Cover image for The family
Title:
The family
Author:
Puzo, Mario, 1920-1999.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Abridged.
Publication Information:
[United States] : Harper Audio, [2001]

℗2001
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (6 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
Subject Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780694526437
Format :
Audiobook on CD

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
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Williamsville Library X Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Clarence Library X Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Frank E. Merriweather Library X Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Grand Island Library X Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Summary

Summary

A landmark event--the creator of The Godfather tells the epic story of Italy's first great power family--the Borgias of 15th century Rome. Abridged. 5 CDs.


Summary

Mario Puzo knows what power can do to a family. In this saga, he presents the greatest power family in Italian history: the Borgias. Even after six centuries, the family's name is synonymous with lust, extravagance, and murderous rage. This is their incredible story, marking the triumphant conclusion of one of the greatest storytelling careers of our time.


Author Notes

Mario Puzo, best known as the author of The Godfather, was born on October 15, 1920 in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City. He served in the U. S. Army during World War II, and when he returned attended New York's School for Social Research and Columbia University.

He wrote pulp stories and edited Male magazine before publishing his first novel, The Dark Arena (1955). His works were well-received critically, but failed to generate much revenue until he published his most notable work, The Godfather, which was ultimately made into a trilogy of award-winning movies. Puzo continued writing novels, and his final work, Omerta, was finished not long before his death. He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in both 1972, and 1974.

Puzo died on July 2, 1999 in Bay Shore, Long Island. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Before his death in 2001, Puzo (The Last Don) had begun work on a novel featuring the 15th-century Borgias, whom he regarded as "the original crime family." There are obvious parallels between the Borgias and the Corleone clan immortalized in The Godfather, but the resemblances are mostly superficial, at least as they are presented in this limp historical romance. The story opens with Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia manipulating papal elections in 1492 to become the new Pope Alexander. Determined to establish a family dynasty, he appoints his son Cesare cardinal in his stead and, after a strategically engineered episode of incest between siblings Cesare and Lucrezia, begins ruthlessly eliminating rivals and marrying his children into alliances with the offspring of noble families of France and Spain. But Cesare would rather be a soldier, and Lucrezia would rather marry for love; these conflicted desires contribute as much as risky political power plays to undoing the Borgias in a single generation. Though Gino (Puzo's companion, author of Then an Angel Came) is credited for the posthumous completion, Puzo's true collaborator is history, and it proves a difficult partner. Obligated not to deviate from known facts, the narrative whizzes methodically through highlights of the Renaissance, embellishing events with snatches of imagined dialogue, purple prose ("For love can steal free will using no weapons but itself") and cameos by Machiavelli, Michelangelo and da Vinci. Overwhelmed by the vast pageant of events, the characters never achieve dramatic stature. Puzo's diehard fans will surely put the novel on their summer hit list, but they may feel, in Sonny Corleone's words, that "this isn't personal, it's business." Major ad/promo; simultaneous HarperAudio and Large Print edition.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Booklist Review

When Mario Puzo died in 1999, he had spent 15 years or so, on and off, working on this novel about the Borgias: Rodrigo, who became Pope Alexander VI, and his famously villainous offspring, Cesare and Lucrezia. Puzo put a lot of work into the story, and it shows: this posthumously published tale is one of his most satisfying novels in a long, long time, far superior to most of his recent work. The saga is lush, full of detail, with characters who manage to be larger than life while seeming entirely realistic. The dialogue is slightly ornamented but never clumsy, and the plot is appropriately epic in scope, mixing fact and fiction seamlessly. Families, of course, were Puzo's signature theme, and in the fifteenth-century Vatican he finds a family as complex and multitextured as the Corleones. The book was completed by Puzo's companion, novelist Carol Gino, but its tone is pure Puzo, start to finish. A thoroughly entertaining posthumous present from one of the masters of popular fiction. --David Pitt


Library Journal Review

Much will probably be made of this last novel by the celebrated author of The Godfather and a slew of other gangster novels. After Puzo's death in 2001, this historical fiction was completed by Carol Gino, his companion. The subject is the misunderstood family Borgia, who were sometimes malevolent, always maligned, and mostly political part Clintons, part Kennedys, part Sopranos. Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI and moves into the Vatican with his mistresses and children. Alexander deeply loves yet still controls his offspring, including the ambitious and handsome warrior Cesare, who wants to shed his cardinal robes to lead the papal army in conquest of central Italy; the sweet but flawed Lucretia, whose incestuous relationship with Cesare raises eyebrows; and lusty Juan, who carries on with the wife of little brother Jofre, who in turn becomes murderously jealous. Most of the melodramatic murder and mayhem comes straight out of the history books, but the characters lack depth, with their motivations only mildly explored. This late 15th-century family's story is more soap opera than serious treatment of the troubled dynasty that influenced the Renaissance. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/01.] David Nudo, formerly with "Library Journal"(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Family Chapter One The golden rays off the summer sun warmed the cobblestone streets of Rome as Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia walked briskly from the Vatican to the three-story stucco house on the Piazza de Merlo where he'd come to claim three of his young children: his sons Cesare and Juan and his daughter Lucrezia, flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood. On this fortuitous day the vice-chancellor to the Pope, the second most powerful man in the Holy Roman Catholic Church, felt especially blessed. At the house of their mother, Vanozza Cattanei, he found himself whistling happily. As a son of the church he was forbidden to marry, but as a man of God he felt certain that he knew the Good Lord's plan. For did not the Heavenly Father create Eve to complete Adam, even in Paradise? So did it not follow that on this treacherous earth filled with unhappiness, a man needed the comfort of a woman even more? He'd had three previous children when he was a young bishop, but these last children he had sired, those of Vanozza, held a special place in his heart. They seemed to ignite in him the same high passions that she had. And even now, while they were still so young, he envisioned them standing on his shoulders, forming a great giant, helping him to unite the Papal States and extend the Holy Roman Catholic Church far across the world. Over the years, whenever he had come to visit, the children always called him "Papa," seeing no compromise in his devotion to them and his loyalty to the Holy See. They saw nothing strange about the fact he was a cardinal and their father too. For didn't Pope Innocent's son and daughter often parade through the streets of Rome for celebrations with great ceremony? Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia had been with his mistress, Vanozza, for more than ten years, and he smiled when he thought how few women had brought him such excitement and kept his interest for so long. Not that Vanozza had been the only woman in his life, for he was a man of large appetites in all worldly pleasures. But she had been by far the most important. She was intelligent, to his eye beautiful -- and someone he could talk to about earthly and heavenly matters. She had often given him wise counsel, and in return he had been a generous lover and a doting father to their children. Vanozza stood in the doorway of her house and smiled bravely as she waved good-bye to her three children. One of her great strengths now that she had reached her fortieth year was that she understood the man who wore the robes of the cardinal. She knew he had a burning ambition, a fire that flamed in his belly that would not be extinguished. He also had a military strategy for the Holy Catholic Church that would expand its reach, political alliances that would strengthen it, and promises of treaties that would cement his position as well as his power. He had talked to her about all these things. Ideas marched across his mind as relentlessly as his armies would march through new territories. He was destined to become one of the greatest leaders of men, and with his rise would come her children's. Vanozza tried to comfort herself with the knowledge that one day, as the cardinal's legitimate heirs, they would have wealth, power, and opportunity. And so she could let them go. Now she held tight to her infant son, Jofre, her only remaining child -- too young to take from her, for he was still at the breast. Yet he too must go before long. Her dark eyes were shiny with tears as she watched her other children walk away. Only once did Lucrezia look back, but the boys never turned around. Vanozza saw the handsome, imposing figure of the cardinal reach for the small hand of his younger son, Juan, and the tiny hand of his three-year-old daughter, Lucrezia. Their eldest son, Cesare, left out, already looked upset. That meant trouble, she thought, but in time Rodrigo would know them as well as she did. Hesitantly, she closed the heavy wooden front door. They had taken only a few steps when Cesare, angry now, pushed his brother so hard that Juan, losing his grip on his father's hand, stumbled and almost fell to the ground. The cardinal stopped the small boy's fall, then turned and said, "Cesare, my son, could you not ask for what you want, rather than pushing your brother?" Juan, a year younger but much more slightly built than the seven-year-old Cesare, snickered proudly at his father's defense. But before he could bask in his satisfaction, Cesare moved closer and stomped hard upon his foot. Juan cried out in pain. The cardinal grabbed Cesare by the back of his shirt with one of his large hands -- lifting him off the cobblestone street -- and shook him so hard that his auburn curls tumbled across his face. Then he stood the child on his feet again. Kneeling in front of the small boy, his brown eyes softened. He asked, "What is it, Cesare? What has displeased you so?" The boy's eyes, darker and more penetrating, glowed like coals as he stared at his father. "I hate him, Papa," he said in an impassioned voice. "You choose him always..." "Now, now, Cesare," the cardinal said, amused. "The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other. Besides, it's a mortal sin to hate one's own brother, and there is no reason to endanger your immortal soul over such emotions." He stood now, towering over them. Then he smiled as he patted his portly belly. "There is certainly enough of me for all of you...is there not?" Rodrigo Borgia... The Family . Copyright © by Mario Puzo. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Family Mm by Mario Puzo All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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