20 Down, 32 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

Mario Puzo’s most well-known for producing the Godfather novels, which I’ve not read. I vaguely remember watching Godfather 2 the film, but I’ll have to go back and watch those movies properly to appreciate the genre, I guess. I do love Brian De Palma’s Scarface – who has my 20th anniversary DVD?!!? – but that’s the extent of my involvement with the Mafia Dons.

I’m not exactly a fan of crime or Mafia novels, so despite the author’s winning track record, I’m still not a convert. Omerta is the story of the Don Raymonde Aprile and his adoptive nephew (and our hero) Astorre Viola. Needless to say, as per the genre convention, somebody gets whacked – no prizes for guessing who – and our hero gets to exact terrible revenge on all who are responsible. That’s really all you have to know.

Now I’m as much a fan of pulp ficiton as the next guy, but Astorre is written as an alpha male of a character who’s seemingly perfect in every way, so much so that its just really boring to read. Good-looking, check, popular with the ladies, check, respected and feared by his peers, check, super smart and unkillable, check. Boring, sia.

Come on lah, so bloody perfect, where got scared he die? Like some one-dimensional Jeffrey Archer protagonist, and I can’t stand Jeffrey Archer novels. Maybe it’s just me and my indifference to crime novels, but Omerta is just an OK read, good enough pulp fiction for reading in crowded hospital corridors, but not if you’re thinking to give your brain much of a workout.

(ISBN No: 0099296802) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book is Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park.

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