Blogging “The Godfather”

The first book I finished this month is Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”. I have seen the first movie, but as every bibliophile know, there’s nothing like reading the book.

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My dog-eared copy of Mario Puzo’s opus. Took this pic while waiting for my pasta in a restaurant., but I forgot the cannoli.

As I type this, the much publicized President Duterte’s “War on Drugs” is going on in the Philippines, and the crackdown on the druglords has intensified ever since The Punisher has risen to power (More on druglords later, I guess, coz the third book on my reading list this month is Mark Bowden’s “Killing Pablo”). He even has a diagram of the hierarchy of drug personalities involved. How is this connected to “The Godfather”? Two words – ORGANIZED CRIME. Perhaps another set just as apt, that got the story rolling- NARCOTICS.

This is what has once more challenged the peaceful and organized rule of Don Vito Corleone. An upcoming underboss named Virgil Sollozo has offered the Don financial rewards in exchange for protection in his new drug business. The Don politely declined, saying “… if I were a part of it, could damage my other interests.He also quoted his friends from high places. “They would not be so friendly if my business were narcotics instead of gambling. They think gambling is something like liquor, a harmless vice, and they think narcotics is dirty business. No, don’t protest. I’m telling you their thoughts, not mine. How a man makes his living is not my concern.”And we all know what happens next: he makes an attempt at the Don’s life; murders Luca Brasi and other buttons. Michael Corleone retaliates and a full scale war known as the Five Families War of 1946 ensues (and we learn Sicilian idioms like “go to the mattresses”and “sleep on the bottom of the ocean”). Soon, Don Vito’s era as the boss ends, and Michael takes over the family business, and does his best to make the family legal.

Here are my favorite bits from the book:

On family. “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family, can never be a real man.”

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Constanzia Corleone’s wedding. Photocredits to The Godfather Wikia.

On goodness. “He helped them all, Not only that, he helped them with goodwill, with encouraging words to take the bitter sting out of the charity he gave them.” But let me just note that Vito is also a businessman, and he knows himself. “[ all that he does] of course was not pure Christian charity. Not his best friends would have called Don Corleone a saint from heaven. There was some self-interest in this generosity.”

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This cat wandered in the set and Brando just picked him up and made him a part of the scene. Photocredits to entertainment.time.com

On power and responsibility. Michael, the next Don, said the following words in an exchange with his future wife Kay Adams: “My father is a businessman  trying to provide for his wife and children and those friends he might need someday in time of trouble. He doesn’t accept the rules of society we live in because those rules would’ve condemned him to a life not suitable to a man like himself, a man of extraordinary force and character… But his ultimate aim is to enter that society with a certain power..”

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The Godfather’s inner circle: the consigliere, the caporegimes, and sons. Photocredits to holloywoodreporter.com

Everything is personal. Yep. Damn straight. Stop saying it’s only business, not personal (Walang personalan, trabaho lang. Heeeeeeeey is this the literal translation of the famous quote??) Michael said the following when they were planning to execute Sollozo: “Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit a man has to eat everyday of his life is personal. They call it business, OK. But it’s personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don.My old Man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That’s what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of the sparrow or however the hell it goes. Right? And you know something? Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.” (Phew, that was loooooong!)

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Passing on the torch.

Hoping to get ahold of Puzo’s The Sicillian!

Meanwhile, time for me to go watch the rest of the trilogy! 😀

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Note of a Bookworm

http://www.altfg.com/blog/actors/robert-osborne-kate-winslet-the-reader/

I resolved to read one book per week sometime around four years ago. I don’t know exactly why. But I guess the decision was inspired when I heard Oprah confess that her dad strictly imposed the one book per week rule . Not that I aspire to be like Oprah (though money and power doesn’t sound bad at all. Wait, hold that thought.Why ever not?), but the rule must be good, having turned out the way she did.

But I was only able to act on the resolution this year. I also read a lot in the past years but now I strictly monitor the titles that I have read, and force myself to pick up a book, focus and stay on track. My undergraduate thesis is also about recreational reading, so I learned a lot about the art of reading. I can finish a maximum of three books in a week, but only when I’m not neck-deep in chores and pressure.

Those who can read at least a book per week are called ludic readers (Nell, 1998). They also go by a variety of terms: recreational readers, voluntary readers, extensive readers, informal readers, independent readers, avid readers, aesthetic readers, etc. A ludic reader has to read at read at least 52 books a year; lest, the reader falls into another category: seldom reader (<5 book/yr), moderate reader (6-20 books/yr), constant reader (20-51 books/yr).

BTW, here’s a favorite picture of mine. Painted by Karl Spitzweg, Der Beucherwurm”(The Bookworm).

Anyway, much has been studied and written about the benefits of reading so am not gonna add them here. I guess, I’m writing about the experience because I have surpassed the quota this year (yey!).  The titles I have previously enjoyed were a mixed bunch, there are classics, YA, romance. Most of them are on ebooks, some were borrowed, or stolen. Kidding! HAHAHA! Am currently on my 53rd book, it’s  Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Painter of Battles.

I heard Stephen King’s wife can read more than 16 novels per week, so she advises her husband on what works (yay). That means she can consume at least 832 books per year (double yay!). Well, wish me luck, hope to get to u hundred by 31st December!

How about you? what book are you on now?