THE MISSING YEARS FROM THE GREATEST CRIME SAGA OF ALL TIMEThirty-five years ago, Mario Puzo's great American tale, The Godfather, was published, and popular culture was indelibly changed. Now, in The Godfather Returns, acclaimed novelist Mark Winegardner continues the story-the years not covered in Puzo's bestselling book or in Francis Ford Coppola's classic films. It is 1955. Michael Corleone has won a bloody victory in the war among New York's crime families. Now he wants to consolidate his power, save his marriage, and take his family into legitimate businesses. To do so, he must confront his most dangerous adversary yet, Nick Geraci, a former boxer who worked his way through law school as a Corleone street enforcer, and who is every bit as deadly and cunning as Michael. Their personal cold war will run from 1955 to 1962, exerting immense influence on the lives of America's most powerful criminals and their loved ones, including Tom Hagen, the Corleone Family's lawyer and consigliere, who embarks on a political career in Nevada while trying to protect his brother;
No mob connections here. Winegardner gets to continue the Corleone saga because his proposal won an international competition. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 30, 2005
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Excerpt from The Godfather Returns by Mark Winegardner
ON A COLD spring Monday afternoon in 1955, Michael Corleone summoned Nick Geraci to meet him in Brooklyn. As the new Don entered his late father's house on Long Island to make the call, two men dressed like grease monkeys watched a television puppet show, waiting for Michael's betrayer to deliver him and marveling at the tits of the corn-fed blond puppeteer.
Michael, alone, walked into the raised corner room his late father had used as an office. He sat behind the little rolltop desk that had been Tom Hagen's. The consigliere's desk. Michael would have called from homeýKay and the kids had left this morning to visit her folks in New Hampshireýexcept that his phone was tapped. So was the other line in this house. He kept them that way to mislead listeners. But the inventive wiring that led to the phone in this officeýand the chain of bribes that protected itýcould have thwarted an army of cops. Michael dialed. He had no address book, just a knack for remembering numbers. The house was quiet. His mother was in Las Vegas with his sister, Connie, and her kids. On the second ring Geraci's wife answered. He barely knew her but greeted her by name (Charlotte) and asked about her daughters. Michael avoided the phone in general and had never before called Geraci at home. Ordinarily, orders were buffered, three men deep, to ensure that nothing could be traced to the Don. Charlotte gave quavering answers to Michael's polite questions and went to get her husband.