The Godfather: The Lost Years

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Corbett Shea, a former Prohibition-era bootlegger and business ally of the Corleones', who wants to get his son elected to the presidency-and needs some help from his old friends; Johnny Fontane, the world's greatest saloon singer, who ascends to new heights as a recording artist, cozying up to Washington's power elite and maintaining a precarious relationship with notorious underworld figures; Kay Adams Corleone, who finally discovers the truth about her husband, Michael-and must decide what it means for their marriage and their children and Fredo Corleone, whose death has never been fully explained until now, and whose betrayal of the Family was part of a larger and more sinister chain of events.

Sweeping from New York and Washington to Las Vegas and Cuba, The Godfather Returns is the spellbinding story of America's criminal underworld at mid-century and its intersection with the political, legal, and entertainment empires. Mark Winegardner brings an original voice and vision to Mario Puzo's mythic characters while creating several equally unforgettable characters of his own. The Godfather Returns stands on its own as a triumph-in a tale about what we love, yearn for, and sometimes have reason to fear.

From the Hardcover edition. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 30th by Ballantine Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Godfather Returns , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Godfather Returns.

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 26, Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it Shelves: 21th-century , novel , crime-mystery , fiction , historical. The publisher, Random House, selected Winegardner to write a sequel after Puzo's death.

Filling in the Godfather's lost years

As the original novel covered the years to , and included significant back story on Don Vito Corleone's life, Returns covers the years to , and includes significant back story on Michael Corleone's life prior to the first novel. Oct 05, J. Grice rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. Winegardner does a superb job of writing in a very Puzo-esque style. Excellent novel.

View all 6 comments. Feb 27, Ayah rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Someone I don't like. Awful, just awful. The errors in detail e.

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What could make this book worse? The writer's complete lack of familiarity with key characters made them both wooden and a little pathetic. Anyone familiar with Puzo's book or the films will have a hard time recognizing the players they kno Awful, just awful. Anyone familiar with Puzo's book or the films will have a hard time recognizing the players they know.

Finally, the clumsy attempts at literary flourishes made it nearly unreadable. There are approximately amateurish juxtapositions per chapter, such as "He both did and did not want to" and "he both felt and did not feel," and "she was intrigued and repulsed.

Other Titles by Mark Winegardner

We get it. Conflicting emotions. But page after page of "he loved and hated" gets old fast. Mar 27, Harold rated it did not like it Shelves: noir , fiction , craparootie. You can never go home again. View 1 comment. Perhaps it is because I have seen all three godfather films and am a big fan of the original novel that leads me to read this book with an attitude.

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Knowing that a new godfather novel is coming out soon The Family Corleone brought me back to reading this book again. However I couldn't get past a few things in how the book is written such as it silly attempts at making a particular segment humorous or the ending of the first chapter that beats an idea to death. The biggest issue I have is the id Perhaps it is because I have seen all three godfather films and am a big fan of the original novel that leads me to read this book with an attitude. The biggest issue I have is the idea that Fredo Corleone is gay. To me this is such typical characterization to introduce to today's clueless audienc.

This was always, and shall always, remain a story about men Therefore, after setting aside my attitude, I chose to continue on and finish the book in hopes that there would be some good moments. I admit I found a few weak moments which I willing to go along with such as Tom Hagen killing two men. However the whole introduction of new mob families with all their issues seemed rather shoehorned into the story to keep it going. I think the book could have been much better served to have fleshed more of the original characters who had since grown up One of the key storylines in the original book was its connections to real stories in the history of the organized crime.

I liked the introduction the Shea family a la the Kennedy family.

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However, I felt that involving all the crime families from the entire country created too many characters to keep track of. Of course, I found the end rather lame with the silly story about Geraci living in a cave under Lake Erie and no one knows where he is. It would have made more sense to have had him exposed as a vulnerable character a la Sonny who would swear revenge against Micheal Corleone man to man.

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Again, I only read this book because I heard a new book was coming out so I thought I would give this book a chance in the event that the new book is somehow tied in to this book. The more infamous scenes were removed from the book altogether, or they were told after the fact, or quickly fast-forwarded through. Everything else is covered slowly in painstakingly clear detail.

The Godfather: The Lost Years

Examples: Kay's revelation to Michael about the baby mentioned months after the fact , the kiss of betrayal with Fredo removed , the attack on the house after the fact, covered briefly The story is divided he 3. The story is divided heavily by five time-lines, which to me was a bit overwhelming.

There is a substantial amount of space devoted to Fredo, especially a "certain secret. This unusual invention between Michael and Fredo adds up to little.

Unfortunately, the glamour easily experienced with the first was somewhat lacking here. The drama, pizazz, and glitz from the first was seldom felt. While the first emphasized family structure as an in-depth, psychological intrigue, this book has the family fallen apart. Michael Corleone inherited his father's finesse and business acumen, but it's clear from the story's events that he doesn't have the talent to keep family together as his father could.

Winegardener did a neat trick introducing some new characters like Francesca, although the ending with her felt a bit contrived.

Winegardner, Mark / The Godfather: The Lost Years -

The book falls short when it comes to Micheal's inner expression. Tom Hagen comes across dullish and predictable when compared to the inner diggings Puzo introduced with the first. He does an admirable job emulating Puzo's style, even though of course imitation isn't always flattery. Unfortunately the glamor from the first is mainly absent from this book's reading, but it's still enjoyable in a different way - internal struggles among those who climb in the mafia and the bizarre exploration of a brother who can never live up.

May 11, Adam Ziarnik rated it did not like it Shelves: historical-fiction , dnf. It was absolutely incredible. To put it simply, Winegardner fails to produce a comparable product. I was about 70 pages in when I abandoned The Godfather Returns. I find Winegardner's attempt thoroughly uninteresting. Inane, pointless banter that goes nowhere After 70 pages I still have no clue as to any kind of plot. I rarely abandon books, but I just couldn't go on.