USA Today: May's Biggest Books

The Family Corleone

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Falco has produced a gripping, vibrant portrayal of the rise of Italian-American organised crime in New York during the Great Depression. . . . . One of Falco’s achievements is his portrayal of the discrimination against the influx of Italian immigrants and how this resulted in a close, and closed, Italian-American world. . . . . As befits a novel based on a screenplay, The Family Corleone sweeps along with cinematic vigour. Falco is particularly skilled at making believable the transitions of the characters in his novel, to those who are etched in the collective western mind from The Godfather.

–Business Day

WAMC: Northeast Public Radio Interview, with Ian Pickus






In The Family Corleone, Ed Falco deftly pulls off a feat of literary necromancy, bringing back to life one of the most iconic figures in American popular culture: Don Vito Corleone."

-- George De Stefano, author of An Offer We Can’t Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus, Giroux), and member of the National Book Critics Circle.

"When you see this book, buy it. It is written with love for the characters and respect for Puzo. It is also a story that won’t quit and I couldn’t stop reading. Falco brought me back to a world I love and did it perfectly. As far as I’m concerned this is THE BOOK to buy in 2012."

-- Crimespree Magazine.

"Falco has captured Puzo’s rich prose style and eye for detail ... if you want to read another installment of the Corleone story, The Family Corleone is a solid piece of work."

-- The Washington Post Book World.

"This is an excellent adult book from start to finish and seems to kindle once again how the five families in New York evolved into the Mafia. This is a five star book."

-- The Desert Independent.

Falco fills in the blanks, sometimes in gory detail, of the stories we always wanted to know, but never knew who to ask.

--Limn Literary Arts Journal

. . . an engaging tale about a previously unexplored area of the Corleone mythology. He [Falco] keeps the characters true to the original vision by Puzo. None utters a false note. The period detail and language are accurate — right down to a glossary of Italian terms placed at the novel’s end for quick reference. Just the material on Luca Brasi alone is entertaining and frightening. For fans of the book and films “The Family Corleone” is probably a must read.

--The Times-News

... a slick, pacy thriller which just happens to feature a cast of familiar characters.

--Time Out London

. . . a rousing legacy filler tracing the rise of Vito Corleone's New York crime family. It won't disappoint fans.

--Shortlist (U.K.)

Falco gives prominence to Luca Brasi as a hulking, dark and tormented eminence who is feared by all. The origins of his brutal nature are explored as he goes from being an independent gang leader to become the loyal enforcer for Don Corleone.

--New Jersey Star-Ledger

Falco spins a good yarn.

--The Bulletin

For anyone fascinated by America’s criminal underworld, this latest instalment of one of its most infamous fictional families is compelling.

-- The Irish Examiner

Falco’s depiction of Vito Corleone captures both the cool reserve of young Vito and the insight he demonstrates as Don. A worthy addition to the lurid world of the Five Families.

– Kirkus

“…channels the original so well that readers will be vividly reminded of Puzo’s strengths . . . His moments of blam-blam-blam are ace. Best of all, he supplies a grand set-piece finale--a parade-that will leave readers dreaming of just one more movie.

–– Booklist



Ed Falco has done yeoman’s work in THE FAMILY CORLEONE, meeting the American legend that is its subject matter head-on and creating a tale that demands to be read in one sitting. We already know how it turns out (at least most of it). But it’s how Falco and Corleone get from beginning to end that makes this journey a riveting and twisting ride.

--The Book Reporter

Puzo fans will enjoy it. ... the story is Puzo-worthy.

--New York Daily News

Falco captures the compelling minutiae of Depression-era life and crime. Further, he writes propulsive, gruesome, often operatic violence, well-matched to the style of the original. The major focus of this outing is young Vito, prior to his rise as Don, and his teenage boy, Sonny, already a wild child with out-of-control tendencies. A standout for me was the emergence of Luca Brasi from the shadows, no longer just a guttural monster but now a layered, almost tragic figure.

--The Courier-Journal

This is highly recommended, five-star book for adult readers.

--Kingman Daily Miner

Kudos goes to Ed Falco for his work on this novel. ... Though some may feel that the novel’s release is just business for the Puzos, I’d like to think that it has emerged as one last encore by the titular family whose on-screen exploits will, perhaps, forever remain legend. And what an encore it is. Viva i Corleone.

--The Star

Falco ably exploits the tension between civility and brutality. The result is good, messy fun.

--The Guardian

. . .peers inside the mind of the Godfather, Vito Corleone, showing sides of the family man only hinted at previously.

--The Columbus Dispatch

Falco moves his story along smartly. There are steady suspense and gripping description.

--The Roanoke Times

. . . an engaging Godfather entry. Fans will appreciate Ed Falco’s strong entry, which hopefully leads to more 1930s prequels.

--The Mystery Gazette

. . . an entertaining back story to the main event, including how Brasi came to talk so haltingly, and Falco does justice to each of the characters.


[Falco] has a genuine flair for describing the curious storm-shapes that passion can trace in the thoughts of conflicted characters. He does this expertly time and again when he’s dealing with poor Luca Brasi in the book’s first half, and the second half’s main star, temperamental young Sonny . . .

--Stephen Donoghue in Open Letters Monthly

Falco’s solid Godfather prequel fills in the backstory of the iconic New York City Mafia family . . . Puzo fans will find this a refreshing change from the inferior sequels..."

–– Publisher’s Weekly