Though published in 1969, I first read it in 1972 after being captivated by the film.
When I found it all dusty on my library shelf, we became inseparable until its last page was read, like we had never met before. Imagine the film, but with multi-layers.
Hey, in 44 years you forget a few things, even the greatest of lines from the movie’s screenplay, also written by Puzo.
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
“You touch my sister again, I’ll kill ya.”
“You’re takin this very poisenally.” “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s just business.”
“Maunday, Toosdee, Tearsdee, Whahnsday.”
“Did Clemenza tell you to drop the gun?” “Yeah, a million times.”
“What’s the matter Carlo?” “Shut up and set the table.”
“Paulie, pull over, I gotta take a leak.”
and my personal favorite….
“In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.”
Mario Puzo (1920-1999) was an outstanding writer, his descriptions jaw-dropping, especially his erotica. Stephen King, who in his book, On Writing, lectures on the necessity of candor, would bray in approval.
I couldn’t help wondering how Mrs. Puzo and the mother of his 5 children felt back then, about her husband’s hot, steamy love scenes.
“So Mario, tell me something. This creamy thigh business of yours…legs draped around necks…something tells me you weren’t talking about us.”
“Oh sweetheart. I could never talk about our lovemaking, it’s sacred after all.”
“Yeah, sacred this Mario. ”
False candor is very hard to be faithful to, so if I was Mrs. Puzo, my suspicions would have been awakened too. Whose thighs was he talking about exactly?
“Remember honey, I’m a writer with a vivid imagination.”
“Yeah? Don’t honey me. What’s her name? I’ll kill her and her white thighs I’ll drape around her neck I’ll break in half.”
Leave the cannoli, take the gun.