Version: Abridged
Author: Mario Puzo
Narrator: Joe Mantegna
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: July 2000
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours
Tell Your Friends:



Mario Puzo spent the last three years of his life writing Omerta, the concluding installment in his saga about power and morality in America. In The Godfather, he introduced us to the Corleones. In The Last Don, he told the wicked tale of the Clericuzios. In Omerta, Puzo chronicles the affairs of the Apriles, a family on the brink of legitimacy in a world of criminals.

Don Raymonde Aprile is an old man wily enough to retire gracefully from organized crime after a lifetime of ruthless conquest. Having kept his three children at a distance, he's ensured that they are now respectable members of the establishment: Valerius is an army colonel who teaches at West Point, Marcantonio is an influential TV network executive, and Nicole is a corporate litigator with a weakness for pro bono cases to fight the death penalty. To protect them from harm, and to maintain his entrée into the legitimate world of international banking, Don Aprile has adopted a "nephew" from Sicily, Astorre Viola, whose legal guardian made the unfortunate decision to commit suicide in the trunk of a car. Astorre is an unlikely enforcer-a macaroni importer with a fondness for riding stallions and recording Italian ballads with his band.

Though Don Aprile's retirement is seen as a business opportunity by his last Mafia rival, Timmona Portella, it is viewed with suspicion by Kurt Cilke, the FBI's special agent in charge of investigating organized crime. Cilke has achieved remarkable success in breaking down the bonds between families, cultivating high-ranking sources who in return for federal protection have violated omerta-Sicilian for "code of silence," the vow among men of honor that, until recently, kept them from betraying their secrets to the authorities.

As Cilke and the FBI mount their campaign to wipe out the Mafia once and for all, Astorre Viola and the Apriles find themselves in the midst of one last war, a conflict in which it is hard to distinguish who, if anyone, is on the right side of the law, and whether mercy or vengeance is the best course of action.

Rich with suspense, dark humor, and the larger-than-life characters who have turned Mario Puzo's novels into modern myths, Omerta is a powerful epitaph for the Mafia at the turn of a new century, and a final triumph for a great American storyteller.

Reviews (5)

A really great read

Written by Val from Secaucus, NJ on May 19th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was so enjoyable. Puzo is gifted at creating sympathetic, murderous characters and Montegna is great at bringing them to life. There were times when I wished I was listening to the unabridged version, especially because I just didn't want it to end.

Makes the drive fly by!

Written by Anonymous on February 3rd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Mario has done it again! This book grips you from the beginning and doesn't disappoint!

Lost something in the abridgement

Written by Lizo from Salt Lake City, UT on November 30th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Joe Montegna is an awesome reader. He made this book as entertaining as it is. I just wish I had listened to an unabridged version. Some parts were confusing. Works better to listen to the book in one or two sittings. Great book to listen to on a long trip.


Written by Glenn Mihalicz on August 12th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Good story and definitely worth a rental. I will rent Puzo's book “Family” as well. Moves along well and keeps your interest. Its' what you would expect from a Mafia story.

Not as good as I hoped

Written by Cattyloo on August 5th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I had such high expectations. I loved The Godfather. I watched Sopranos every Sunday. How could I not love Omerta? Regrettably, Omerta was not to give me my italiano fix. Joe Motagne was the reader (how many reading gigs does the man do? this is at least the sixth book he's read to me. one wonders how he has time to make movies) and, as usual, his excellent voice talents made listening easy. This is a reading of an abridged version and, I wonder, if much of my disappointement is not due to the selection of things to leave out. As I listened, I could spot gaps in the narrative. I knew there were vignettes that would appear in the hard copy of the book, if I only took the time to read paper. Poor choices. Overall, not terrible, not great.

Author Details

Author Details

Puzo, Mario

"Mario Puzo was born in New York and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His bestselling novel The Godfather, (1969) was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels, The Dark Arena (1955) and The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965). In 1978, he published Fools Die, followed by The Sicilian (1984), The Fourth K (1990), and the second installment in his Mafia trilogy, The Last Don (1996), which became an international bestseller and the highest-rated TV miniseries of 1997.

Mario Puzo also wrote many screenplays, including those for Earthquake, Superman, and all three Godfather movies, for which he received two Academy Awards. He died in July 1999 at his home on Long Island, New York, at the age of seventy-eight."