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Mario Puzo is the author who will for ever best be known for his massively successful The Godfather but I am not a fan of simply reading one work by an author who writes such a great book as The Godfather so decided I had to try out Omerta and am delighted to say that whilst not as amazing as The Godfather (it was always going to be highly unlikely to be) this still manages to stand on its own as a great piece of literature.
Omerta (the Sicilian code of silence) is something that the Mafia have long lived by and had as a central part of their organisation but when killings begin to happen and blood is being spilled everywhere the silence proves to be deafening to the police and FBI are investigating the goings on but how much blood will be spilled before they find the culprit?
This story again sees Mario Puzo following the Mafia and their goings-on as the central theme and thanks to his exceptional style of writing that suits the subject matter perfectly you get a true feel of the darkness, anger, secrecy and more that goes with this world famous organisation. I have found Puzo is able to give a great descriptive style to his writing that does not feel weighed down and instead manages to feel like a fast flowing adventure which draws you in and enables you to get a much better feel for the atmospheres throughout the story.
From a personal point of view I read this to try another of the works by the author of The Godfather and have not been let down at all as this is another fantastic story which although not living up to the same standards as The Godfather manages again to be a superb read. I highly recommend giving this a try and if you are able to not compare it to the Godfather then this will enable you to enjoy the story to the fullest.
==About the Author Mario Puzo==
Mario Puzo's best selling novel The GodFather was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels The Dark Arena and The Fortunate Piligrim.
His other bestsellers include The Sicilian, The Fourth K,The Last Don.Mario Puzo also wrote many screenplays including Earthquake,Superman,and all three Godfather movies, for which he received two Academy Awards.
Apparently ,Mario Puzo spent the last three years of his life writing Omerta.
He died in July 1999 at his home in Long Island, New York at the age of Seventy Eight.
==About the Novel Omerta==
Omerta means a Sicilian code of conduct which forbids informing about crimes thought to be the affairs of the persons involved. The code was adopted by Sicilians long before the Mafia.
Omerta based on fear , was an extreme form of loyalty and solidarity in the face of authority.
Omerta born in Sicily and carried forward by the Mafia was becoming a relic from the bygone age having gone through a change.Honor may be silent but money talks was the general feeling.
It basically explores the consequences of a violation of the Sicilian 'code of silence' ( Omerta) chronicling the affairs of the Apriles, a family that has worked hard on legitimising a world of crime and corruption, with the FBI is trying to dig into all their past activities and wipe them out completely.
==The Story In Brief==
Don Zeno is ruthlessly murdered in Sicily.His infant son Astorre is
left in the care of Don Aprile living in New York.
In New York Don Aprile is running his empire with a fair but merciless hand. The Don, a widower ,brings up his four children including Astorre away from his world of crime and corruption, giving them good education and encouraging them to take up respectable professions.
Don Aprile comes to rely totally on his adopted son Astorre and
hopes that he would be the one to protect the family's honor when the time comes.He always fears that the past would catch up some day.
In the mean time Aprile has been slowly and steadily legitimising
his business , by selling off all the old shady business deals and concentrating on legitimate Banking and Macaroni importing.
Before Don Aprile could finish his work he is brutally murdered, by unknown assassins, and the rival Portella organisation tries to negotiate with the Don's children pressurising them to sell the banks , so that, they could launder the drug money with the help of these bought banks.
When Astorre resists, he becomes an open target for the criminals and, he takes shelter in Sicily with the Don's old friends trying to dodge various murder attempts..He is however determined to get to the truth and the identity of his own father Don Zeno and Don Aprile's killers.
Astorre is caught up in a web of crime and corruption that his adopted father had carefully kept him away from .. struggling to stay alive ,with only the initial training and knowledge that the Don had provided him when he was a teenager.
==My views about the novel==
This is a very interesting novel no doubt, but, it is not in the same class as 'The Godafather ' or even ' The Sicilian' for that matter.But at the same time it is definitely a novel that is well above the average and worth reading.
To keep up the continuity and connection there is a mention of the Corleones family of The Godfather.
There are so many Dons here , that i was thoroughly confused at the end of it.When i think back now , i still find it difficult making a connection between the different don families- this after having read the book twice.
Don Aprile comes across as a very emotional and humane person, which is actually not true, he being a ruthless Don.Here Mario Puzo writes about his bonding with his adopted son Astorre, and these passages show a softer and emotional side of the Don.
I love the way Puzo has described the hilly towns of Sicily , and the people with their simple lifestyles and traditions, getting innocently drawn into a world of corruption that leads to crime - one can read those passages any number of times.
There is a lot of violence, which is, i guess a necessary element in novels of this kind.But i hate the manner in which human life is totally disregarded and the meaningless killings taking place left right and centre -the killers going scot free - there is a lot of this in Mario Puzos books, he glamourises crime and makes it acceptable to a certain extent.I myself accept it as necessary while i get caught up in the book, but on second thoughts it seems so unnecessary.
Astorre, a respectable banker and business man , gets drawn into the crime and mafia scene .Here it is made to look as if he had no other way of dealing with it other than get involved and take help from the criminals.
One also wonders whether the Mafia is really as powerful and wide spread in its operations as Mario Puzo implies in his novels??
But with all that , this is a very well written novel that keeps one engrossed throughout..
Having really enjoyed The Godfather and The Last Don, both by Puzo, when I spotted this in the library I thought that it would be a good read. Alas it is nowhere near the standard of the man who brought the Corleone family to life. Another review mentioned that this was an unfinished manuscript found when Puzo died, if so then someone really mangled it bringing it to publication. It really is a mafia novel by numbers - in places it seems more like an imitation of Puzo's style by an inferior writer. The characters are typically colourful - the old Don Aprile, the hitmen Sturzo brothers, the nephew Astorre. These were fleshed out well and had depth, but some characters seemed skimmed over - sterotypes from previous books renamed. I can't even remember most of their names, that is how much of an impression they made on me while I was reading this! One sentence plot - no major spoilers as you guess what is going to happen early on: Old Don is killed, seemingly flaky singing adopted nephew takes over, really he is a throwback Mafia Don, doles out justice to those responsible for adopted father's death, lives happily ever after in Sicily. Along the way there is police corruption, some treachery, bribes and pay-offs, lots of people die with messy descriptions eg. brain matter splatters everywhere. If you like Puzo's work then this will be a disapointment. If you have a vague interest in the mafia then it should have enough to keep you reading. Having read other Puzo books I just felt that I knew what was coming. It is an OK book, it will keep you occupied for a couple of hours but don't expect it to be up there with the Godfather.
Mario Puzo one of if not the greatest writer of mafiosa books that has and ever will be. He brought us The Godfather and only just recently i have discovered this book and in Tesco at £4.99 would you believe. Now how do i review this book without giving the story away well i can't so if you wanna read on it is your choice.I am not after all making you an offer you can't refuse. We start out with the end of an era for the mafia the last true Don dieing and passing his son on to be groomed for the chair he has left. An uncle takes over the training of the boy and as in all good mafia book he grows to be a great who can contend with anybody and anything but has real trials along the way. Revenge plays a huge part in this book and many scenes of violence are portraid especially the avenging of his uncles killers. A twisting tale that brilliantly switches from past to present and ends in a way you don't see coming. Sex,deception,lies,revenge,killings,hits it is all in here and i am not going to say exactly what happens but get to your nearest Tesco and pick up this masterpiece you won't be dissapointed.
Omerta has all the potential of a classic Mafia story but sadly turns into a sort of fairy tale. The main Character is to infallible , everything he plans to do, turn out perfectly. You are able to see the plot and can make a good guess at how things will turn out.... ie The main character has everybody weight up just right ,never makes mistakes. More like a Chess Don instead of a mafia Don LOL. With out spoiling the ending you will be shocked at how neat everything is ended, Hans Christain Anderson eat your heart out LOL.... It's had to believe that this is the same Brilliant Author who brought Don Corleone and family into the world. With all the main family characters being more cardboard than flesh and blood it's truely sad to see a giant in the "Mafia" world ending in this way... Thank You " Sopranos " for keeping the "real fictional mafia" alive and well especially with all the "Corleone" Jokes..... " It was you Freddo, you broke my heart" Long Live Don Corleone
Mario Puzo is dead and his family dug up a manuscript and then proceede to sell it as a finished "book". It is not a book-it is an idea for a book. The end result of this is that the book that you end up reading is very uneven with some areas perfectly explained (where Puzo had spent a lot of time on) and some areas not well explained at all(where he ahd merely outlined the story). It makes for a very frustrating read as you feel the book should be better than it is because of the better written parts. While this book shows a lot of potential it should not be regarded as a definitive Puzo book as he did not publish it. I would recommend checking out "The Godfather" or "The Last Don".
From the author of the 'Godfather' comes the another mafia saga.It focuses on the life of the son of an emminent Sicician 'Don'who is bought up in America .It has many plot turns and the story is told masterfuly.This book has all the brilliance of the original Godfather while wisefully chosing not to feature any of the characters form the 'Godfather' book.I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys Mario Puzo's writing style or has seen any one of the Godfather films and enjoyed the.A good read and a nice way to spend an evening.