Authors & Events
Aug 30, 2005
| ISBN 9780345478986
Nov 16, 2004
| ISBN 9781588364333
Nov 16, 2004
| 1224 Minutes
Nov 16, 2004
| 371 Minutes
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Aug 30, 2005 | ISBN 9780345478986
Nov 16, 2004 | ISBN 9781588364333
Nov 16, 2004 | ISBN 9780739314432
Nov 16, 2004 | ISBN 9780739314074
THE MISSING YEARS FROM THE GREATEST CRIME SAGA OF ALL TIMEThirty-five years ago, Mario Puzo’s great American tale, The Godfather, was published, and popular culture was indelibly changed. Now, in The Godfather Returns, acclaimed novelist Mark Winegardner continues the story–the years not covered in Puzo’s bestselling book or in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic films. It is 1955. Michael Corleone has won a bloody victory in the war among New York’s crime families. Now he wants to consolidate his power, save his marriage, and take his family into legitimate businesses. To do so, he must confront his most dangerous adversary yet, Nick Geraci, a former boxer who worked his way through law school as a Corleone street enforcer, and who is every bit as deadly and cunning as Michael. Their personal cold war will run from 1955 to 1962, exerting immense influence on the lives of America’s most powerful criminals and their loved ones, including Tom Hagen, the Corleone Family’s lawyer and consigliere, who embarks on a political career in Nevada while trying to protect his brother;Francesca Corleone, daughter of Michael’s late brother Sonny, who is suddenly learning her family’s true history and faces a difficult choice;Don Louie Russo, head of the Chicago mob, who plays dumb but has wily ambitions for muscling in on the Corleones’ territory;Peter Clemenza, the stalwart Corleone underboss, who knows more Family secrets than almost anyone;Ambassador M. 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 andFredo 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 . . . family.
Mark Winegardner is a celebrated novelist who was handpicked by Mario Puzo’s estate to write The Godfather Returns, an instant New York Times bestseller. Winegardner’s previous books, including the novels Crooked River Burning and The Veracruz Blues, have been chosen as among the best of the year by the… More about Mark Winegardner
Q&A with Mark WinegardnerQ.When did you first read The Godfather?A.When I was about 12. Like a lot or kids who grow up to be writers, I started reading books meant for adults looking for the dirty parts. I had good reason to believe there might be worthwhile moments there. When I heard Random House was looking for an author, I read it again with new appreciation. Q. Why did you want to write it?A. I feel like my entire body of work has been about the mythology of America, and this book fits squarely within that. It’s a magnificent opportunity to write about characters that people already know and are invested in, and in some ways, it’s as big a thrill as if I were writing about Jesse James or Abraham Lincoln. Particularly when I saw how much more story there was to be told, and how little The Godfather had touched on the glory years of the mob in the late 1950’s, I was thrilled to have the chance to take a whack at all of that.Q.Are you nervous about what the reaction will be?A.I’ve been writing almost every day of my life for the past twenty years, and it’s a wonderful thing to be the author of a book people are waiting for, whether they’re sharpening their knives for it or drooling for it. A lot of writers are working away, saying, “Who will ever read this? Who will ever publish this?” The book will come out and either people will like it or not, but it’s going to be read, and I’ll move on and write other books after this one. There’s no down side. Q.Is this a sequel to the novel or the movies?A.The novel, definitely. Mario Puzo’s book ends in 1955. The Godfather Returns will cover the period from 1955 to 1965. Q.But what about The Godfather II? Isn’t there some overlap?A. The parts that weren’t in Mario Puzo’s novel covered only one year, 1958-1959. A lot of other wicked things were going on that can only be revealed now. I don’t address events in the films that aren’t in the novel, but I don’t contradict them, either. Everything fits together, and I hope readers will be surprised to discover some of these unexplored avenues. It turns out there’s a lot we didn’t know about the Corleone family.Q. Like what?A. Sorry. I must obey the laws of omerta. Q. You’re a creative writing professor and you’re not Italian. Are you qualified to be writing about the Mafia?A. I’m not Sicilian, it’s true. Not even Italian-American. I’m just a novelist with a vision of how to continue this American saga. I understand I am, however, German-Irish, same as Tom Hagen. And he did just fine in this world.Q.What would you like the book to accomplish?A. I want it to be a good book, first and foremost. I was always impressed with the way Random House approached this book — that they always seemed quite interested in this not being any kind of publishing gimmick, but a good, literary, page-turner, and I want it to be that. All things being equal, an author shouldn’t think too deeply about the thematics of his own book. I’m out to write the best book humanly possible.Q. Why has The Godfather become an American myth?A. A lot of people have pointed out the story of this family in particular and the mob in general has superceded the western as the core American mythological story. It’s something that in my last two novels I was circling around, and I’m glad to have a chance to come in this time for the kill.
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