The Godfather Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Godfather

Late in 1945, army veteran Michael Corleone brings his fiancee Kay Adams to meet his family on his sister's wedding day. His family, however, is a little different from most families.
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His father is Don Vito Corleone, a powerful Mafia boss known as "the Godfather." His brothers Sonny and Fredo are soldiers in the organization and Sonny is the most feared enforcer in New York. His adopted brother Tom Hagen is the lawyer who handles the financial details of the family business. Scattered around the wedding reception are such luminaries as legendary hit man Luca Brasi, world-famous singer Johnny Fontane, and Mafia capo Dominic Clemenza.

After the reception, Don Vito, Sonny, and Tom, meet with Virgil Sollozzo, a drug smuggler who wants them to become partners in his business. Though Sollozzo offers attractive terms, Don Vito declines the offer.

When, a few days later, the Don is cut-down and seriously wounded by a pair of assassins, the violent Sonny is tapped to take the reigns of the family and vows to avenge his father.

In the midst of the resultant gang-war, "college-boy" Michael volunteers to kill Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey, his police protection. Meeting with the two in a small restaurant, Michael slays them both with a hidden pistol.

While Michael heads to exile in Sicily, Sonny continues the gang-war, now battling both the other five New York families and the police. When Sonny dies in a hail of gunfire, Don Vito returns from his convalescence to forge a new peace with the other families and even manages to arrange for someone else to be convicted of the murders Michael committed, allowing his youngest son to come home.

When the Don is finally felled by a heart attack and Fredo is sent to consolidate the family's power in Las Vegas, Michael is called upon to take control of the family business and take revenge on his enemies.
The review of this Book prepared by James Craver

The Godfather is the story of organized crime in the 1940's which revolves around the Corleone family. Don Vito Corleone is the head of a New York Mafia "family". Problems arise when a gangster supported by another Mafia family, Solozzo, announces his intentions to start selling drugs all over New York. Don Vito hates the idea of drugs as he is quite happy with his hotel and gambling business. Don is shot by Solozzo's men. Solozzo then kidnaps one of Don's advisors, Tom Hagen and tries to make him force Don's eldest son, Sonny to agree to sell drugs, but the plan goes wrong when Sollozzo finds out that Don Corleone is still alive.

The review of this Book prepared by Sujatha Somayaji

Chapter Analysis of The Godfather

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   criminals killing each other Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   wealthy Misc setting    -   resort/hotel    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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