The Godfather's Revenge book download Mario Puzo Download The Download The Godfather's Revenge - Free chm, pdf ebooks. “The Godfather” By Mario Puzo. 2. Book One. Chapter .. most humble of men, if he keeps his eyes open, can take his revenge on the most powerful. It was this. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Starred Review. When Random announced that Thirty-five years ago, Mario Puzo's great American tale, The Godfather, was published, and popular culture was indelibly changed. Now, in The.
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The Godfather Returns. Home · The Godfather Returns Author: Winegardner Mark Puzo, Mario - Godfather 01 - The Godfather. Read more · The Godfather. Praise for The Godfather's Revenge “Some of us have been living with the Godfather mythology for thirty-seven years now. The late Mario Puzo's bestseller. THE MISSING YEARS FROM THE GREATEST CRIME SAGA OF ALL TIME Thirty -five years ago, Mario Puzo's great American tale, The Godfather, was.
As he passed the skeletal lighthouse on Green Island— more of a scaffolding, really—the mainland came into view. He loved his title, though: He wore enormous black sunglasses. All downloaded files are checked. The house was white, lovely, in scale with the rest of the neighborhood. And get this: He got out.
Two uniformed MPs appeared in the doorway of the plane and took Tramonti inside, where—other than the pilot and copilot and the MPs—it turned out he would be the only one on board. The plane took off. Several members of the press corps broke into applause.
The attorney general lowered his head, turned, and strode to the podium. Tramonti claimed to be Italian, but now it seemed that all along he was a citizen of Colombia, at least according to documents procured during a lengthy Justice Department investigation. Tramonti was being returned to the documented town of his birth, a tiny mountain village called Santa Rosa. He paused. He seemed to be looking beyond the cameras, to some elusive paradise that only he could see.
Near baggage claim, maybe. There are more men out there like Mr. Tramonti, many more, evildoers who are destroying liberty in cities all over America. All over the world, in fact. There are others, and we will not rest until they have been brought to justice. Daniel Brendan Shea was still in his thirties, but he was a born politician. Ordinarily he discussed accomplishments and objectives by saying we did this, we believe that, we will do the other thing.
Then one of the reporters raised his hand. They were met by several uniformed Colombian officials and two other Americans. One wore a guayabera shirt and green sunglasses. Under the sunglasses was a pirate-style eye patch.
The other man was weak-chinned with thick-framed black glasses, good posture, and a cheap black suit. He was the one who did most of the talking. He spoke Spanish and seemed to be a previous acquaintance of the Colombian official with the most medals. Tramonti looked dizzy. He asked if the Americans were from the embassy or the INS. It made the cheap suit seem like a costume. Tramonti sat. The Colombians and the weakchinned man left, too, laughing all the way.
Resentment came off him like a stink.
Because I think I get the picture. CIA, eh? I worked with some of your people before, you know. He took Tramonti out a side door, where a battered taxi idled at the curb. A sign in Spanish welcomed them to the Land of Eternal Spring.
They got in the back together. In Spanish, the agent told the driver to go to the Hotel Miramar and suggested a particular route. Darkness had fallen. Tramonti seemed to be having trouble breathing. Like many men in his tradition, he had a talent for waiting people out. Geraci was said to have betrayed them, though there were other versions of that story swirling around, too. Tramonti had no way of knowing that both the Yaleeducated Wasp, slumming in that cheap suit, and Joe Lucadello, the man with the eye patch, had worked on that project, too—with Geraci, in fact.
The taxi came to a stop in front of the hotel. In the restaurant here, my advice is, stick with the steak dinner. Lucadello shook his head. Pronounced the same as in Italian. Roger that? Charge it to your room, whatever you need to do. But right now, sir, you need to get out of the car. He got out. The desk clerk spoke serviceable English. The room was indeed reserved, but the hotel requested some kind of payment up front.
Tramonti frowned. He extended a key as if he might jerk it back at the last second. Tramonti grabbed it. He went up to his suite. He sent his suit out to be cleaned and ordered fish from room service. Better to be sick than poisoned. The call never had a chance. He ordered bottled beer as a way of not drinking the water.
He spent a sleepless night tossing and turning in the too-soft bed and every so often going to the bathroom to vomit. The fish had not agreed with him. In the morning, the manager knocked on the door and said it would be necessary to address the issue of payment.
They waited patiently for him to perform his ablutions and get dressed. Then they took him to jail, to his own private cell, which was clean and modern and, like his office back in New Orleans, did not contain a trash can. Out the barred window was a lovely view of the mountains. He was not formally charged with anything. His first caller was a government official who asked in impeccable English if it might be possible that Tramonti, as the most famous and indeed most prosperous person ever to come from the impoverished mountain town of Santa Rosa, would be willing to donate a hundred thousand of his American dollars to build a new elementary school.
The school they had now was an unheated, ratinfested garage. Tramonti did not look at the man. He hunched over and stared at his shoes. The man repeated the request in Italian.
He produced a copy of one called La Imparcial. Tramonti handed it back, stone-faced. Without my lawyers or my accountants or my brother Agostino. Three days later, that was where Augie Tramonti found him. The brothers embraced. The brothers wept. They could hardly breathe. Even Augie, who had been to Colombia before, had never really strayed far from the coast. They had spent their lives at sea level or, more often, below it. Augie, whose pockets were swollen with wads of American cash, told his brother he had things under control.
He had connections in this country, plus lawyers who, at that very moment, were working to get Carlo out of this hellhole and back home. As jail cells go, this was hardly a hellhole, but Carlo did not correct him. All over Colombia, Augie said, the newspapers were attacking the government for allowing a notorious gangster like Carlo Tramonti into their country, especially under such a fraudulent pretext.
The story had actually died down in America, even in New Orleans. The news item on it had been brief—a tiny story, buried in the Picayune, with no mention of the particular cases the agent had worked. Carlo clenched his teeth and, in Sicilian dialect, whispered that to kill a snake, one does not cut off the tail but rather the head. Augie nodded. He seemed to understand this cryptic rebuke immediately. They found no need to discuss it further.
The guards brought a cot, and Augie moved into the cell as if he were a hospital visitor unwilling to leave a loved one unattended. The next day, Augie and Carlo Tramonti stuffed their shoes with cash and waited for the Colombian military detail to come and deport them to Guatemala. There, Augie had arranged for them to be met by the Dominican Air Force.
From there, they could turn their attention to Michael Corleone. The other members of the Commission—especially the southern Dons, Tramonti and Silent Sam Drago—had preferred the man who was now the vice president. It was Michael Corleone who had turned the Commission around.
True, he had been backed by the late Louie Russo of Chicago and, to a lesser degree, Black Tony Stracci, who was from New Jersey and was thus partial to the devil he knew.
The other Dons should not have been surprised. The Corleones had a weakness for the Irish. A consigliere who was not Italian was unique in their tradition—a violation of it, in fact, at least to someone like Carlo Tramonti, whose organization was by far the oldest in America and was run more like a Sicilian clan. Any time an associate of any other organization wanted to so much as set foot in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, or the Florida Panhandle, he had to go to his boss and have him get permission from Carlo Tramonti.
But if someone from another Family merely wanted to go to Mardi Gras, just as a tourist or whatnot? He could be sure his boss would simply tell him to forget it. His attendance was optional. He was unaccustomed to making decisions by committee, by voting. Men like Michael Corleone might have gotten into this thing of theirs to transform it into a corporate board of directors.
But Carlo Tramonti was another kind of man. What was past was past. The Corleones had gotten their wish, and, predictably, the gods were now punishing them for it. Yet Michael Corleone, whatever his flaws, had proven himself an honorable man, a uomo di panza.
As such a man, he would have no choice but to act. In fact, it was part of a fleet of such planes that helped smuggle marijuana, cocaine, and heroin from Colombia to various airstrips in the swamps of Florida and Louisiana.
For a few delirious minutes, they rose into a perfect blue sky, high above the mountains and jungles of the Colombian interior, gasping not just from the thin air but at the preposterous beauty of it all, too. When the sputtering plane suddenly began its descent, the Tramonti brothers asked if it was engine trouble.
The pilot said no. He pointed to the sleek, unmistakably American fighter jets escorting them down. Speechless, they watched the planes take off. The brothers had little choice but to trek through the jungle.
The brush reduced their exquisite silk suits quickly to rags. The stones in their pathway ruined their fine, thinsoled loafers. They wheezed and cursed every step of the way, plotting their revenge as they made their way through the undergrowth, stepping around large and unfamiliar forms of vermin, never sure just which slithering, scuttling creature might be full of deadly poison. She was kneeling at the altar rail, wearing a tropical beachwear getup, parrots and pineapples.
Organ recordings of droning Protestant hymns played from a pulpit-mounted loudspeaker. Not for a million bucks and a blowjob could you get Hagen to live in Florida. The chapel was needlessly large. The Fontainebleau had been built to be a casino, but the political support fell through. Across the aisle, a man in a plain black suit paged through a white leatherette Bible. He used to have an eye patch and more hair.
Outside, a pounding rain all but drowned out the shouts of the crowd, herded away from the entrance of the hotel by the Secret Service. Ordinarily a paragon of taste and good sense, Theresa was fascinated with the dashing young president and his doe-eyed rich-bitch wife. The Sheas were just people, Tom kept explaining, full of flaws, like everybody else.
Theresa was from New Jersey. She knew what an unremarkable governor Shea had been. But Theresa believed what she wanted to believe. Like everybody else. Even Michael, of all people, had been drawn in, though he made a distinction between Jimmy and Danny.
He thought Jimmy was an inspirational and potentially great president. There had been problems: Cuba and his own brother. But Cuba was an impossible situation, Michael believed, and so was Danny. Brothers can be that way. The crone at the rail rocked silently back and forth. Hagen considered praying, too, if only to settle his mind.
He closed his eyes. He had no real regrets. In his life, there were only things that had to be done, and he did them, end of story. This left little to pray about. Hagen would be damned if he treated the Almighty like some department-store Santa, making childish requests for things a man should be able to acquire or control without need for supernatural intervention.
He opened his eyes. To hell with it. No prayers. Finally, the old woman stood. She had a big white bandage on her forehead and mascara running down her cheeks. Eight million stories in the naked city, Hagen thought, averting his eyes. Still toting the Bible, Lucadello went to the pulpit and turned up the organ music, then took a seat in the pew behind Hagen. Hagen turned around to face him. That was his favorite saying. Curves galore in boxy times. Zigging where others zag.
Ever hear that record, Fontane Blue? In truth, Hagen had little use for music in general and Johnny Fontane in particular, but it would have been embarrassing in all kinds of ways for him to admit that.
You going to jabber all morning or are we going to do business? Talk about zigging where others zag, huh? He and Michael had known each other since Mike was in the Civilian Conservation Corps, trying to piss off his father and find his way in the world. Joe and Mike had also gone off together to join the RAF. Hagen, working behind the scenes, had gotten Mike tossed out.
The day after Pearl Harbor, though, Mike volunteered again, this time for the Marines. The rest was history. Mike came home a war hero. And, with little fanfare, so did Joe. That was how he lost his eye: But some guys, he thought, just rub you the wrong way. Fuck him. The traitorous capo was last seen boarding a ship to Palermo.
Button men had been waiting on the docks when it arrived. Michael watched from a yacht in the harbor. Other than some information that seemed to place him, at least briefly, in Buffalo, there had been no sign of him for months— long enough that within the Corleone Family, he was becoming the unnamed suspect behind every misfortune large or small. An arrest that stuck.
If a guy slipped and fell in his bathtub, men wondered if maybe Geraci had rigged it. Geraci was as likable as Fredo had been without being a flake, as tough as Sonny but with none of the recklessness, every bit as shrewd as Michael but with more heart. Hagen had always liked him. Hagen put a finger to his throat to feel his racing pulse. His heart did that, raced.
For it. The package. Guess where. The narcotics operation had given Geraci connections all over that island.
In a huge man-made cave underneath a certain Great Lake. Lucadello bobbed his head in concession. Or so I hear. What a riot. We live in interesting times. The bad news is the way we found out about it, which was the FBI. No boss or caporegime had ever cooperated with a government investigation, but few had ever been backed into more of a hole—literally, as it turned out. What we know for certain is that our boy was sloppy getting out of there, threatening the lives of two children and a retired cop who plowed snow up there.
The ex-cop angle was probably what got the Bureau interested. Then they found the cave, found prints everywhere, even found the gun he used. We do have a source who in the past has cut us in on certain ongoing investigations. Lucadello found what he was looking for. He held the Bible out to Hagen and jabbed a finger at a passage in Exodus. It concerned personal-injury law. Hagen looked up, puzzled. Lucadello winked his glass eye. Despite his revving heartbeat, he felt a sense of calm.
He sat back and pointed at the white Bible. It goes without saying that the need for same should be kept to a minimum. But make no mistake.
The thinking on the part of Michael and Tom Hagen, who had approved it, was that it was a win-win. If things worked out, they got their casinos back, and if not, Geraci was the fall guy, his ambitions forever thwarted. Things had not worked out. It became, briefly, an international incident. Done right, the killing of Nick Geraci could actually solve a matrix of interlocking problems. He seemed more amused than offended.
We have every reason to want to keep it that way. Which rules out one sort of can. As for the shitcan sense of. At any rate, why would we want to do that? What happens? A team of doctors and nurses swings into action and does everything it can to save him. You tell me: Our desire to avoid any kind of embarrassment and your need for revenge—it all dovetails perfectly. These episodes came and went like that. Hagen jerked a thumb toward the crowd. Cute concept. You personally. The music would make any attempts to record their conversation unintelligible.
You know that guy or is he just un amico degli amici? Tramonti is, I would say, three bribes and two good lawyers away from coming home and sleeping in his own bed.
Forgive me, though: What a joke! Guy walks into a courtroom. What natural partners they would make! Naturally, the man agrees. The assassins are more meat-and-potatoes, guns-andknives men, but they come up with a few ideas of their own, and a good time is had by all. Unfortunately, they never get into the game, see, because—get this—it turns out the government has gone to two other gangsters and put together two other hit-man squads.
Sadly, a numskull from one of those other squads goes to Cuba and botches it. Kills a double, a man hired by our Commie nemesis in anticipation of just such an eventuality. A lot of this is only what our guy in the courtroom has heard about.
Every last word! That was the punch line. Just a brave pawn. But everything else really happened. Lucadello shook his head in mock awe.
The laughs keep on coming. The guy goes on to tell the judge that the only reason he came to court to share his hilarious tale is that recently some completely different government agents kidnapped him!
So instead, young Shea, a frat boy at heart, resorted to a mindless prank: Tap that keg, brother! Our friend the A. Just an ethnic slur, et cetera, right? Tom Hagen was in possession of photographs of the director in a hiked-up taffeta dress, enjoying fellatio from his loyal assistant, which had proven helpful in this regard.
With Carlo Tramonti. But not with a grandstanding trial where he and his crackerjack staff put the guy away for murder or even tax evasion. Nothing substantial. Just some harebrained deportation scheme.
Why start there? No due process, no anything. Danny Shea was trying to win the hearts and minds of the people. It would be easy to use that to scare the people that we have another evil conspiracy on our hands, a worthy sequel to the Red Menace.
It was great political theater, and the Shea brothers were politicians to their telegenic pussy-mad Irish cores. Who said that? That sounds like a quote. An honorable lie, which Tom Hagen garnished with another: More like she was trying to sell herself on the idea. They were alone in the hotel elevator, dressed for dinner, heading down.
Shea had cut their visit short and were on their way back to Washington. It was a dark, muted shade of red, but still: Her ass looked great in it. What could be more lovely than a blushing, olive-skinned woman in her forties?
Behind you. No idea. Want coffee? Excuse me. Zip this. So what? Common endearment. The door closed. Tom rode the last floor alone. Then their gentlemen ride down, take their positions in the lobby, and watch the ladies descend. As Theresa started to do this, Tom shot a look at the bellman, who threaded the crowd in the lobby and, as Tom dropped to one knee, deftly handed him a dozen roses. Perfect timing. Tom presented the bouquet to his wife.
The Hagens were among the first to arrive, which annoyed Tom rigid punctuality was another lesson from Vito Corleone that now coursed through his blood almost as much as looking around and seeing that most of the other men there were dressed in business suits, not formalwear, for a formal event.
He shook his head. As they were about to sit down, Tom, seized by a crazy impulse, put his mouth to her ear. Her eyes lit up. Impulse, yes, but not crazy. He was on the money. Maybe not since they lived in New York the first time, seven years ago. The place was packed, but Tom duked a few people, and he and Theresa were ushered straight to a dark corner booth.
The waiter took their drink order and produced a vase for the roses. She rolled her eyes, but affectionately. Flattering, obviously.
Then she went to see a collector up in Palm Beach, some crackpot cashpoor heiress who sold off several great pieces to help fund the monkey farm in question. I bought a house. I got a great deal on it. It was too much to process.
Without even talking to me about it? What the hell do we need a house for? A bungalow not far from here. Bigger inside than it looks from the street. Six blocks from the ocean, with a backyard facing a canal. A classic old Florida home. As the kids start moving away, a vacation house like this can keep us all together.
The girls are just babies. Face it. Look how fast it went with Frank. There are pieces I could sell and pay cash for this thing.
The point was, the more he—and Theresa—threw cash around, the more of a trail it left. The account she used to buy art was actually an offshore corporation. But this house?
Who knows? Keep an open mind. If she wanted it, she wanted it. He did see how it was good for his family. A little place in the sun. In this light, anyway, she looked as if she really thought that, this time, he might answer. He held her gaze. He reached for his glass and took a long drink. What, really, did she want him to say? Gee, it was swell, dear.
Long story short, somehow we need to find this guy and kill him. Purely out of self-defense. A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns can, and I thank you again for the lovely briefcase. After that, I went for a quick meeting with the president of the United States; sorry I had to keep that from you, hon.
Jimmy Shea would have lost the election without us, and Bud Payton has been on the payroll of some friends of ours for so long that his retirement plan should have kicked in.
At any rate, some snot-nosed aide tells me the meeting will happen in the limo, after the rally. I get to the gym in time to hear liberty championed, America blessed, common ground asserted, and a better world imagined. All of this is staged inside a boxing ring. The fighter stands there clutching a tiny American flag.
He leaned slightly across the table. So I come back to the hotel. That was a lie, since—unlike Mike with his insomnia and his nightmares—I sleep just fine. Which you know. I got up from our bed and got dressed and took the stairs three flights down, and I knocked on a door to a room where I was expected.
You probably already know about her. How could you not? She lives in Vegas. Where I go on business all the time. And, yes, you guessed right: A person can make himself understand a thing, but how do you make yourself feel? If this were all out in the open, probably our family would be destroyed. The first time, I was only a boy, eleven years old, an orphan, living on the streets.
I think about the good that came from it, which was that Sonny brought me home to live with his family. The other two happened last year, right before that Notre Dame—Syracuse game you and I saw with Andrew. The world is a better place without this individual, I can assure you. Here again: All three times, it was kill or be killed, and I killed.
These things do not haunt me. Nobody suspects me of anything—nobody except, I suspect, you. His underboss. You know all this. You must. How many times have you wanted to buy a painting and done so with an envelope of cash I gave you that you took, no questions asked? You know things.
Their gaze was broken by the arrival of two plates piled high with stone crabs. A little hurt, it seemed, as she always was. She and Stan are on their way. At this point, it was probably as broken as it was going to get. They called it Mictlan. He stood on his balcony in the waning desert light, draped in a bathrobe, postponing the ordeal of having to get dressed again. His fists throbbed. Centuries ago, Taxco was hacked from this steep hillside by the colonizing rear guard of the conquistadors, who enslaved the natives and marched them into dark holes to mine silver.
On such a foundation rose this small city, still a source of silver, lovely beyond reason, filthy with jewelry shops and bars, fragrant with bougainvillea and boiled chicken, with fried cornmeal and rotting straw, a haven for outsiders and eccentrics.
Around every corner were views that provoked tourists and newcomers to gasp and unholster their cameras. From here, the city seemed aglow in white, red, and green, same as the Mexican and Italian flag. But Geraci had been in Taxco long enough to see past beauty. He could spot isolated men muttering to themselves, walking with awkward, hurried gaits: He noticed dogs trotting alone down side streets, their heads bobbing as if silently cursing their demons.
His heart went out to those dogs. He looked back over his shoulder at the rug. It was wool, brightly colored, turquoise and orange, black where it needed to be. It had a warrior on it, in noble profile. In his time of need, his body, to his surprise, had not betrayed him. Buzzards circled it all day, and wolves patrolled it all night. There were no doubt other corpses in that gorge, but this would be the first Geraci ever heaved there.
Getting dressed, though: The tremors bothered him, too, but they came and went. Anyway, he was pushing fifty. Everybody forgets things. It might be a mercy. Geraci would like to be able to forget how miserable he felt every day when he thought about his wife and kids and how little hope he had of seeing them any time soon.
But what Nick Geraci could never, ever forget was that Michael Corleone had arranged to have the plane sabotaged. Geraci would never abandon hope of somehow settling that score, no matter how long it took. His fine motor skills were shot. Every time he went to button a shirt or fasten a goddamned pair of pants, it was like Michael Corleone was staring at him with that cold and, come to think of it, expressionless face. Geraci steeled himself for the task at hand and turned to walk back inside.
Then he panicked. For a split second—though it had the force of much more time—Geraci even forgot who the dead man had claimed to be. Only a few members of the secret society to which Geraci belonged and certain augmented elements of the CIA knew precisely who Geraci was—and even for those people he had become, seemingly overnight, larger than life. They knew about the assassin squad he led and the debacle in Cuba that came from that, though few blamed Geraci.
And they knew that it had almost worked. Other notable casualties had included the most powerful Jewish mobster in the country a man named Hyman Roth , the bosses of the Los Angeles and San Francisco syndicates, and an assortment of Corleone Family underbosses and caporegimes, including Rocco Lampone, Frank Pantangeli, and Fredo Corleone.
The chaos had forced Michael Corleone to return to New York to more closely oversee his businesses there, both legal and illegal. The people who knew these things were of course not talking—except among themselves. As for the FBI, it had an imperfect sense of who Geraci was and what had happened. But the investigation had nonetheless provoked dissension within the NYPD, which the press was gleefully exploiting. Another faction was occupied by efforts to pin a number of absurdly unrelated cases it wanted to close on the missing crime boss.
The press, especially in New York, could not restrain its glee. For weeks, the front pages were awash with colorful nicknames and wild speculation.
The pilot had been taken to a Cleveland hospital, unconscious, but then vanished, only to be found several months later, rat-gnawed and badly decomposed. At the time, two different papers opined that he might never have existed. But it was true that in his boxing days, Nick Geraci did use various aliases and participated in various fights of dubious resolution, so in the minds of many, these allegations seemed to fit a pattern.
The word on the street? Instead—far-fetched as it might seem—the truth was, the most powerful nation on earth had deployed skilled intelligence and law enforcement personnel to conduct a gigantic manhunt for a powerful and resourceful leader of a secret criminal society—a tall, imposing, bearded man with a chronic, withering disease—and somehow failed to find the cave where he was hiding. Geraci had learned about the place doing some business with Don Forlenza.
Geraci disabled the alarm, climbed in a window, ransacked the liquor cabinet, and left a radio tuned to a rock-and-roll station so that it would look like kids had broken into the place. Then he made his way down to the shelter. The genius of the setup was that it was carved into bedrock underneath a secret guest room, where Geraci had stayed a few times and so knew how to make the hidden door open, and another well-stocked shelter.
Even if they did, they might never think to look for the other, larger shelter below. A pack of strangers in long, dark coats.
Or waves of G-men with square jaws, bad suits, and tommy guns—images he realized came from the movies, but where else? Or maybe just one man. When, if ever, would Geraci know he could come out?
What would force his hand? One of his many difficulties, down in the hole, was that he had no way of knowing what anyone knew. There was a TV, hooked up to an antenna on the roof of the lodge. Much as Geraci detested television, he did watch it off and on. There was nothing on the TV news about his situation.
Everything else on TV was just as bad. But then the TV stopped working, too. When that happened, Geraci braced himself for the other shoe to drop.
He dragged a chair to face the heavy steel door and waited there with a shotgun across his lap. Hours passed. He fell asleep. Also, there was a chance it might start to work again. No matter how much you hate TV, the monster lulls you back. It could have been anywhere from two days to two weeks before he put the chair back where it was and gave up his vigil. That and the trouble getting dressed made him start walking around naked.
He kept bathing but stopped shaving. A beard might come in handy. Geraci was a reader. He had a night-school history degree and half a law degree, too, and he prided himself on reading big new biographies and histories. That was about when he started messing around with the typewriter.
It was a hulking old black one. He liked the writing, though. Banging on that old contraption was a good thing to do with his hands. He started to fool around with what he eventually thought of as a book.
If it was good enough to be published, maybe it could provide for them. He pined for his wife and daughters. Every session at the typewriter, his longing for them crept in.
He loved them, but they were human beings, too; he was idealizing them into nothingness. Maybe one time and then just a little bit once more. By and large, these scenes amused him. Thus, more wadded-up paper, more time wondering just who the fuck he thought he was kidding. The wadded-up pages far outnumbered the keepers. He used fresh sheets only when retyping a page he thought was done. Strike that. They were never done. He loved his title, though: By Fausto Dominick Geraci, Jr.
It would help people say his name in the Americanized way he preferred. Also, Geraci planned to write about his adventures flying planes in the early days of his narcotics operation, which made using Ace a good idea and had, in fact, been partly why the nickname stuck.
On the other hand, it might give people the wrong idea. Plus, when he typed out Ace, it looked bad. And that was just the work the title page took. Soon, he was reading the dime novels, if only for pointers. He was shocked how good many of them were. Home Is the Sailor. I Am Legend. A Swell-Looking Babe. Sweet Slow Death. So good, it was hard to stop and think about how the writers were doing what they were doing and how Geraci might steal from them.
Even the worst ones—like Sex Life of a Cop, which turned out to be a porno—seemed better than what Geraci had been churning out, although he was aware that he might be losing his mind. It was about then that he started hearing things. The bedrock underneath Lake Erie was honeycombed with salt-mining tunnels. He heard what he thought might be footsteps. Off and on, he heard what sounded like furniture being dragged around.
Several times, he thought he heard dogs bark. Soon he found himself asleep and dreaming about being asleep, awake and unsure if he might really be asleep. He might have been down in that hole for a year. Or it might have been six weeks. Still, he got out of bed with a sense of mission. He bathed. He did what he could to trim the beard. His shortcomings with the scissors convinced him that trying to cut his shaggy hair would make him look even worse, so he slicked it back with pomade— there was a case of the stuff—and hoped this would not be how he looked in his mug shot.
He found a ball of twine and tied together what he had of his book, cursing at the difficulty of making a decent knot. His clothes hung on him loosely. They had the same pleasing heft. In his pants pockets, they bulged out like tumors.
He tucked a pistol in his waistband. He stood in front of the steel door for what, even by his wrecked internal clock, was a long time. He kept his hand on the handle. Even if he somehow made it out of there, where would he go? The Ohio shore was closer.
Just go. He went. Manuscript in one hand, the other on the butt of the pistol. His shoes on the metal stairs echoed in the stairwell like thunderclaps. The upper shelter was empty. His mind was pushing him back, but his legs carried him forward. He strode into the abandoned casino that had been down here since Prohibition. The bar was draped in a tarp. The mirror behind the bar was cracked, the bandstand water-damaged. Then he heard the sound of running feet—boots— and froze.
He set his papers on the bar and slowly pulled out his gun. Two dark-haired boys dressed in cowboy gear came skidding around the corner, both about eight years old, the taller one chasing the shorter one, the taller one wearing a black hat, the shorter boy a white one.
They saw Geraci and stopped. The smaller boy slipped on the old ballroom floor, then scrambled to his feet. The taller boy looked like he might be related to Vincent Forlenza—a grandson?
His voice sounded strange in his ears. The boys exchanged a look, then, as one, raised their guns and pointed them at him. Aug 30, Pages. Nov 16, Pages. Nov 16, Minutes. It is Now he wants to consolidate his power, save his marriage, and take his family into legitimate businesses. To do so, he must confront his most dangerous adversary yet, Nick Geraci, a former boxer who worked his way through law school as a Corleone street enforcer, and who is every bit as deadly and cunning as Michael.
The Godfather Returns stands on its own as a triumph—in a tale about what we love, yearn for, and sometimes have reason to fear. When did you first read The Godfather? When I was about Like a lot or kids who grow up to be writers, I started reading books meant for adults looking for the dirty parts.
I had good reason to believe there might be worthwhile moments there. When I heard Random House was looking for an author, I read it again with new appreciation. Why did you want to write it? I feel like my entire body of work has been about the mythology of America, and this book fits squarely within that. Are you nervous about what the reaction will be? Who will ever publish this?
Is this a sequel to the novel or the movies? The novel, definitely. The Godfather Returns will cover the period from to But what about The Godfather II? A lot of other wicked things were going on that can only be revealed now. Everything fits together, and I hope readers will be surprised to discover some of these unexplored avenues.
Like what? I must obey the laws of omerta. Are you qualified to be writing about the Mafia? Not even Italian-American.
And he did just fine in this world. What would you like the book to accomplish?