Alexander moved over to his favourite chair in the corner of the large chamber. 'Sit, my children, sit with me,' he gently ordered them...'We are a family,' he told his children. 'And the loyalty of the family must come before everything and everyone else. We must learn from each other, protect each other, and be bound first and foremost to each other. For if we honour that commitment, we will never be vanquished - but if we falter in that loyalty, we will all be condemned...' What is a family? Mario Puzo first answered that question, unforgettably, in his landmark bestseller "The Godfather"; with the creation of the Corleones, he forever redefined the concept of blood loyalty. Now, thirty years later, Puzo enriches us all with his ultimate vision of the subject, in a masterpiece that crowns his remarkable career: the story of the greatest crime family in Italian history - the Borgias. In "The Family", this singular novelist transports his readers back to fifteenth-century Rome and reveals the extravagance and intrigue of the Vatican as surely as he once revealed the secrets of the Mafia. Their intermingled stories constitute a symphony of human emotion and behaviour, from pride to romance to jealousy to betrayal and murderous rage. And their time, place, and characters are recaptured in all their earthy, human grandeur, with the unerring insight and compassion that were Mario Puzo's great gifts.
Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher and industry reviews
UK Kirkus review
In this, his final novel, Godfather author Mario Cuzo delves into history for a tingling tale that combines family values with religion, murder, betrayal, corruption and incest. Who else could he be writing about but the Borgias in 15th-century Rome? Cuzo intended that this should be his masterpiece and it was 20 years in the making. Sadly, he died just before its completion and the finishing touches were added by his companion Carol Gino, herself a bestselling novelist. As in all his books, Cuzo is fascinated by the concept of family and crime, and in the Borgias he has the ultimate crime dynasty. The Borgias' murderous rampages from within the Vatican are documented history as, indeed, are other parts of the background to this story. In familiar Cuzo fashion there is a rich vein of description that brings settings and the most sinister of characters to life. Cuzo sees the Borgias as Italy's first mafia and the blueprint for all future crime dynasties. They scandalized the Roman Catholic Church while at the same time striving to regain its reputation and glory - lining their own pockets in the process. As Pope, Rodrigo Borgia instils in his illegitimate children the importance of family loyalty above everything. But son Cesare refuses to bow to the family ethic, daughter Lucrezia plots the downfall of everyone who crosses her (family members and otherwise), and other sons squabble while trying to set up rival mobs. But ultimately each proves to be a saviour of the other. The epic story, encompassing the rampant social changes that were taking place throughout Renaissance Italy and particularly focusing on intrigue at the Vatican, is one that deserves to become a classic. It is a fitting piece de resistance for Cuzo, the godfather of crime writers. (Kirkus UK)
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