By: Mario Puzo
Essence: organised crime, family, power, honour, mafia, back-stabbing

The Godfather is among the best books of all time and has rightly received the accolades it deserves. Mario Puzo has come up with a phenomenal book with The Godfather.
There are two and maybe just two reasons as to why I didn't give it a 5/5 rating.
One, I had seen the movie much before reading the book and hence I knew the story to a great extent. That did spoil the fun a bit :|
Two, I had read a book on organized crime by the name of "My Life In The Mafia" (review -> here) and this book had a slightly better style and selection of words.

The Godfather is a book that talks about the Corleone family and about its family business, a major power in the American Mafia. The Godfather is the head of the family business and it is the title given to him. He is a very powerful person and in some sense dictates his own rule over his friends in an attempt to be just and fair with them. He is ruthless with those who oppose him but does not get in the way of others without any need.
The book tries to give it a good image though it doesn't take away the sin of crime from them.
The Godfather also has his own army, so as to say.
A counselor who is the advisor to the Godfather and then multiple Capo-Regimes or subordinates who handle the teams and further hierarchies below them. The way the organised crime has been depicted is marvelous. Brilliant portrayal of a commendable organization.

The characters and the incidents in the book is what make it so special. Maybe among the best characters I have come across in novels. Both, the Godfather and his successor have been characterized so very well and they are so well detailed that you can actually predict how they would react to a scenario. Brilliant work here by the author.
Next come the incidents. I will not spoil the story by taking instances of the incidents but the atmosphere that is created by Puzo's writing style along with the characters' intensity makes you almost sweat with tension.

This is a book that is difficult to put down once you start. A few chapters were kind of boring but I accept they are necessary for completion of the story and for the overall portrayal of the Godfather.

A classic book, and rightly among the tops. The Godfather is a must-read.