The Sicilian by Mario Puzo


“Life is Beautiful.”

– Mario Puzo, The Sicilian

Quick! Hide! We got ourselves a potential challenger for The Godfather by Mario Puzo! Our great Mafiaso-know-it-all-without-being-one doesn’t exactly have an enormous and varied number of published novels, but one thing’s for sure. His greatest hits are short and The Sicilian is among his best masterpieces, my friend. Any fan of The Godfather trilogy should definitely go through this gigantic stack of papers cause it inserts itself right in the middle of the events that took place in the first novel. Don Corleone sends Michael Corleone on a trip to Sicily with a mission in his hands. Bring Salvatore “Turi” Guiliano back to America, safe and sound. Although one might think Michael is about to get a nice big novel focused just on him, The Sicilian has other plans for you. This book has its eyes mostly on Guiliano and his adventures that lead him to rise into one of the most feared bandits Sicily will come to know. Turi will become a legend among Sicilians and among avid fans of The Godfather.


“At twenty years of age Turi Guiliano was considered the bravest, the most honorable, the strongest, the young man who inspired the most respect. He was a man of honor. That is to say, a man who treated his fellow man with scrupulous fairness and one who could not be insulted with impunity.”

– Mario Puzo, The Sicilian

Outlaw becoming hero, Guiliano’s story is outstanding, heart-moving and sprinkled with a great amount of honor and respect. The novel is actually a dramatization of the real life Salvotore Giuliano (see what Puzo did to the name?). Filled with great events showcasing love, friendship, family, trust, honor, bravery and deception, The Sicilian easily becomes a pinnacle of excellent story-telling and character development. If the hugely acclaimed masterpiece The Godfather didn’t get so much attention and media coverage, I’m pretty sure The Sicilian would’ve had the same treatment, and maybe a better one too. At times slow only to pay attention to details, the story has great pacing and builds the plot perfectly. From a young boy who sees first-hand the poverty and corruption that covers Sicily, Guiliano faces hardship and tragedies only to grow into a man with big objectives. A man that some might see Robin Hood’s ideals in his heart. Every little adventure that Salvatore Guiliano heads into manages to mold the mans personality and willingness into something tangible and real.


“My dear Guiliano,” he said, “how is it that you and Don Croce do not join together to rule Sicily? He has the wisdom of age, you have the idealism of youth.”

– Mario Puzo, The Sicilian

Puzo has an impeccable and amazing set of skills when it comes to writing. Guiliano is by far one of the best characters ever developed. Every single moment the narration shift unto Turi and his actions or thoughts, readers get a glimpse into a boiling red hot desire to rid Sicily of corruption and poverty. There isn’t a moment in the story where the man’s ideals weren’t challenged and that obstacles weren’t surpassed. The level of pure chivalry and  cunning is just out of this world. Along with the help of his trusted friend Gaspare “Aspanu” Pisciotta, friendship, love and family are deeply explored. How the two of them manage to build trust among citizens in Sicily and create their own empire from nothing is inconceivable yet so believable. Chased around for their friendship by Don Croce, Mafia boss in Sicily, Guiliano’s recklessness leads him to question everyone’s trust. Seeing that partnership between crime lord and outlaw is futile, Don Croce, held in the grips of Rome’s government, seek to save his own skin as the story unfolds only to have a bigger plan for Guiliano. The rocks thrown back and forth between these two parties help in fact Guiliano is recruiting trusted partners that will help him achieve his ultimate goal. Extinguishing corruption and poverty in a country that deserves peace.


“When we are children, when we are young, it is natural to love our friends, to be generous to them, to forgive their faults.. But as we grow old and have to earn our bread, friendship does not endure so easily. We must always be on our guard. Our elders no longer look after us, we are no longer content with those simple pleasures of children. Pride grows in us – we wish to become great or powerful or rich, or simply to guard ourselVES against misfortune.”

– Mario Puzo, The Sicilian

Although readers would want to read more from Michael Corleone after reading The Godfather, this novel compensates for the lack of spotlight on the young Don. However, the story is written in a way that you get the “real-time events” with Michael Corleone arriving in Sicily only to discover that Guiliano might not be in a position to exit Sicily in peace while also getting huge segments that tell the story of Guiliano before it led him to become a legend that was about to seek exile in America. As the story approaches the end, you also get a huge moment between Michael and his father, a speech filled with wisdom and moral that will surely mark the man’s future. As mind-blowing as it may sound, The Sicilian leaves the same aftertaste as The Godfather, once completed. You wish you could get more and  wonder how 500 pages managed to tell so much of Guiliano’s story and make every single bit relevant and entertaining. If you haven’t read The Sicilian and loved The Godfather.. my friend.. you are going to have to find some time for this book cause you’re up for a treat. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Mario Puzo’s sheer greatness and remarkable talent in telling a man’s story?

I might as well mention that there’s also.. a very ancient.. movie based on this novel. Unlike The Godfather, this one is far from being a great adaptation with great acting. I haven’t seen the movie myself and I don’t plan to watch it since I’ve only heard bad things about it. Why ruin a great book by watching a horrible movie? Got to be pretty masochistic to do so.. Well actually, maybe if I’m every really bored and got nothing better to do, I’ll watch it and see how horribly done it is. Maybe I’ll get a good laugh out of it like some awful movie tend to do to me. Have you seen the movie?

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My overall rating: ★★★★★/

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8 thoughts on “The Sicilian by Mario Puzo

  1. Lashaan,this is the most beautiful review I’ve ever read. “[…]readers get a glimpse into a boiling red hot desire to rid Sicily of corruption and poverty.” God this sentence is well said and I got to agree with everything you wrote. If I can put your sentences in a daily quote I will. I loved this book and I am happy to see that the review is as crafted as the book. Cheers,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you so much for the kind words. I definitely did not expect this today and I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the review. You made my day just by reading my review and leaving a comment. I also loved The Sicilian and sadly there might not be any other Puzo stories that could surpass The Godfather and The Sicilian. I have to read The Last Don or some of his other older works, though. I’m sure they’ll be fun reads, but nothing that could blow me away as these two novels ! Hope to see you around for our future reviews, you sound like a great person to have around ! 😉

      – Lashaan


  2. Saw this in my mail and I was like damn got to check it out 😀 ! And yes. My god. Great review!! You never seem to disappoint 🙂 I read Godfather and I loved it! And if you say this is equal quality damn..Got to try it! The movie though..LMAO Did you guys have anything planning out for halloween so far? You can watch it with your gf #LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should definitely try it out ! You won’t be disappointed. It’s truly one of Puzo’s best works. Thank you so much for the kind words and I’m glad you stopped by ! I doubt she’d want to watch this though, not only does it have bad reviews, it’s also pretty old. Not a good combo for her to want to watch it LOL As for Halloween, I’ve used up my Halloween-themed Batman tales so I don’t think I’ll be able to do something Halloween’y. However, there might be a review of a novel with a monster-related title that we’ll put up around the 31st ! Thanks for stopping by, bruh. Hope to see you around again ! 😀

      – Lashaan


    1. Thank you so much for the kind words ! Seems like anyone who reads Puzo tend to want to collect his work. As you might have seen from my past reviews, I’ve also read Omerta (not that good, just a fun read) and I plan on reading all his books sooner or later. The next novel I’m reading is The Godfather Returns (even if Mark Winegardner is the author) before I watch the movie. Thank you again for dropping by, reading the review and sharing such a huge compliment ! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes ! Yes ! Indeed ! I can’t wait to read Returns and Revenge. Just the idea of being able to say “I’ve read the books before watching the movies” for such a classic trilogy blows my mind. 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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