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May 27th, 2012
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Best/worst side stories #828882
02/15/15 06:00 PM
02/15/15 06:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
The side stories are among the strengths (and weaknesses) of the novel. Here are my choices for best and worst side stories.
Best:

1. The Bocchiccio Family and how they helped bring Michael back from Sicily. This could have been a novella in its own right.
2. Neri, his background, and how he came into the Corleone Family. Another novella—perhaps a movie if fleshed out.
3. Luca Brasi’s background, as told to Michael by Filomena. Scary.
4. Vito’s rise and the gang war that he won (including how Luca handled the Capone gunmen).
5. Sonny and the boiler repairmen.

Worst:
1. Jules, Lucy and her operation. Puzo put us through an agonizingly boring and sappy interlude just so he could describe an operation that, probably, some friend or relative had, and that he couldn’t resist describing.
2. Everything about Nino.
3. All of Johnny Fontaine after Connie’s wedding.
4. Every bit of the Hollywood BS Puzo burdened us with. That Hollywood BS was what ruined “Last Don.”
Your views?


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu č sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #828894
02/15/15 08:44 PM
02/15/15 08:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
mustachepete Offline
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mustachepete  Offline
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Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
I'd say you pretty much hit the nail on the head with those. Neri's first visit with the Corleones is almost charming.

Not sure how much they qualify as side stories, but I liked Detective Phillips visit to question Kay and her "donnish" father. I also think Tom's back story provides useful background in how Vito earns people's allegiance.


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #828905
02/16/15 02:18 AM
02/16/15 02:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 573
Scottsdale
Its_da_Jackeeettttttt Offline
Underboss
Its_da_Jackeeettttttt  Offline
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Posts: 573
Scottsdale
I enjoyed the Neri backstory, particulalry since I read the novel after seeing the films. It helped to make sense why he had the police officer ruse down for the baptism hit.

And I agree on the Lucy Mancini surgery subplot. If I wanted to know anout freak surgery, I'd go watch TLC.

Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #829063
02/17/15 02:56 PM
02/17/15 02:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,762
Anytown, USA
goombah Offline
goombah  Offline

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,762
Anytown, USA
Originally Posted By: Turnbull
The side stories are among the strengths (and weaknesses) of the novel. Here are my choices for best and worst side stories.
Best:

1. The Bocchiccio Family and how they helped bring Michael back from Sicily. This could have been a novella in its own right.


Like some others, I also read the book after first seeing the film. And after reading the background in the novel, it made Michael's return plausible. To me, it is a glaring omission from the film and one of my few criticisms of the storyline FFC utilized.

I think an interesting idea would have been to insert the Bocchiccio storyline as a flashback scene in GFII. They could have flashed back when Geary, Michael & Hagen were meeting to discuss the license. Within that scene, Michael gives Hagen a look implying that Hagen screwed up the information for the Geary meeting. It would have been interesting to show the viewer how instrumental Hagen had been to bring Michael home from Sicily even though Hagen was obviously in disfavor at the present time.

Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #829066
02/17/15 03:08 PM
02/17/15 03:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 573
Scottsdale
Its_da_Jackeeettttttt Offline
Underboss
Its_da_Jackeeettttttt  Offline
Underboss
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 573
Scottsdale
Not only does Michael return, but the timeline jumps forward a year and his face is fixed.

Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #835631
04/01/15 11:42 AM
04/01/15 11:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 364
Nyah Offline
Capo
Nyah  Offline
Capo
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 364
The side story about Lucy, especially the part about her operation, had me scratching my head the entire time. I kept reading thinking Puzo will eventually get to the point of why this story exists, but he didn't. Not only I felt my time was wasted with no refunds given, I pretty much got a bald spot from where I was scratching my head.


The expression "paperless office" has now been officially defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as meaning "an office full of stuff, much of it paper, arranged in a higgledy-piggledy manner wherever it may lie".
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Nyah] #838487
04/21/15 09:19 AM
04/21/15 09:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
O
olivant Offline
olivant  Offline
O

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
Originally Posted By: Nyah
The side story about Lucy, especially the part about her operation, had me scratching my head the entire time.


I agree. However, have any Board members ever read or heard Puzo's explanation for including the Lucy saga in his novel? If so, what is it.


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
"Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: olivant] #838657
04/23/15 10:38 AM
04/23/15 10:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
I don't know, but I'll repeat my guess: Some female friend or relative of Puzo's had that procedure, Puzo interested himself in it, and stuck the Lucy/Jules saga in the novel just so he could describe it for his readers. It's the same reason he ruined "The Last Don" with all that Hollywood BS he learned during his years there.


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu č sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #838702
04/23/15 04:05 PM
04/23/15 04:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
mustachepete Offline
Special
mustachepete  Offline
Special
Underboss
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
Just a theory: you had a lot of doctor shows on TV then, and soap operas and true romance novels always doubled up on doctors and sex. Maybe the Lucy story was intended to sell some books to women?


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #863762
10/19/15 02:53 PM
10/19/15 02:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,708
BillyBrizzi Offline
Underboss
BillyBrizzi  Offline
Underboss
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Posts: 1,708

Lucy Mancini's story and her fondness of Sonny's equipment kind of reminded me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J782jBp_pW0

Last edited by BillyBrizzi; 10/19/15 03:24 PM.

FORTIS FORTUNA IUVAT
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: BillyBrizzi] #864021
10/21/15 01:24 PM
10/21/15 01:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,224
Throggs Neck
pizzaboy Offline
The Fuckin Doctor
pizzaboy  Offline
The Fuckin Doctor

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,224
Throggs Neck
Neri first, the Bocchicios second. 1) and 1a), if you will. The drop-off to third is too great to matter.


"I got news for you. If it wasn't for the toilet, there would be no books." --- George Costanza.
Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #864053
10/21/15 05:28 PM
10/21/15 05:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,973
Alabama
D
dixiemafia Offline
ROLL TIDE!!!!!
dixiemafia  Offline
ROLL TIDE!!!!!
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Posts: 2,973
Alabama
I agree with all your good side stories and what should have been in it.

I also agree the Lucy story about had me snoozing, and the talk about Luca shitting himself when they killed him didn't help either. He went a little "too deep" on some things. Johnny's story also had me pissed I had to read all of that.

Re: Best/worst side stories [Re: Turnbull] #875505
02/15/16 12:12 AM
02/15/16 12:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 214
K
kingoflittlenewyork Offline
Made Member
kingoflittlenewyork  Offline
K
Made Member
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 214
Originally Posted By: Turnbull
I don't know, but I'll repeat my guess: Some female friend or relative of Puzo's had that procedure, Puzo interested himself in it, and stuck the Lucy/Jules saga in the novel just so he could describe it for his readers. It's the same reason he ruined "The Last Don" with all that Hollywood BS he learned during his years there.


I thought he was writing about himself the whole book.


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