"That you may ruminate"

…On The Godfather

Posted by Steve on August 3, 2008

Yesterday, I bought two books: John Scalzi’s The Last Colony, which I’ve been waiting for the paperback of ever since it came out, and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, which I decided to read after having watched The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. As an aside, I met Scalzi at a book signing at Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis where he and an author/friend of his were signing their books and sharing sci-fi-writer gossip with a local author from the Twin Cities. So since I stood there listening to them gossip for a good long while, my copy of The Ghost Brigades is autographed “To Steve, who listens to all the authors’ stories.” I just wish I’d had the good sense to print off a copy of Being Poor and bring that for him to sign.

Anyway. I started reading The Godfather last night (yes, that’s evidence of deplorable things about the state of my social life). I read through Book I and Book II. And, the thing is, I can’t remember any of Book II showing up in the movie, though it’s a very interesting section. Only peripherally related to the Don, true, but then it does show the extent of Don Vito’s influence – as much in the spread of his philosophy and influence over a man’s heart & mind as in the spread over his money and buttonmen over the country. Which, when you think about it, was the foundation of his power: respect and the exchange of favors. What’s it cost Johnny Fontane to get a few million in financial backing and a strategic whacking? He has to choose to live more as Don Vito would want. Now that’s some power.

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