Omerta

Mario Puzo, Author Random House Inc $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-375-50254-5
""The dead have no friends,"" says one gangster to another in Puzo's final novel, as they plot to kill America's top Mafioso. But Puzo, despite his death last year at age 78, should gain many new friends for this operatic thriller, his most absorbing since The Sicilian. The slain mobster is the elderly Don Raymonde Aprile. His heirs, around whom the violent, vastly emotional narrative swirls, are his three children and one nephew. It's the nephew, Astorre Viola, who inherits the Don's legacy and transforms before his cousins' astonished eyes from a foppish playboy into a Man of Honor, as he avenges the Don's death and protects his family from those hungry for its prime possession: banks that will earn legitimate billions in the years ahead. Astorre's change is no surprise to the few aged mobsters who know that, as a youth, he was trained to be a Qualified Man, or to the fewer still who knowDas Astorre does notDthat his real father was a great Sicilian Mafioso. Arrayed against Astorre in his pursuit of cruel justice are some of the sharpest Puzo characters ever, among them a corrupt and beautiful black New York policewoman; assassin twins; wiseguys galore, including a drug lord who seeks his own nuclear weapon; and, drawn in impressive shades of gray, a veteran FBI agent who imperils his family and his soul to destroy Astorre. Despite its familiar subject matter, the novelDwhich shuttles among Sicily, England and AmericaDis unpredictable and bracing, but its greatest strength is Puzo's voice, ripe with age and wisdom, as attentive to the scent of lemons and oranges in a Sicilian garden as to a good man's sudden, bloody death. This is pulp raised to art and a worthy memorial to the author, who one last time makes readers an offer they can't refuse. 500,000 first printing; simultaneous Random House audio and large print editions; to be a film from Miramax. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-375-41571-5
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-375-72808-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-0106-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-41572-2
Paperback - 410 pages - 978-0-09-953325-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-84-406-9876-6
Paperback - 488 pages - 978-84-663-0295-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-41570-8
Hardcover - 431 pages - 978-0-375-43058-9
Paperback - 346 pages - 978-84-9872-015-0
Paperback - 346 pages - 978-84-9872-966-5
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4090-0722-7
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