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The Godfather | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • August 1945

    Don Vito Corleone gives a wedding for his daughter Connie and gives favors to certain guests.

    Book 1, Chapter 1
  • Same day

    Michael Corleone shows his desire to remain independent of his family's business.

    Book 1, Chapter 1
  • Days later

    The Don declines Virgil Sollozzo's request for political protection for a narcotic racket.

    Book 1, Chapter 2
  • Three months later

    The Don is shot but remains alive.

    Book 1, Chapter 2
  • Days later

    At a hospital, a second attempt is made on the Don's life; Michael protects him.

    Book 1, Chapter 9
  • Days later

    Michael kills Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey and goes into hiding in Sicily.

    Book 1, Chapter 11
  • Two years later

    Sonny Corleone is shot to death.

    Book 4, Chapter 19
  • Months later

    The Don makes peace with Mafia families, who guarantee they will not kill Michael.

    Book 5, Chapter 20
  • Months earlier

    In Sicily, Michael falls in love with and marries Apollonia.

    Book 6, Chapter 23
  • Months later

    Apollonia is killed by a car bomb; Michael commits completely to his father.

    Book 6, Chapter 24
  • Three years later

    In America, Michael assumes leadership of the family and plans to move the family business west.

    Book 7, Chapter 27
  • Days later

    Michael realizes other Mafia families view the Corleones as weak, but he plans move west regardless.

    Book 7, Chapter 28
  • Months later

    The Don dies, making the Corleones seem weaker than ever; Michael speeds up his plans.

    Book 7, Chapter 29
  • Weeks later

    Michael executes his plan, having rival Mafia leaders murdered.

    Book 8, Chapter 31
  • Weeks later

    Michael's victory establishes the Corleones as the dominant Mafia family.

    Book 8, Chapter 31
  • Year later

    Michael completes the move of his business and family from the East to Las Vegas.

    Book 9, Chapter 32

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Book 1, Chapter 1 Book 1 begins with an epigraph, which states: 'Behind every great fortune there is a crime' — Balzac. Book 1, Chap... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 2 Book 1, Chapter 2 of The Godfather opens with a shocking scene. Jack Woltz wakes up to find the severed head of his priz... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 3 Book 1, Chapter 3 of The Godfather explains more about the niche Tom Hagen occupies. Virgil Sollozzo and his men lead To... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 4 As Book 1, Chapter 4 of The Godfather opens, Michael Corleone enters his father's house and notices Peter Clemenza, Paul... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 5 At the beginning of Book 1, Chapter 5 of The Godfather, Sonny Corleone, Tom Hagen, Salvatore Tessio, Peter Clemenza, and... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 6 Book 1, Chapter 6 of The Godfather opens with Peter Clemenza thinking about his upcoming assignment of killing Paulie Ga... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 7 In Book 1, Chapter 7 of The Godfather Luca Brasi attempts to learn more about Virgil Sollozzo and the Tattaglias for the... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 8 In Book 1, Chapter 8 of The Godfather, after the shooting of Don Vito Corleone, members of the Corleone family deal with... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 9 At the opening of Book 1, Chapter 9 of The Godfather, Michael Corleone heads into New York, feeling bad about getting in... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 10 Book 1, Chapter 10 of The Godfather emphasizes how Michael Corleone protects his father. At the hospital, Michael runs d... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 11 In Book 1, Chapter 11 of The Godfather, readers learn that Captain Mark McCluskey is a tough, fair cop who keeps his bea... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 12 Book 2, Chapter 12 of The Godfather focuses on singer and actor Johnny Fontaine. After having dinner with a young woman ... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 13 Book 2, Chapter 13 of The Godfather provides further insights into Johnny Fontaine's activities. Johnny makes a record w... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 14 Book 3, Chapter 14 of The Godfather relates background information about Don Vito Corleone. The Don was born in Corleone... Read More
Book 4, Chapter 15 In Book 4, Chapter 15 of The Godfather, Kay Adams learns more about Michael Corleone. Two men from the New York Police D... Read More
Book 4, Chapter 16 In Book 4, Chapter 16 of The Godfather, readers learn more about the character Carlo Rizzo, husband of Connie Corleone. ... Read More
Book 4, Chapter 17 Book 4, Chapter 17 of The Godfather explores the war between the Corleones and other New York Mafia families. The war pr... Read More
Book 4, Chapter 18 In Book 4, Chapter 18 of The Godfather, readers learn more about the obligations that come with favors. The undertaker A... Read More
Book 4, Chapter 19 In Book 4, Chapter 19 of The Godfather readers learn how Sonny Corleone comes to a bloody end. He leads his family in an... Read More
Book 5, Chapter 20 Book 5, Chapter 20 of The Godfather explores the aftermath of Sonny Corleone's death. The four Mafia families prepare fo... Read More
Book 5, Chapter 21 In Book 5, Chapter 21 of The Godfather, readers learn how Michael Corleone will be able to return safely to the United S... Read More
Book 5, Chapter 22 Book 5, Chapter 22 of The Godfather focuses on Lucy Mancini, a minor character. A year after Sonny Corleone's death, Luc... Read More
Book 6, Chapter 23 Book 6, Chapter 23 of The Godfather takes place in Sicily where Michael Corleone is looked after by Don Tommasino, a man... Read More
Book 6, Chapter 24 The locale of Book 6, Chapter 24 of The Godfather is Sicily, where Michael Corleone prepares to move with his pregnant w... Read More
Book 7, Chapter 25 In Book 7, Chapter 25 of The Godfather, readers learn more about Kay Adams. After earning her college degree, Kay gets a... Read More
Book 7, Chapter 26 Book 7, Chapter 26 of The Godfather opens with Johnny Fontaine visiting Nino Valenti, who is gambling in his Las Vegas s... Read More
Book 7, Chapter 27 As Book 7, Chapter 27 of The Godfather opens, Michael Corleone, Tom Hagen, and the new bodyguard, Albert Neri, arrive at... Read More
Book 7, Chapter 28 In Book 7, Chapter 28 of The Godfather, during a plane ride back to New York, Michael Corleone reflects on the last thre... Read More
Book 7, Chapter 29 Book 7, Chapter 29 of The Godfather focuses on Michael Corleone who is prepared for the big move he plans for his family... Read More
Book 8, Chapter 30 Book 8, Chapter 30 of The Godfather opens with a scene of Michael Corleone's bodyguard, Albert Neri, brushing his old po... Read More
Book 8, Chapter 31 Book 8, Chapter 31 of The Godfather begins in the Corleones' mall in Long Beach as a limousine takes Connie, her two chi... Read More
Book 9, Chapter 32 Book 9, Chapter 32 of The Godfather covers the 12 months in which Michael Corleone becomes the most powerful Mafia leade... Read More
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