The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions
Publication Date

The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions is a collective autobiography written by Mario Puzo, on his journey through writing The Godfather. It was published in 1972.


"I was forty-five years old and tired of being an artist. Besides, I owed $20,000 to relatives, finance companies, banks and assorted bookmakers and shylocks. It was really time to grow up and sell out as Lenny Bruce once advised. So I told my editors OK, I'll write a book about the Mafia..."

It explains Puzo's reasons for writing The Godfather...

"I have written three novels. The Godfather is not as good as the preceding two; I wrote it to make money..."

Other quotations are:

"The Godfather took me three years to finish. During that time I wrote three adventure stories a month for Martin Goodman on a free-lance basis..."

"I'm ashamed to admit that I wrote The Godfather entirely from research. I never met a real honest-to-god gangster..."

"I finally had to finish The Godfather in July, 1968, because I needed the final $1,200 advance payment from Putnam to take my wife and kids to Europe. When I finally got home, I owed the credit card companies $8,000..."

"I went into New York to see my agent, Candida Donadio. She informed me that my publisher had just turned down $375,000 for the paperback rights to The Godfather. I called my editor at Putnam, Bill Targ, and he said they were holding out for $410,000 because $400,000 was some sort of record. Over coffee, he got a call. Ralph Daigh of Fawcett had bought the paperback rights for $410,000. I went up to the adventure magazine office to quit my freelance job..."

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