Crime and Thriller, Fiction

The Sicilian- Mario Puzo

A LOUD HOLLER OUT TO EVERYONE OUT THERE!! We are The StoryTellers and we welcome you to your very own book review blog. Since this is our first post, we wanted to pick up a book which is very dear to us, The Sicilian by none other than Mario Puzo.

Mario Puzo, the man who penned down some of the most powerful characters like Don Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone became a cornerstone in the world of writers with his works such as ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Sicilian’, the likes of which has never been seen again. Many have tried to imitate his work, but none are comparable to his.

We all know about ‘The Godfather’, one of the best stories that ever graced the world of fiction, right? However, according to me, The Sicilian is a book that has a story, which is more graceful and vivid in details right from the portrayal of the town of Sicily to the characters in the story. So, imagine this, you are sitting in your favourite cozy spot. Your favourite hot cup of coffee in your hand, and you open this book expecting an ordinary good read. Sounds, pretty common and straightforward, right? But,The Sicilian is nothing like this. As you flip through the pages, you are already in the town of Sicily amidst the mountains and the people there. The narration is so vivid that once you are done reading the book, you feel like you have known the characters your entire life.

The Sicilian is a story of family, friends, values, treachery, love and honour, a cornerstone among the best stories ever told of the Mafia. Michael Corleone is nearing the end of his exile and is tasked with bringing back a Sicilian bandit Salvatore Guiliano to America with him. However, Guiliano is entwined in a vicious mesh of violence, treachery and love, all of which are the precursors to an impending bloodbath. Salvatore Guiliano is a rebel, even within the world of the bandits, having defied even the Cosa Nostra. In doing so, he is loved by many and hunted down by even more. His rebellious nature of the modern day Robin Hood to the town of Sicily, bestows him with the reverence of the townsfolk and raises him to God-like status in the eyes of the vulnerable and weak whom he chooses to protect. The fate of Micheal Corleone and Guiliano become entwined like the strand of DNA as both fight those they love for something much greater – their principles.

The plot is a parallel aftermath to ‘The Godfather’ and revolves around a simple man from the town of Sicily and how events change his life in more than one way. In a good or bad way? We will let you decide that 😉 The description is simple yet captivating at the same time. The simplicity of the book is one of its USPs. The story is not something extravagant or glorification of the protagonist. The characters have been penned down in such an exquisite manner, that by the time you have finished reading the book, you will already be seeing things from the characters’ point of view. The story does not lose momentum at any point of time. It picks up after the initial few pages, and attains a level from which it does not waver until the very end, where the story takes such drastic turns that it is sure to give you goosebumps.

The plot is not predictive by any means, and if you think you have figured it out halfway through, you are in for a treat at the end (just as I was). Midway through the book, you will find yourself picking sides because each character is penned down very powerfully and has very strong standpoints. One cannot explicitly say that the protagonist is the hero of this story because the story keeps shifting to and fro and you find yourself thinking if there is something the protagonist could have done differently in order to help you decide if he really is the good guy. If you are expecting a story which overreaches and keeps pushing the boundaries of reality and logic, this is not the book for you. The blend of thrills, thick plots, politics, love, friendship, family and above all, trust, makes the story more riveting and gripping than books based on similar backgrounds but having more focus on glorification and crowd pleasing.

The simplicity and vividness of Mario Puzo’s work continues to create magic once again, as Guiliano journeys from his childhood days in the streets of Sicily with his friends to his rise to power as a bandit living in the mountains overlooking the town of Sicily. Puzo creates an atmosphere in which you find yourself teleported to the 20th Century Sicily and living with the characters. The characters have been penned down in such an elegant and powerful way, the likes of which are hard to find even today. The book transcends its contemporaries and we will be lucky to read the likes of something so elegant and beautiful in our lifetime again.

The power of the story lies in its simplicity and vivid descriptions. The characters and locations are penned down so well, that it keeps you wishing for the book not to end. If you are a lover of stories that really have a deep story to tell, this is a book for you.

All in all, a must read for the Mario Puzo fans and a very good read if you are a fan of ‘The Godfather Series’ and people looking to wade new waters as well….

(You can leave your comments in the comment section)

PD

(Picture courtesy: Google Images) 

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