Puzo, Mario: The Sicilian
(researched by Doug Mann)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Puzo, Mario. The Sicilian Published by Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, New York 1984. Copyright held by Mario Puzo. Parallel editions: Britain (1985), Canada (1985), Large Print (1985). Source: WorldCat
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition is published in black cloth with a dust jacket, though this copy does not have one. The first paperback edition was printed in 1985. Source: Books in Print
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
208 leaves, pp. [1-12], 13-44, [45-46], 47-227, [228-230], 231-250, [251-252], 253-348, [349-350], 351-410, [411-416]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The book is neither edited nor introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are no illustrations.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
Text Size: 96R Book Size: 16.2cm x 24.2cm The presentation of the text is attractive and rather easy to read. There is no dust jacket on this copy and there is library tape on the spine and front cover.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper seems to be of fairly good quality and the paper itself is holding up fairly well. The paper is not bright white (a little yellowish) and is fairly thick as well.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is falling apart. The spine of the book is broken in two so that the front half of the book juts out from the latter half. The binding is broken almost exactly in the middle of the book. The front cover and the spine each have library tape on them, the back does not. The cloth color is black. There is noticeable wear on the cover of the book; parts of the cloth are torn and missing.
12 Transcription of title page
THE SICILIAN A NOVEL BY Mario Puzo publishers' crest Linden Press/Simon & Schuster New York 1984.
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Puzo's manuscript collection is held at Boston University, Boston, MA. Source: Galenet, Jennifer Crist's example from the help documentation provided at the ENTC 312 website.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
On the final page of the book there are a lot of names written down in two or three lists and some are numbered. Some of these names are recognizable as football players in the NFL, such as Zack Crocket, Guy McIntire, Wesley Walls, and Corey Widmer.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
After consulting various sources it does not appear that another edition was printed after the first. However, there was a large type edition as well as a paperback edition printed in 1986 and 1985, respectively.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
Publishers Weekly states that The Sicilian was in its second printing in January of 1985, so we can deduce that there were at least two, but after further research in Publishers Weekly it could not be determined if and how many more printings were produced. The first printing (1984) produced 400,000 copies while the second printing (1985) produced another 100,000.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
There was a paperback edition published by Bantam Books in 1985 (410 p; 18cm) and a large type edition published in 1986 by Charnwood Large Print, Ulverscroft. The paperback cost $6.99 while the large type cost $23.95, more than the original hardcover which cost $17.95.
6 Last date in print?
Hardcover - 1989 Paperback - 1995 Large Type - still in print in 1997
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
After extensive research it was only found that 462,000 copies were sold in 1984. Bowker Annual, 30th edition, 1985.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
In 1984, 462,000 copies were sold. Bowker Annual, 30th edition, 1985.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
The Sicilian Mario Puzo. Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, $17.95 ISBN 0-671-43564-7 Michael Corleone, ending his three-year exile in Sicily in 1950, gets word from his father, Don Corleone: bring the bandit Turi Guiliano to America. Guiliano and his men control the western hills of the island from a mountain cave. He is a latter-day Robin Hood who has defied the families and the "Friends of the Friends" while earning the allegiance of the peasants, but also the admiration of Don Croce, Sicily's big chief, for his shrewdness, honor, and youthful audacity. In Puzo's familiar and effectivve flashback style, we watch Guiliano's rise: his kidnapping of Don Croce's puppet Prince and of the Cardinal, and his ingenious infiltration and cold- blooded handling of the leading "men of respect." The myth of Guilian's immortality is fed by his skill in eluding and eliminating the carabinieri even during his midnight visits to his lover in the village; and by his secret stash of documents (his Testament) kept inside a black Madonna, that incriminate the government in Rome for its cooperation with Sicily's "Friends." Based on a true story, The Sicilian is not so much a sequel to a mirror of The Godfather, with all the winning elements of the American epic reflected in the homeland: treachery, passion, Puzo's calculated drama put to full effect again. Best of all, in the culminating battle between Guiliano and Don Croce for control of all Sicily, and in Michael's report to his father, there is the implication that this book foreshadows the story of the man who someday, will try to succeed Don Corleone. So continues a monumental and riveting saga. BOMC main selection. December. This excerpt is found under forecasts in fiction in Publishers Weekly, Vol. 226, No. 40-52, November 23, 1984.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
I was unable to locate any other promotions for the novel.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Film - The Sicilian, 1 videocassette (VHS) (115 min.): sd. (stereo), col., 1/2 in. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo. Edited by Francoise Bonnot. Music by David Mansfield. Gladden Entertainment Corporation. Vestron Video, 1987. Audiocassette - The Sicilian. 8 sound cassettes (ca. 600 min.). Grand Haven, MI. Brilliance Corporation, 1984.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
1. Salvatore Giuliano, el Sicliano. Barcelona. 400 p., 20 cm. Grijalbo, 1984. (Spanish translation). 2. Hsi-hsi-li jen. Nan-ching. 362 p., 20 cm. Nin ch'u pan she, 1997. (Chinese translation). 3. Sitsiliets. Moscow. 416 p., 21 cm. Kron-Press, 1995. (Russian translation). 4. HaSitziliani. Kinneret, Israel. 336 p., 22 cm. Bet Hotsaah Leor, 1986. (Hebrew translation). 5. O Sicilano. Lisbon. 319 p., 22 cm. Publicacoes Dom Quixote, 1986. (Portugese translation). 6. Sicily, Ianh dia Mafia: tieu thuyet. Los Alamitos, CA. 511 p., 21 cm. Viet Nam, 1992. (Vietnamese translation). 7. Sicilcan. Bratislava. 332 p., 21 cm. Smena, 1987. (Slovak translation). 8. Der Sizilianer: Roman. Munchen. 479 p., 22 cm. Droemer Knaur, 1986. (German translation). 9. Sicilianeren. Copenhagen. 378 p., 20 cm. Gyldendal, 1986. (Danish translation).
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
None were found.
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
The Godfather (1970) could be considered a prequel, but as the article in section 9 states, it is not really. It is more of a mirror, of sorts, to The Sicilian.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
(see entry for The Godfather for biographical overview of Mario Puzo) Mario Puzo (October 15, 1920-July 2, 1999) was an American author whose novels often reflected his own upbringing as one of seven children born to two illiterate Italian immigrants living in a section of New York known as "Hell's Kitchen." He drew upon his own life's experiences as the main source of his best-known works, though these novels are not auto-biographical. Puzo's 5th novel, The Sicilian, was published in 1984 and is quite representative of his most popular themes that helped make him famous, including those themes of "treachery, violence, sadism, revenge, and bloody justice," (Contemporary Authors). These themes are also employed in previous novels in his body of work, such as The Godfather (1969), and The Sicilian is in a way a return to the same ideas of The Godfather. In 1978, six years earlier than The Sicilian, Fools Die (4th novel) was published, which dealt primarily with Las Vegas and gambling. In The Sicilian, Puzo "has felt it necessary to return to his Italian gangsters," (Contemporary Authors). Perhaps an explanation of this is the relative lack of critical acclaim that Fools Die received, although, "Despite such less-than favorable reviews, the novel has been a popular success," (Contemporary Authors). Thus it seems natural that Puzo would bring back the Corleone family in his next novel, The Sicilian. In fact, it was said by Christopher Lehmann that it "might more aptly be designated The Godfather, Part 1 1/2." The Sicilian takes place in 1940's Sicily, and Gay Telese says, "it is historically useful and, given events in the mid 1980's, hardly out of date." Others such as Lehmann-Haupt have also made similar comments about The Sicilian's historical as well as contemporary value concerning the birth and evolution of the Sicilian Mafia. The Sicilian was made into a movie, released by 20th Century Fox in 1987. The reason for the 3-year delay was a series of production problems as well as a handful of lawsuits. The making of The Sicilian into a movie seems natural since some of the main characters in the novel were portrayed in the earlier, Academy Award-winning screenplay, The Godfather, yet The Sicilian in movie form was more or less a flop. The Sicilian, like many of his other novels, was a tremendous commercial success, spending 66 weeks on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover and paperback fiction lists (Bestseller Index). However, this is one reason as to why it has been suggested that his later works are too commercial. His first two novels (The Dark Arena and The Fortunate Pilgrim) were well- received critically but commercially unsuccessful. Puzo himself admitted that he wrote his novels for fame and money, and recounted in Time magazine an incident in 1955 after which, "I decided I would be rich and famous." He says The Godfather was written "to make money...I was 45 years old and tired of being an artist," (Contemporary Authors). He succeeded; The Godfather was by far the best-selling novel of the 1970's and his subsequent novels such as The Sicilian made him extremely wealthy. Sources: Contemporary Authors Bestseller Index Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 6
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
As far the novels of Mario Puzo go, The Sicilian was received fairly well by most critics. This was to be expected, given the nature of its origin as a spin-off of Puzo's most successful work, The Godfather. Fools Die was the only novel Puzo wrote between these other two, and it wasn't received nearly as well as The Godfather, so it seems only natural that Puzo returned to the magic that only Michael Corleone could bring. However, while most showered The Sicilian with praise, many did not, and some felt that The Sicilian was "a deliberately commercial success" that "continues in the same vein" as The Godfather. In fact, the differences in opinions about how good The Sicilian really was depend on whether or not the critic felt it was too similar to The Godfather. This can be seen in some of the following positive and negative critiques: New York Times Book Review: "In some ways, Mr. Puzo's latest work is a companion to The Godfather...It is to Mr. Puzo's credit, however, that he has resisted the temptation to write a second Godfather." The Sicilian was referred to as a "fine, fast-paced novel," and "historically useful." Puzo himself admitted that it was a "cunning idea" to link Michael Corleone with Salvatore Giuliano. The Sicilian is "more than a Godfather sequel," and it "exudes a love of Siciliy while at the same time a spirit of despair." The New Yorker: "In this 5-part sequel to The Godfather, Michael Corleone, the Godfather's son, takes second billing to Sicily's postwar Robin Hood, Turi Giuliano...but Mario Puzo's eagerness to evoke fourteen centuries of Sicilian history gets him into trouble." Despite this, The Sicilian was still a Book-of-the- Month selection. Newsweek: The Sicilian is referred to as merely a connection to The Godfather, and as "a compelling piece of storytelling. It works as well because Giuliano's virtue is set against the infinite corruption of nearly everyone around him." Contemporary Literary Criticism: "The Sicilian helped regain critical favor for Puzo, who was praised for his ability to capture the turbulent social and political history of Sicily." Contemporary Literary Criticism: "The action in The Sicilian is neither vivid nor building, as toward some point of crescendo... the scenes themselves are fuzzy, brief, and anticlimactic, as though Puzo were no more interested in them than he is in character invention or development." Smith argues that "without the Corleone connection and all that evokes...the novel would just lie there, listless and flat, lacking both point and dimension." He argued that it could be said also that The Sicilian is nothing more than "a crass commercial gimmick to boost Sicilian sales." (Eliot Fremont-Smith) Contemporary Literary Criticism: Lehmann Haupt said, "But it's also a little sad that Mr. Puzo has felt it necessary to return to his Italian gangsters...it seems like an admission of defeat in a way." (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt) Library Journal: "An epic tale of Robin Hood banditry. The resultant conflicts and intrigues make for an absorbing and entertaining, if violent, plot." Perhaps an obvious statement given Puzo's pre-existing popularity, The Sicilian was "sure to be a bestseller." Publishers Weekly: The Sicilian was written in Puzo's "familiar and effective flashback style," and was "not so much a sequel to as a mirror of The Godfather, with all the winning elements of the American epic. So continues a monumental and riveting saga." People Weekly: Called a "satisfying spin-off from The Godfather." Puzo does a "masterly job of creating Sicily," and "Puzo--in his most professional, uncluttered, unobtrusive prose--does it just right." Review Grade: A- Time: "An offshoot of the 1969 bestseller [The Godfather]." It is hard to say whether or not this particular review is complimentary or not, as it goes on to say, "But Puzo knows the mass-market game better than most...this element is so strong that the book seems to be only the pupal stage of a story impatient to spread celluloid wings." It seems as though this review is criticizing The Sicilian for the apparent purpose behind writing it, not for critical acclaim, but for commercial success. Review Grade: B- National Review: "Puzo has returned to some of the richer human material that won him critical acclaim for his early novels." Also, "The Sicilian, besides being simply a darned good read for its action and intrigue, has far stronger characterization, deeper insight, and more simple zest than most adventure stories." Given these sparkling comments, the review grade seems surprisingly low. Review Grade: C
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
As far the novels of Mario Puzo go, The Sicilian was received fairly well by most critics. This was to be expected, given the nature of its origin as a spin-off of Puzo's most successful work, The Godfather. Fools Die was the only novel Puzo wrote between these other two, and it wasn't received nearly as well as The Godfather, so it seems only natural that Puzo returned to the magic that only Michael Corleone could bring. However, while most showered The Sicilian with praise, many did not, and some felt that The Sicilian was "a deliberately commercial success" that "continues in the same vein" as The Godfather. In fact, the differences in opinions about how good The Sicilian really was depend on whether or not the critic felt it was too similar to The Godfather. This can be seen in some of the following positive and negative critiques: New York Times Book Review: "In some ways, Mr. Puzo's latest work is a companion to The Godfather...It is to Mr. Puzo's credit, however, that he has resisted the temptation to write a second Godfather." The Sicilian was referred to as a "fine, fast-paced novel," and "historically useful." Puzo himself admitted that it was a "cunning idea" to link Michael Corleone with Salvatore Giuliano. The Sicilian is "more than a Godfather sequel," and it "exudes a love of Siciliy while at the same time a spirit of despair." The New Yorker: "In this 5-part sequel to The Godfather, Michael Corleone, the Godfather's son, takes second billing to Sicily's postwar Robin Hood, Turi Giuliano...but Mario Puzo's eagerness to evoke fourteen centuries of Sicilian history gets him into trouble." Despite this, The Sicilian was still a Book-of-the- Month selection. Newsweek: The Sicilian is referred to as merely a connection to The Godfather, and as "a compelling piece of storytelling. It works as well because Giuliano's virtue is set against the infinite corruption of nearly everyone around him." Contemporary Literary Criticism: "The Sicilian helped regain critical favor for Puzo, who was praised for his ability to capture the turbulent social and political history of Sicily." Contemporary Literary Criticism: "The action in The Sicilian is neither vivid nor building, as toward some point of crescendo... the scenes themselves are fuzzy, brief, and anticlimactic, as though Puzo were no more interested in them than he is in character invention or development." Smith argues that "without the Corleone connection and all that evokes...the novel would just lie there, listless and flat, lacking both point and dimension." He argued that it could be said also that The Sicilian is nothing more than "a crass commercial gimmick to boost Sicilian sales." (Eliot Fremont-Smith) Contemporary Literary Criticism: Lehmann Haupt said, "But it's also a little sad that Mr. Puzo has felt it necessary to return to his Italian gangsters...it seems like an admission of defeat in a way." (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt) Library Journal: "An epic tale of Robin Hood banditry. The resultant conflicts and intrigues make for an absorbing and entertaining, if violent, plot." Perhaps an obvious statement given Puzo's pre-existing popularity, The Sicilian was "sure to be a bestseller." Publishers Weekly: The Sicilian was written in Puzo's "familiar and effective flashback style," and was "not so much a sequel to as a mirror of The Godfather, with all the winning elements of the American epic. So continues a monumental and riveting saga." People Weekly: Called a "satisfying spin-off from The Godfather." Puzo does a "masterly job of creating Sicily," and "Puzo--in his most professional, uncluttered, unobtrusive prose--does it just right." Review Grade: A- Time: "An offshoot of the 1969 bestseller [The Godfather]." It is hard to say whether or not this particular review is complimentary or not, as it goes on to say, "But Puzo knows the mass-market game better than most...this element is so strong that the book seems to be only the pupal stage of a story impatient to spread celluloid wings." It seems as though this review is criticizing The Sicilian for the apparent purpose behind writing it, not for critical acclaim, but for commercial success. Review Grade: B- National Review: "Puzo has returned to some of the richer human material that won him critical acclaim for his early novels." Also, "The Sicilian, besides being simply a darned good read for its action and intrigue, has far stronger characterization, deeper insight, and more simple zest than most adventure stories." Given these sparkling comments, the review grade seems surprisingly low. Review Grade: C
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Critical Essay: The Sicilian by Mario Puzo Introduction: The Sicilian by Mario Puzo was a fairly popular and well-received novel in the year of its publication in 1984, as well as in 1985. It sold 462,000 copies in 1984 alone, placing it second on the bestseller list for that calendar year. For the most part, reviews of The Sicilian were good. Many reviews praised Puzo for painting such an accurate portrayal of life in the Mafia, and most critics enjoyed this spin-off of The Godfather. Like The Godfather, it seems as though Puzo wrote The Sicilian not so much for critical acclaim, but rather to fatten his bankroll. In speaking about The Godfather, Puzo himself admits that he wrote it "to make money...I was 45 years old and tired of being an artist" (Contemporary Authors). The Sicilian is still in print today, and the novel was made into a movie, released in 1987 by 20th Century Fox. There were several influential factors that the commercial success of The Sicilian can be attributed to. There was extensive advertising done for Puzo's subsequent novels after The Godfather, since his new fans could scarcely wait for his next novel. The Godfather gave Puzo the popularity he so desperately wanted, and now that his name was recognized as the author of The Godfather he was virtually assured that the rest of his novels would be bestsellers as well. The genre of this novel deals mainly with the Mafia, which had long been an already popular and very interesting subject to much of America and its readers. This genre also allowed for great films, and The Godfather began the trend that The Sicilian could follow. Once the main characters of The Godfather hit the big screen in Godfather parts I and II, the public wanted to see more. Puzo seized this opportunity some fifteen years later with The Sicilian, in many ways a follow-up in The Godfather's footsteps. It was all too easy to make The Sicilian into a movie since the characters have already been developed previously. Thus by capitalizing on his newfound recognition as a popular author, as well as providing the most accurate portrayal of a popular genre, and finally writing novels that could almost immediately be transformed into another form of media, Mario Puzo paved the way for his future bestsellers; The Sicilian runs in this same vein. Name Recognition: One of the things that one can take from The Sicilian as to why a novel becomes a bestseller is the concept of popularity, or name recognition. Mario Puzo wrote seven novels that spanned some forty-one years (1955-1996), but it wasn't until he reached the age of 49 that he had his first real popular success with The Godfather. His first two novels before this great commercial success might have slipped past most of America's readers, but with The Godfather, a star was born. And Puzo wasn't about to abandon the formula that made him famous. Although his following, highly- anticipated novel was his most poorly received critically (Fools Die in 1978), it was immediately a bestseller. But perhaps Mario Puzo realized something here. Although it's fairly obvious to assume that he was thrilled with the popular success of Fools Die on the bestseller lists, perhaps he was worried about the success of his next novel. Maybe he feared that since many critics bashed Fools Die, people would not run out and buy his next novel, despite his name as author of The Godfather. In fact, it was probably the case that The Godfather itself was more recognizable than Puzo was. Sure enough, Puzo was all too quick to return to the magic of The Godfather with The Sicilian. He extended the tale of Michael Corleone and other main characters, and when readers discovered this, it was inevitable that The Sicilian would become a bestseller. The forecasts in fiction section of Publishers Weekly from Nov. 23, 1984 works to build up the excitement surrounding the characters everyone knows and loves, "there is the implication that this book foreshadows the story of the man who someday, will try to succeed Don Corleone. So continues a monumental and riveting saga" (Publishers Weekly). With such a build-up regarding the pre-existing characters from The Godfather, Puzo ensures that The Sicilian will be a bestseller. He uses the hype surrounding his name as an author as well as The Godfather as an epic in efforts to sell as many copies of The Sicilian as possible; he is extremely successful. Genre: The popularity and interest in the genre that The Sicilian claims to be a part of also helped to make it a bestseller. The Sicilian was Mario Puzo's second of three novels that dealt with the Mafia, and the Mafia had been a topic of great interest in America for a long time. Despite this interest in the Mafia, however, The Godfather was the first bestseller of its genre, and The Sicilian was one of only a few to continue in its footsteps. The question existed of why there were so few bestselling Mafia novels. What made Puzo's novels so different from the rest in his ability to move them off the shelves at such an amazing pace? In her critical analysis of The Godfather, Jennifer Crist argues that Puzo gives his characters an extra dimension, a "characteristic with no other [novel] possessed." She states, "I contend that this characteristic is the depth of character given to the "bad guys," enabling readers to identify with and care about them" (Crist). I would tend to agree with here here; Puzo is not merely telling a story about mobster criminals that his audience wants to see killed or imprisoned, but rather he instills in his characters the ability to make the reader care. When someone reads The Sicilian, he roots for Salvatore Guiliano as a hero, a sort of Robin Hood. Although Guiliano robs and terrorizes the upper-class Sicilians, he is only doing it so as to help the under-priviliged peasants. How can the reader not develop an affection for Turi? This is what makes Puzo's novels so intoxicating to the reader. He effectively turns the "bad guys" into "good guys," and one finds himself completely engrossed in the world of the Mafia, and the reader may see the Mafia sympathetically. As the reader grows closer to the characters in Puzo's novels he tends to form his own opinions about the Mafia. He ceases to view it as evil since Puzo shows the other side of it, the side that involves family and the love that holds that family together. Because of this phenomenon, Puzo is widely regarded as the authoritative voice when it comes to novels about the Mafia, and this is why they sell so well. When someone wants a novel about business drama, they look to John Grisham. When someone wants to read a novel about the Mafia, there is nowhere better to turn to than Mario Puzo. Although the reader may not agree with the practices of the Mafia, he still wants everything to work out for the characters in the novel, and this is what Puzo brings to the table in novels like The Sicilian. His style in one unique to the genre. Transition into other media: As stated in the previous section, what sets Mario Puzo's novels apart in the Mafia genre is the character development that he incorporates to add another dimension to his characters that may not exist in novels by other authors. Based on this assumption, it seems only natural that Mario Puzo's novels be made into works of cinema; this is precisely what occurs with The Godfather, which received numerous Academy Award nominations. Therefore, it would also seem that The Sicilian was perfect for a movie, and it was made into one in 1987 and released by 20th Century Fox. However, the success of The Sicilian in movie form was minimal; it could never hope to achieve the same success that The Godfather achieved. Thus, in this case, it would be very wrong to suggest that the making of this novel into a movie catapulted its success. However, as a rule for many bestsellers, the transition of a novel from one form of media into another usually results in huge success. The Godfather is an example, as are novels/movies by Stephen King, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Ian Fleming, and even Peter Benchley. Very similar to Puzo, Benchley's breakthrough novel, Jaws, was soon after made into a blockbuster movie, just as The Godfather was for Puzo. Furthermore, Benchley also tried to capitalize on the success of Jaws in other media by writing a sequel, The Deep, and quickly making it, too, into a screenplay in 1977. The Deep was not the success that Jaws was, just as The Sicilian was not quite the success that The Godfather was. However, although The Sicilian was a follow-up to The Godfather, there had already been two Godfather movies, so maybe the material head been exhausted to some degree. It wasn't until 1990 that The Godfather III came out, and despite its relative success, it paled in comparison to the original two. Nevertheless, it is clear to see how transitions into other forms of media can help make a novel a bestseller. It is probably true that more people have seen the movies Jaws and The Godfather than read the books. Still, the extra attention that another form of media brings to a novel often catapults into the realm of the bestselling. Conclusion: Mario Puzo's The Sicilian was a very successful novel whose only real measure of success was the fact that it ranked high on the bestseller lists. Comparatively, it could never have been the success that the Godfather was; realistically few novels could. But The Sicilian did enjoy popular commercial success, and this seems to be Puzo's goal in writing it. His return to the genre of the Mafia novel appears to be a fairly obvious attempt to make lots of money, and his quotes about writing The Godfather just to make money and become famous serve to back up this idea. By writing a second novel in the same vein as the success of his first major popular success, Puzo ensures that he will have his third bestseller in a row when he writes The Sicilian. Couple this together with his name recognition and the possibility of transition of his novel into another form of media makes it apparent as to why The Sicilian was a bestseller. This is true across the board; Puzo teaches us that there are certain criteria to writing a bestseller, and if one follows the formula he can almost guarantee himself the same success. Sources: Publishers Weekly Contemporary Authors Jennifer Crist's entry on Puzo's The Godfather Brian Sutton's entry on Peter Benchley's The Deep The Sicilian by Mario Puzo
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