book first. I may have been disappointed, however it is hard to imagine with all the great acting in that movie.
In short, If you have not read the book but love the movie, get the book. It will enhance your love for the characters. Sollozzo is my favorite in the movie and is turning out to be even more a monster in the book.
02-12-2007, 11:29 AM
Like yourself, I too saw the movie before I read the book.
Personally, I wish it had been the reverse as I think I might have enjoyed the book more than I did. I doubt I would have felt any different about the Movie had I read he book come first as the movie was so fantastic and even as long as it was, there were going to have to be charecters who's roles would be reduced. I think the screen play made the right choices.
All of this said, I rarely if ever read fiction (bios and hsitorical peices are my cup O tea). So chances are I would never have read the book first had I been old enough, (I'm 40) and been in a position to have read the book before I saw the movie.
Probably would have worked out the same way for me.
02-12-2007, 11:31 AM
Wish they would have filmed the early Luca Brasi episodes.
02-12-2007, 11:45 AM
I admit, that that is the only charecter, that I would have liked to have seen some depth on. (the Fontaine charecter and Sonny's mistress, IMO had their stories and roles reduced appropriately.)
Yet, I think by doing so, they would have dilluted the power of the scene at the wedding with Micheal explaining to Kate what "Scary" Luca was all about.
The look of dread on Keaton's face when Pacino finished that story was frighteningly awesome.
02-12-2007, 01:52 PM
I read the novel way back when, while I was still in school and after seeing the movie. I enjoyed it, though maybe not quite as much as the film. One point I didn't care for was the way Puzo would sometimes bounce around in time during the central progression of the story, specifically with the segment in which Don Vito shows up at the undertaker's with Sonny's shot to shit body even before the ambush is described. (Of course, I already knew Sonny was going to be killed, which lessened the shock value of the scene, but it seemed like a rather cheap ploy.)
Usually I enjoy the book a bit more than the movie. PeteLeo.
02-12-2007, 02:03 PM
I read the novel shortly after its appearance. (I had a friend whose family took books through the Book of the Month Club or something like that: he always had recent bestsellers.) I was in high school, a very poor boy, and didn't have much money for movies. I didn't see the movie until much, much later.
I enjoyed the novel, but have no desire to reread it. But I am always happy to watch the film again--one of the great ones.
02-12-2007, 06:43 PM
I like the in depth view of Hagan. I think it was not explored enough in the movie. Duvall did a great job. His reactions in key moments make more since now that I am reading the book. Also, I have been impressed with Sonny, during the shooting of his father. He used good logic. At least up to the point that I am in the story.
Hawk in part two, the look on Pacino's face when Kay told him she got an abortion. I rewind that part everytime.
Dan, what did you think about the development of the characters in the book as opposed to the characters in the movie.
02-12-2007, 06:54 PM
Man, JLP: it has only been about 33 years or so!
But here's an overall impression: I thought that the novel gave more details, but less gloss. The film is violent, but beautiful: the darks are saturated; the lights are rich, too. (Think of the scenes set in Sicily.)
The novel relies heavily on exposition to create depth. By contrast, the movie tells the story through the depth and interest of the images, and the uniformly excellent (and often brilliant) acting, rather than through exposition.
My final take: I think that the novel was a pretty good potboiler. But almost no one would consider it a real classic. If asked to name the best 100 novels of the twentieth century, I doubt that any serious critic would list the novel at all. By contrast, the film is one of the great movies of the twentieth century. I suspect that it's on every serious critic's top 50 list, if not considerably higher.
One of the amazing things is that "The Godfather Part II" is almost as good as the original. It's hard to maintain such an achievement. But I will add that "The Two Jakes" is within spitting distance of the great "Chinatown" (another of the all-time greats, in my opinion).
02-12-2007, 07:58 PM
Guilty as charged. WOn't even try to pass it off as a typo.
Obviously it was Kay and not Kate.
02-12-2007, 08:14 PM
I saw Godfather II at a midnight showing in NYC back in the day when the hookers would use the theaters for "coffee breaks"
I reecall two ladies shouting at the screen for the entire movie in a hilarious streeam of conscionsness -- when Kaye confessed to the abortion, they KNEW what was coming -- "don't mess with that Mafia shit," they implored.
Too late -- WHACK!
Then a soft voice in the theater --"I TOLD you not to mess with that mafia shit!"
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