The Last Don) had begun work on a novel featuring the 15th-century Borgias, whom he regarded as "the original crime family."/>


Mario Puzo, Author, Carol Gino, Joint Author , completed by Carol Gino. ReganBooks $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-039445-5

Before his death in 1999, 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. (Oct. 2)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Show other formats
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-52644-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-694-52643-7
Paperback - 608 pages - 978-0-06-621398-9
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-008711-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 432 pages - 978-0-06-009711-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-52642-0
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-117980-8
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-184295-5
Book - 978-0-06-081412-0
Book - 978-0-06-081411-3
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-0-06-208915-1
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4464-3914-2
Hardcover - 418 pages - 978-0-09-946474-7
Hardcover - 418 pages - 978-0-434-01216-9
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-0-09-953326-9
Book - 978-0-06-075231-6
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.