So, if you've seen the movie, you know what the book is about. The movie (from what I remember) follows the book pretty closely, although I don't think it went into as much about what happened to Michael in Sicily. Actually I don't know if I've ever seen the entire movie all the way through -- I think I may have seen about 3/4 of it at different times. I am going to remedy this with a big old Godfather Marathon this fall. Some rainy weekend, it'll be us and the cats and a fire and the Godfather, all three movies.
Anyway. The book was surprisingly readable. I was completely drawn in from the first page, and enjoyed the entire book. I did skip over the horse-head part. A little too sensitive about animals right now. However, the rest of the book was well-written, the story was incredibly engaging, and the characters were unforgettable. I am sad that Mario Puzo did not write all three books, because otherwise I would be signing up for the other two. I think I'll just stick with the movies. I have a whole other pile of books to get to.
Parts that I loved: anything about Michael. Such an interesting character! I have not seen The Godfather II, so am really looking forward to seeing what happens to him. I also love the portrayals of the Sicilian women and the Family culture. Lots of bravado and women not asking questions and lots of spaghetti. In real life of course I hate all that stuff (except the spaghetti) but in the book, it was fascinating and really fun.
Not too gory, not very troubling (aside from the part about the horse), and very readable. I loved it, actually. What's so funny is that even though I knew there was a movie already made, I couldn't help but think, "Wow, this is so good -- they should make a movie out of this!" It's just made for on-screen storytelling.