The Last Don Review
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Abridged
Four Hours
Read by Joe Mantegna


When it comes to Mafia stories, no one compares to Mario Puzo. I mean, who can forget The Godfather? I’ve watched all three parts of the trilogy (some parts more than once!), and I loved them (and I’m not supposed to because I’m a girl). So when I found another one of Puzo’s books, The Last Don, on tape, I couldn’t help but pick it up and take it home.

In 1965, after a battle with a rival family, Don Clericuzio is forced to decide the next steps – steps that will gradually bring his family into legitimate business. He points his sons – and his nephew, Pipi, the family’s “Hammer” – toward their new lives. Pipi is sent to Las Vegas, where his son, Cross, grows up, oblivious to the family’s business.

J
  
 
ump ahead to present-day Vegas. Cross, now aware of what his father does on business trips, is beginning to discover that he may have too much heart to follow in his father’s footsteps. And as Cross begins to get involved in the film industry – and gets too attached to a beautiful, young movie star – he also begins to dig up some family secrets that will only start battles within the family.

Once again, Puzo has created a fascinating Mafia story with a detailed plot. In fact, it’s so detailed – and there are so many characters – that you may want to take notes. Joe Mantegna reads the story and does an exceptionally impressive job – with everything from thick Italian accents to women’s voices to a heavy French accent. The story itself is a bit confusing – and, upon finishing it, I could barely trace the storyline – but it’s entertaining nonetheless. It’s no Godfather, but it’s definitely worth four hours of your time.

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