Omertà by Mario Puzo

“Some honorable men spend their whole life preparing for a supreme act of treachery”

– Mario Puzo in OmertÀ

            You know when you hear great words on a novel and forever memorize the author’s name? You then wish to know his career evolution, discover his work and assume being his number 1 fan right from the get go? I’m not ashamed to say that I am one of those people and Mario Puzo was the author’s name. Folks, I have to give you all a quick little life lesson. Some artists do not create masterpieces, 5 star worthy, mind boggling creations throughout their whole life. They have their ups and downs. They create pieces that might not suit everyone’s interests and definitely might not always get your praise. Authors are no exception. Omertà is my first novel from Mario Puzo; yes, before the beloved Godfather. And this was one of Puzo’s work that had my expectations really high and didn’t manage to satisfy them. Omertà is the story of Astorre Viola, an adopted child by the Great Don Raymonde Aprile. Molded early in his childhood, The Great Don saw in this child the perfect Mafioso. He acquainted him to Sicily and all the traditions that run through Sicilian blood. Seen by the Great Don’s children as a normal person who loves to ride horses as a pastime, Astorre never drawed suspicion on his knowledge of criminal activities. He vowed young to always respect Omertà, the code of silence. After a tragic event, Astorre sees that his time has come to reign over the empire his adoptive father has left behind.

“Do not count on the gratitude of deeds done for people in the past,you must make them grateful for things you will do for them in the future.”

– Mario Puzo in OmertÀ

            I have to admit it wasn’t amazing. The writing is simple and straight-forward. It promotes an easy read and strictly contends to telling the story without seeking depth. It does help portray Sicily as a beautiful place to discover and visit, but it never manages to capture the readers mind and spirit when it comes to story-telling. It’s one of those novels you just pick up in your local bookstore, read through it and set it back on your shelves. Omertà is basically a fun read. Nothing more, nothing less. Right from the start you find out who the killers are and quickly lose a potential character. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read. As you progress, you are introduced to the Great Don’s children and Astorre Viola. All the characters couldn’t be flatter and boring. The antogonists aren’t interesting and the cop on the case, Kurt Cilke, is hard to adore. Mario Puzo still manages to make the cop seem conflicted and in a tight spot, but there never was that little push needed to make us empathize with the characters. Mr. Cilk wasn’t sparred on that matter too. The story does have some interesting events, but they don’t manage to compensate for the lack of intrigue in the novel. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read. In fact, I have to say that the ending was really poor, stale. The happy ending wasn’t satisfactory as well. What happened, man. You could’ve thought of a better showdown than that… Come on! SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read.

“Do not exercise power because it is easy to your hand. And do not get carried away with a certainty of victory when your intellect tells you there is even a hint of tragedy.”

– Mario Puzo in OmertÀ

            Mario Puzo never misses the opportunity to mention omertà in all his novels. There will always be a sentence mentioning that a character believes in omertà or that one doesn’t respect it at all. This Sicilian code of honor that forbids individuals to speak of crimes to anyone that it doesn’t concern is a huge element in this novel. Isn’t that surprising. Being an adopted child, Astorre abided by this code and blended into society perfectly. He was portrayed as a flawless character, yet remained someone fictional, hard to believe that he was “real”. Readers would find it tough to attach to him and find any connection whatsoever. If you ask me, Omertà is a nice and fun page-turner and should be taken lightly. It completely lacks the psychological details that The Godfather has and even without comparing it to that classic, you can tell that the story was told in a way that makes it burdensome for readers to see more into the characters. When reading this novel, you just have to kick back and relax. It will definitely get you through the 400 page novel fairly quickly but it won’t leave much of a mark once you’re done with it. As some people might know, Omerta and The Family are two books that Mario Puzo never saw published and had their manuscripts completed by another author. I’m going to go on to believe that that was the case and that this wasn’t completely Mario Puzo’s work. Why not, right? The Godfather was way too good for Omertà and The Family to ruin his image! Long live Puzo and his curiosity for mafia networks!

“I do not seek it or desire it. If I must, I will accept the punishment for all my sins.”

– Mario Puzo in OmertÀ

            Don’t forget to share your thoughts on this novel, as well as like this review and follow us as we continue to write reviews for you guys to read. So what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in this novel, you can purchase a copy of Omertà by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★★★☆☆/

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6 thoughts on “Omertà by Mario Puzo

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