The Modern Library - the 200 best novels in English since 1950
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The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Random House Group 1991

Providing a detailed description of the world of the Mafia, this novel centres on the life of Vito Corleone. Corleone cultivates an image of respectable family values whilst being the most ruthless of criminals. When we meet him, the Mafia are on the point of change; drugs have entered the scene, and ritual warfare breaks out between the Mafia families.

Mario Puzo was born to illiterate Italian immigrants in the notorious 'Hell's Kitchen' neighbourhood of Manhattan, and this provides the backdrop to most of his novels.

 
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
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