Mario Puzo is the author of the well known and best seller novel, The Godfather and spawned into a world hit movie of the same title. Since 2012, I was looking for Mario Puzo’s copy of The Family. The Family was his last book released. I scour the ends of National Bookstore, PowerBooks and Fully Booked, but I haven’t found my luck. It even tempted me to order the book through Amazon which is too expensive for me to throw cash. Thankfully after idly browsing through hoards of bargain books in Booksale I was able to get a 2nd hand copy of the book! Imagine the smile that lit my face seeing a book treasure. I ignored the soft cover’s frayed edges and the yellowish tinges of the pages. All I wanted was to read the book and satiate my curiosity on Mario Puzo’s last book. I just asked the cashier’s assistance on putting scotch tape on the edges to prevent further damage. After purchasing my other bargain books as well, I went home and prioritize on reading and finishing the book ASAP.
The reason for my interest in the book was it was the novel of well known Borgias of Rome Italy during 1500s. Rodrigo Borgia was one of the most powerful pope during the Renaissance period. He was also the most corrupt, evil, murderous and ambitious pope to take the seat of Vatican. The book showed the rise and fall of Borgia family. It highlights the blatant display of Pope’s bastard children which is his pride and joy and how the Pope secured the position and power of his family. Some parts of the book included their ways of manipulating people, planning a revenge, murder, the scandals and rumors between Cezare and Lucrezia Borgia committing incest. It was like the Godfather saga during the Renaissance period. The book also contains unnerving and horrible ways of eliminating their enemies.
Another interest why I was looking for the book is that I am curious and fascinated in history of Europe and people involved in the rise of European nations. Ever since I always like the Renaissance period with its developing humanities, search for knowledge and opulent arts . The book shows how views of religion were influencing people during Renaissance and the corruption of Roman Catholic church, simony and bribery that drove people on seeking for true acts of faith and enlightenment. It was a realization that even before, the pope, cardinals and priests vowing for a life of celibacy is committing sins by living in hedonistic world full of lust, greed, lies and gluttony. It shows the stark contrast between a commoner and someone with position. In addition, the book also depicts the different regions in Italy and seats of power and position. How each of these people with power try to usurp one another for a highly coveted territory and castles that contains opulent furnitures, sculptures, beautiful landscape and frescoes. The intrigues and scandals are too much and yet the true full blown account of cruelty of the Borgias are exposed. In line to this, I also watched and followed the CBS’s The Borgia series and I would still appreciate the book more than the series itself. Not that I don’t like to series but the wild imagination brought by the book made you understand the complication and little (just little) goodness the Borgias had.
To be honest I am a fan of chic-lit books, romantic novels and feel good novels but the thrill and unsettling background and plot makes me appreciate the last novel from Mario Puzo