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Title: Book Talk on The Godfather by Mario Puzo
In this book Don Corleone, is sometimes refereed to as The Don or The G
odfather out of respect, is the head of the Corleone family. Originally named
Vito Andolini, The Don changed his name to Corleone, after fleeing from the
Mafia in Italy, and arriving at New York. There he quickly makes alliances, and
political contacts, and is able to create the most powerful family in New York.
His power is challenged when The Don refuses to enter into the business of
narcotics with the Tattaglias, another family. The Tattaglias, have reason to
believe that Santino, one of the DonÕs sons, is interested and attempt to kill
The Don, hoping his son who would be in charge would agree, but fail. A big war
eventually breaks out, but after loosing Santino, The Don makes peace, to be
able to safely bring his son, who is hiding out in Sicily, home. At this point
The Don teaches his son Michael about the family business, and how to avenge
SantinoÕs death, and set things straight before the family who has planned to
move to Vegas to pursue their business of gambling, moves.
character sketches :
Don Corleone :
Don Corleone is the head of the Corleone family, and is feared and respected
by many. Don Vito Corleone demands only one thing from a person, his pledge of
friendship. With this, no matter how poor or powerless the person, the Don would
never disappoint him if he came to him for help. This is partly why he is
respected by everyone and has earned the right to be called the Godfather. In
terms of keeping the family at the top, Don Corleone uses his intelligence. He
is also a great negotiator. He made it a point never to threaten the person he
was speaking to, and act very politely. He once reasoned with a man for 12 hrs.
Until that man gave in. The Don has principals and does not consider himself a
criminal, but a person  who has his own ethics and has to enforce them. An
example of this was his decline of the offer to join in the importation of
narcotics even if it would have brought him a great deal of money. The Don also
had a few philosophies, like his saying that, ÔA lawyer with a briefcase can
steal more than a hundred men with guns.Õ Or his thought that it is always b
etter for your enemies to overestimate your faults and for your friends to
underestimate your virtues. Don Corleone made few mistakes in his career, but
learned from each of them and thus is the cleverest and most feared leader of
any family.
Michael Corleone :
Michael Corleone is the DonÕs youngest son, and is the DonÕs only child that
refuses his direction. Michael always defied his father, going to college, but
then volunteering for the army to serve his country in the war. Michael had all
the quiet force and intelligence of his great father, and was obviously going to
be his fatherÕs heir, but he disappointed his father by risking his life for a
country that would do nothing for him. Although Michael never wanted to get
implied in the family business at one point he is the only one who has the
opportunity top avenge the attempt of death on his fatherÕs life, and does so.
At this point it is just a matter of training until Michael can take over his
fatherÕs leadership at his death. At that point even if he needed a few more
months training Michael acts calmly and carries out the plan he made with his
father, gaining the respect he deserves.
Santino Corleone :
Santino Corleone, called Sonny by everyone but his father, is six feet tall
and built as powerfull as a bull a huge man. Sonny has great strength and
courage. He is feared because of this animal force, and sometimes goes crazy and
uses it without thinking. His bad temper and bad judgement make this force a
positive and a negative thing. He does help his father, but lacks his fatherÕs
intelligence and his humility, and for those reasons he does not become the heir
to his father. His bad temper and bad judgment eventually even cause him his
Tom Hagen:
Tom Hagen became an orphan at the age of eleven, when his parents died, and he
had a terrible eye infection. One day Sonny brought him home and the Don took
him in, curing his eye and raising him like one of his own. Tom went to college
and law school, and after three years of practice was offered a job in the
family business. Tom served the Don well, and eventually became Consigliere, or
the DonÕs right hand man. Many thought this to be one of the  DonÕs mistakes,
for an Irishman could never be as cunning as a Sicilian, but the Don never
regretted his decision, for Tom is always faithful to the Don and acts wisely
even if he makes a few mistakes, one of which in part causes SantinoÕs death.
evaluation :
It was a good book with a bit of everything in it, action, suspense, detail,
and I give it a 9 on 10.
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