Mario Puzo | The Godfather
This American gangster novel had been in everyone’s most recommended fiction fix. I never really minded but I got that rare opportunity to find a worn out copy at a local thrift shop so I just bought it. Spent about a hundred quid for this one plus two more Ken Follett novels. Quite a good bargain, eh.
I was looking for something to pass the time when I tried to read the first few passages of the book. There wasn’t electricity at that time and classes + work were suspended due to a typhoon. It wasn’t until sundown that I realised I was too enamoured by the story because I was still trying to read even with little light.
Suffice to say that I like the story. A lot. I’m never really into crime or gangster novels but this one made me like one. I loved how the Italian culture of strong familial ties played a central role in consolidating and eventually entrenching mafia networks across America and even overseas, to the poorer areas of rural Italy. It brings to life the oft-invoked quote of blood being thicker than water. Readers are also given a glimpse of how the values of good and evil are balanced or even stricken out when making decisions. For one, it is easier for the characters to decide between good and bad, but what’s difficult is deciding which one is a lesser evil. At one important point of the story, Don Corleone as the Godfather has to decide whether to allow his businesses get involved in a budding drug dealing operations. The decision he makes creates a lot of repercussions on everything that happened in the next chapters.
After reading this, I thought I wanted to be a consiglieri but I guess I’m more suited as capo regime. Hahaha! My favourite characters were Peter Clemenza and Don Vito’s eldest son, Sonny. It’s only Capo Peter who can eat a mouthful of spaghetti while talking about the next shoot-to-kill job. And Sonny’s temper is just way off the roof. Hahaha! It’s annoying and interesting at the same time. His attitude spices things up in the story.
The vow of omertà forbids me to speak more about the Family. Rest assured that you’ll enjoy reading this one too. No doubt about it. :)
Oh, and by the way, marathon the three film adaptations for that hung-over feel. Haha!
5 out of 5.
Mark Haddon | The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
I finished this book during my travel to Seoul this September. Mark Haddon’s novel is narrated at a first-person perspective by a 15-year old kid named Christopher John Francis Boone. The blurb at the back of the book says that he has Asperger’s syndrome or savant syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism. After wandering around their village, Christopher saw his neighbour’s dog dead and bloody on the garden. The police thought he killed the dog but eventually released him when his dad came for him. His father tells him to stop investigating about the death of their neighbour’s dog but Christopher insists. The rest of the story revolves around Christopher’s investigation and the many other discoveries he unearths. Siobhan, his teacher, had always been present to guide and provide him with nuggets of wisdom on dealing with adults and life in general.
The book is generally interesting because of the main character and his unusual dilemma. Plus the fact that its pages used prime numbers instead of the usual cardinal ones. Readers can actually hear Christopher’s voice on the narration— it is bland and matter-of-factly and Haddon succeeds in bringing life to him. Also, I felt that the story provided us a glimpse of how people with mental disability think and perceive things— that they also have feelings similar to us, albeit less emotional.
I recommend reading the book if you want something to pass the time off. It is an easy read.
4 out of 5.
Labels: 2014, book review, books, fiction, good reads, the godfather