They made me an offer I should have refused

November 24, 2006

Trapped in the JFK Airport bookstore last week I walked past “The Godfather Returns” at least 18 times before I finally caved in and purchased it.  For those unfamiliar, Mario Puzo wrote the book (and screenplays) for The Godfather.  It’s not necessarily a great book, but it’s a pretty great read, if that makes sense.  And it has a very clear sense of tone & style.  When Puzo died, the publishers apparently decided to flip a coin between digging up his corpse & raping it in the middle of Mulberry Street in Little Italy, or hiring some talentless hack and giving that person the rights to “carry on” the Corleone legacy in print.  While both were equally disrespectful of the man & his work, the latter was probably more profitable, so that’s the direction they went.

The thing is, I knew it would suck.  I would have bet money on that fact, and that I’d cringe with every word, etc.  But I bought it anyway, and now 150 pages in I can’t stop, for some reason, even though I hate it so.  For that reason alone, it earns a spot on the list.  I only wish I’d had the discipline to be able to stop myself.  It’s as though the book was this picture of two gay nazis blowing each other, and someone said “hey, don’t click on that link, it goes to a picture of two gay nazis blowing each other” and yet I clicked on the link anyway; no matter how dismayed I would be, I’d really only have myself to blame.



  1. why? why did I click on that link?!?

  2. Now you know how I feel about the book.

  3. I know how you feel, only with a twist. I won’t tell you what book I hated more than any other book I’ve ever picked up (because it won all sorts of awards and apparently proves that I’m a fucking moron), but halfway through the piece of shit, I tossed it on the barbecue. One of the proudest moments of my life. I usually slog all the way to the end and then briefly hate myself.

    BTW, did you know your blog links to two gay nazis blowing each other? (Well technically speaking, only one of them is blowing the other.)

  4. Where are you going that you find pictures of fascist fellatio? At what point do you say to yourself, “Hmm. This post needs more of that, that… thing that they do.”

    Your “List” is brilliant BTW.

  5. My eyes! My eyes!

  6. I didn’t read the Godfather book, but I have to speak up in defense of Mark Weingardner. His book about Cleveland, “Crooked River Burning”, was really good. I suspect that he may have been trying too hard with “Godfather Returns” to be something he’s not.

  7. Yeah, Joe, you’re quite right – it’s not that he’s a bad writer, it’s that his writing is not right for this book. Puzo was an Italian immigrant who grew up in the neighborhood & time in which the books are set. Weingardner is merely a good crime writer.

  8. See, that’s why I only read magazines articles. No real commitment.

  9. Argh. Your mother reads your blog you know. 😉

  10. Oh Lord! Sorry about the goony happy face, although on this particular post it’s not likely to the image burned into your reader’s minds.

  11. Let’s just hope she has the common sense not to click on a link to two gay nazis blowing each other.

  12. Discipline, not common sense. I only lack one of those two traits. And I also bought the damn book knowing it would suck. Thankfully I read your post before starting the book. Here comes another smiley: 🙂

  13. your mother reads your blog?

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