The Godfather Wiki

"I forgive you."
"That's impossible."
"True, only God can do that, right?
Fredo and Michael Corleone[src]

The Godfather's Revenge is a 2006 novel written by Mark Winegardner. It is the sequel to The Godfather, The Sicilian, and The Godfather Returns. The story takes place from 1963 to 1964, and picks up the story from where The Godfather Returns left off. The novel deals with the escalation of Michael's guilt-ridden conscience after ordering Fredo's murder, Nick Geraci's plots of revenge, Tom Hagen being implicated in a murder, and the Mafia's battle with a presidential family that parallels the real life Kennedy family.

Plot summary

Michael Corleone has a nightmare in which his brother Fredo, who Michael is torn apart with regret over having had killed, warns him of a coming threat, but is unable to specify what that threat is.

Carlo Tramonti, a boss of the New Orleans crime syndicate, is introduced as he is deported by the INS to Colombia, which is claimed he is a citizen of. Meanwhile, Attorney General Daniel Shea (historically analogous to Bobby Kennedy) declares his war on the Mafia. Tom Hagen meets with a CIA agent Joe Lucadello in a Protestant church in Florida. Lucadello informs Hagen that Nick Geraci, a former caporegime for the Corleones who turned traitor after he discovered Michael had tried to have him killed, has turned up. The story then outlines Nick Geraci's survival in an underground bunker underneath Lake Erie, and how he becomes ready to take his revenge. He contacts his father, who helps him escape to Mexico, and plots his revenge with Momo Barone, a Corleone soldier under new capo Eddie Paradise. Meanwhile, Hagen is framed for the murder of a woman with whom he had an affair.

Nick Geraci reunites with his wife in Sicily, beginning his revenge against Michael Corleone:

  • He drowns Tom Hagen in the Florida Everglades. Geraci then sends Michael a package containing a dead baby alligator along with Hagen's wallet, a message similar to the one that is sent to Sonny Corleone in the original novel following Luca Brasi's death.
  • He meets with Momo Barone, and promises him the title of consigliere if he agrees to help. Momo agrees, and provides Geraci information on Michael Corleone's daily routine.
  • Jimmy Shea, an old friend of the Corleones, is assassinated just before his re-election as the President of the United States, though it is unclear who is ultimately responsible for his death (Shea is historically analogous to John F. Kennedy).
  • Geraci contacts Don Stracci and asks for his help to send Michael Corleone by a vote out through the Commission. Nick ultimately gets the votes to overthrow Michael.

Don Stracci asks Nick to meet Don Greco, who also because of Stracci's influence was to vote against Michael. Nick meets him at a restaurant on Staten Island. When he arrives, he realizes that Michael has walked him into a trap; Michael asks Momo Barone to shoot Nick to prove his loyalty. Nick grabs the gun, shoots two bodyguards and injures Al Neri, but is seriously wounded in the process. Eddie Paradise delivers the coup de grace, shooting him execution style.

Michael also orders the execution the following people:

  • Carlo Tramonti is shot at the back of his head and thrown off on the highway.
  • Carlo Rizzi's brother Agostino who sought to re-open his brother's murder case dies of "natural causes".
  • Joe Lucadello has an ice pick rammed into his eye.
  • Renzo Sacripante is strangle in a bar.
  • Two men were eaten by the Eddie Paradise's lion.

After these events, Geraci's memoir Fausto's Bargain is published and later made into Oscar winning movies, paralleling the success of The Godfather film franchise in real life. Starring in these movies are Deanna Dunn, who has since moved past Fredo's death, and Johnny Fontane, who has rekindled his relationship with his daughters and married Sonny Corleone's daughter Francesca Corleone.

The book ends with Michael easing his way out of The Commission's reach, his sister Connie finally accepting their family's mortality and her position in it and with the eventuality of Richie Two-Guns and Eddie Paradise continuing the Corleone crime family's legacy.

Legal issues

Paramount Pictures has stated that it has not authorized The Godfather's Revenge and that this novel tarnishes the legacy of The Godfather, though the Puzo estate has apparently authorized the book.[1] This led to difficulties in the publishing of The Family Corleone in 2012[2], though The Family Corleone was generally better received than either of the two Winegardner novels.