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Mario Puzo books in order

Mario Puzo was an American screenwriter and author of mystery, thriller, crime fiction and non-fiction books.

He is most notably known for writing the bestselling novel The Godfather (1969), which is among the most successful novels in history with over 21 million copies sold across the globe.

Born in New York City to Italian immigrants, he served in the US Air Force in Germany during the Second World War, before returning home where he attended the New School for Social Research and Columbia University.

Although he worked in the civil service as a railroad clerk, Puzo always aspired to become a writer.

Unperturbed by the lackluster performance of his first few novels, Puzo went on to write The Godfather (1969), which went on to reach unprecedented heights.

The first two screenplays of the novel won nine Academy Awards, including best picture and best screenplay Oscars for each.

His novels The Sicilian (1984), and The Last Don (1996) were also adapted into motion pictures.

As a screenwriter, he made contributions for the first two Superman films (1978 and 1980) and The Cotton Club (1984).

Puzo died of heart failure in his New York home on July 2, 1999, aged 78.

More about Mario Puzo

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller

Born: 1920 / Died: 1999

United States

Non Series

  • The Dark Arena (1955)
  • The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965)
  • The Runaway Summer of Davie Shaw (1966)
  • Six Graves To Munich (1967)
  • Fools Die (1978)
  • The Fourth K (1990)
  • The Last Don (1996)
  • The Family (2001)


  1. The Godfather (1969)
  2. The Sicilian (1984)
  3. Omerta (1999)


  1. The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions (1972)
  2. Inside Las Vegas (1977)
  3. The Making of the Godfather (2013)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Dark Arena

After coming home at the end of World War II, Walter Mosca finds himself too restless for his civilian role in America. So he returns to Germany to find the woman he had once loved–and to start some kind of life in a vanquished country. But ahead of Walter stretches a dark landscape of defeat and intrigue, as he succumbs to the corrupting influences of a malevolent time. Now he enters a different kind of war, one in which he must make a fateful decision–between love and ambition, passion and greed, life and death. . . .

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1955
Ebook: B002QE3CVM
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Fortunate Pilgrim

Described by the author as his "best and most literary book." Puzo's classic story about the loves, crimes and struggles confronted by one family of New York City immigrants living in Hell's Kitchen. Fresh from the farms in Italy, Lucia Santa struggles to hold her family together in a strange land. At turns poignant, comic and violent, The Fortunate Pilgrim is Italian-American fiction at its very best.

The book's hero, Lucia Santa, is an incredibly captivating character and based on Puzo's very own mother - he describes, "her wisdom, her ruthlessness, and her unconquerable love for her family and for life itself, qualities not valued in women at the time."

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1965
ISBN: 978-0099557593
Publisher: Arrow Books
The Runaway Summer of Davie Shaw

With a high heart, a pony named Mustang and $7.07, Davie Shaw leaves home and steadfastly heads East.Ever alert for the promising fork in the road and the companion who looks like he might be good company, Davie crosses the whole USA from California to New York. Along the way Davie meets many interesting and curious people to whom he invariably turns a polite and interested The Old Guru, The man who lived in the exact middle of the United Sates. , Eunice Rill herpetologist.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1966
ISBN: 978-0140311440
Publisher: Puffin Books
Six Graves To Munich

Michael Rogan was an intelligence officer behind enemy lines in World War II. But he made the mistake of falling in love, which gave him something to lose—or to be taken from him. Captured by the Nazis, Michael was treated as an experiment. A piece of meat. A subject upon which his captors committed atrocity upon atrocity. But not before they did the same to his wife—and unborn son. He's lived with the horror of that experience for ten years. Now, Michael Rogan has returned to Europe to find the men who tortured him. And he's going to make sure that they never have to live with the horror as he did...They will die with it.

NB: Previously published under the pseudonym Mario Cleri.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1967
ISBN: 978-0451230591
Publisher: Berkley
Fools Die

Merlyn and his brother, Artie, obey their own code of honor in the ferment of contemporary America, where law and organized crime are one and the same.

Set within America's golden triangle of corruption and excess—New York, Hollywood, Las Vegas—the novel plunges into the glittering and ruthless worlds of gambling, publishing, and the film industry, where greed, lust, and violence hold sway. As high rollers, hustlers, and scheming manipulators use power, sex, and betrayal to win, the strongest survive—but fools die.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1978
ISBN: 978-0099557579
Publisher: Arrow Books
The Fourth K

President Francis Xavier Kennedy is elected to office, in large part, thanks to the legacy of his forebears– good looks, privilege, wealth–and is the very embodiment of youthful optimism. Too soon, however, he is beaten down by the political process and, disabused of his ideals, he becomes a leader totally unlike what he has been before.

When his daughter becomes a pawn in a brutal terrorist plot, Kennedy, who has obsessively kept alive the memory of his uncles’ assassinations, activates all his power to retaliate in a series of violent measures. As the explosive events unfold, the world and those closest to him look on with both awe and horror.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1990
ISBN: 978-0553292718
Publisher: Bantam
The Last Don

The Last Don is Domenico Clericuzio, a wise and ruthless old man who is determined to see his heirs established in legitimate society but whose vision is threatened when secrets from the family's past spark a vicious war between two blood cousins.

The Last Don is a mesmerizing tale that takes us inside the equally corrupt worlds of the mob, the movie industry, and the casinos where beautiful actresses and ruthless hitmen are ruled by lust and violence, where sleazy producers and greedy studio heads are drunk on power, where crooked cops and desperate gamblers play dangerous games of betrayal, and where one man controls them all.

The Last Don (Miniseries)
Director: Graeme Clifford
Cast: Danny Aiello, Joe Mantegna, Daryl Hannah, Jason Gedrick, Penelope Ann Miller, Rory Cochrane, Robert Wuhl, K D Lang, Kirstie Alley, David Marciano, Michelle Burke, Conrad Dunn
Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-0099533245
Publisher: Arrow Books
The Family

Mario Puzo’s final masterwork. A sweeping epic saga of corruption, greed, treachery, and sin, The Family is the ultimate crowning achievement of the #1 New York Times bestselling novelist who gave the world The Godfather, arguably the greatest Mafia crime novel ever written. 

In The Family, Puzo—whom the Washington Post calls, “A serious American talent”—plunges reader into the colorful tumult of the Italian Renaissance, immersing them in the roiling intrigues and deadly affairs of the remarkable family whose name has always been synonymous with power, corruption, poison, and murder: the infamous Borgias.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0062089151
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks


The Godfather

With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.

A #1 New York Times bestseller in 1969, Mario Puzo’s epic was turned into the incomparable film of the same name, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the original classic that has been often imitated, but never matched. A tale of family and society, law and order, obedience and rebellion, it reveals the dark passions of human nature played out against a backdrop of the American dream

The Godfather
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Diane Keaton, Abe Vigoda
Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1969
ISBN: 978-0451205766
Publisher: Berkley
The Sicilian

The year is 1950. Michael Corleone is nearing the end of his exile in Sicily. The Godfather has commanded Michael to bring a young Sicilian bandit named Salvatore Guiliano back with him to America. But Guiliano is a man entwined in a bloody web of violence and vendettas. In Sicily, Guiliano is a modern day Robin Hood who has defied corruption—and defied the Cosa Nostra. Now, in the land of mist-shrouded mountains and ancient ruins, Michael Corleone's fate is entwined with the dangerous legend of Salvatore Guiliano: warrior, lover, and the ultimate Siciliano.

The Godfather Part II
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, G.D. Spradlin, Richard Bright, Gastone Moschin
Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1984
ISBN: 978-0099580799
Publisher: Random House UK

To Don Raymonde Aprile’s children, he was a loyal family member, their father’s adopted “nephew.” To the FBI he was a man who would rather ride his horses than do Mob business. No one knew why Aprile, the last great American don, had adopted Astorre Viola many years before in Sicily; no one suspected how he had carefully trained him . . . and how, while the don’s children claimed respectable careers in America, Astorre Viola waited for his time to come.

That time has arrived. The don is dead, his murder one bloody act in a drama of ambition and deceit—from the deadly compromises made by an FBI agent to the greed of two crooked NYPD detectives and the frightening plans of a South American Mob kingpin. In a collision of enemies and lovers, betrayers and loyal soldiers, Astorre Viola will claim his destiny. Because after all these years, this moment is in his blood. . . .

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-0099533252
Publisher: Arrow Books


The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions

In March 1969 the world saw the emergence of one of the most dramatic, most read and discussed novels of this century, The Godfather. It became an instantaneous best-seller and its unprecedented English-language success, repeated worldwide, will be reinforced by the big-budget film starring Marlon Brando. The present work is highly personal, free-wheeling, and autobiographical. 

Here we find many intimate, amusing and startling disclosures about the author's life, Hollywood, gambling, the art of writing, the making of the Godfather film, food, sex and male chauvinism, etc. Mario Puzo answers many questions that his millions of readers are asking. We see him as the lonely, hardworking writer, the voracious reader, a father in the midst of a large family, a world traveller, an aficionado of the gambling casinos, a newcomer in and out of the Hollywood studios, playing tennis, enjoying pasta, trying to lose weight, at work on screenplays and his next novel. 

These and many other matters are touched upon in this most readable, entertaining, and very revealing book by one of America's most famous novelists.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1972
ISBN: 978-0434604937
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Inside Las Vegas

Nonfiction account of Las Vegas by the author of The Godfather. The photographs were made by John Launois, Michael Abramson and Susan Fowler-Gallagher of Howard Chapnick's Black Star agency with unusually free access to the back rooms and back stages as well as the gaming rooms and shows.

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 1977
ISBN: 978-0448124629
Publisher: Penguin
The Making of the Godfather

With equal parts cynicism and humor, Puzo recounts the book deal and his experiences in Hollywood while writing the screenplay for the movie. Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Evans, Peter Bart, Marlon Brando, and Al Pacino all make appearances-as does Frank Sinatra, in his famous and disastrous encounter with Puzo.

First published in 1972, the essay is now available as an ebook for the first time. A must-have for every Godfather fan!

Author: Mario Puzo
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-9351226215
Publisher: R.R. Sheth & Co. Private Limited