When Random House invited Mark Winegardner to apply for his current gig – writing a sequel to The Godfather – he was flattered but bewildered; it was an offer he could maybe refuse. The author of two literary novels, he hadn’t read Mario Puzo’s Mafia hit since he was a kid, and then, like so many of us, he was looking for the dirty parts. (”It’s true,” he says. ”I told that to Lorrie Moore, and the second I did, she said, ‘Page 27!”’) Opening it again, he discovered an enticing hybrid of pulp and literature with an endgame that doesn’t add up. Thus, The Godfather: The Lost Years – The Saga of the Family Corleone will square the conclusion of the original with the facts of its film sequel: ”There’s this agreement to make Las Vegas an open city, and yet, with no explanation at all, they set up shop out there. Now, how does that happen?” (November)
Posted January 23 2004 — 12:00 AM EST
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