The Godfather | Critical Review by Gerald Kingsland

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of The Godfather.
This section contains 381 words
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Buy the Critical Essay by Thomas J. Ferraro

Critical Review by Gerald Kingsland

SOURCE: "Mafia Mia," in Times Literary Supplement, October 13, 1972, p. 1214.

In the following review, Kingsland approves of Puzo's self-revelatory writings in The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions.

Mario Puzo rates his bestseller, The Godfather, below his other novels, The Dark Arena (1955) and The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965) and frankly admits that he wrote it primarily to make money. He needed to, being some $20,000 in debt, but once committed to the business of writing he clearly found scope in it for the skill which thirty years' experience of story-telling had given him.

The Godfather Papers contains reprinted and new pieces—articles, stories, reviews, anecdotes, memoirs, diary-entries—all written since 1965 with the exception of Mr. Puzo's first published story (1950). They are understandably uneven in quality, but each has something to add to the portrait of the writer and his world. There is a good deal about Mr. Puzo's passions, the chief of which is writing (and how good it is to find a writer who loves his craft and is proud of it), with gambling pretty high in the scale. There are some of his likes and dislikes, much about early days as a first-generation American Italian, and there is an objective, amusing but in some respects predictable account of the making of both the book and the film of The Godfather.

It is natural to be curious about the author of a work which has given pleasure to millions of people, and this frank, often pungent, miscellany probably gives a better idea than would a more studied autobiography, written when rationalization might have set in and the impressionism of these often fugitive pieces be overlaid.

What emerges is that Mr. Puzo is above all a man who loves stories—the stringing of the George Mandel anecdotes through the present collection is a sign—and who loves even more the act and art of telling them. His imagination functions best when it is engaged in narrative. Nothing could be more indicative of the kind of author he is than the statement he makes about his Mafia book; he confesses that he wrote it "entirely from research. I never met a real honest-to-god gangster. I know the gambling world pretty good, but that's all."

Understandably, one of his early loves in fiction was Rafael Sabatini.

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This section contains 381 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Thomas J. Ferraro