The Godfather
Written by Mario Puzo

1969 ***** 433 pages

The Godfather is a landmark of filmmaking that has become so embedded in our subconscious that we sometimes forget it began its life as an equally brilliant novel by Mario Puzo. The Godfather revolutionized the crime novel, giving us vividly realized characters we could relate to and fall in love with. The book tells not only the story of the first film, but also much of Vito's backstory that wouldn't be presented on screen until The Godfather Part II. The novel also goes into a lot more detail about Johnny Fontane and Lucy Mancini. It's a very well-written book that you'll become thoroughly absorbed in. You won't want to put it down.