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Mark Winegardner Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Godfather Returns Books

The Godfather Returns (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Godfather's Revenge (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Veracruz Blues (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crooked River Burning (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Elvis Presley Boulevard (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Prophet of the Sandlots (1990)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
We Are What We Ate (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

That's True of Everybody (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Mark Winegardner is an American author best known for writing The Godfather Returns and The Godfather’s Revenge. The books are a continuation of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, the basis for the legendary film.

He grew up in Bryan, Ohio. Mark attended Miami University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He would then move to George Mason University where he earned his master of fine arts degree in fiction writing. While he was in graduate school, Winegardner was able to publish his first book. He would then go on to teach at a variety of universities, including Miami, George Mason, George Washington, and John Carroll University. He would later work as the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University and the Burroway Professor of English.

In addition to his books, Winegardner’s writing has appeared in GQ, Playboy, The Sporting News, and The New York Times Magazine. His stories have been selected as Distinguished Stories of the Year in The Best American Short Stories.

Winegardner wrote his first novel in 1996, The Veracruz Blues and then followed that book up with Crooked River Burning in 2001. He found his way to the Godfather series when Random House held a contest to select a potential author to continue the series. The original author, Mario Puzo, had decided not to write any sequels, but said that he would not object to another writer continuing the series. There were thousands of entries in the contest who sent in a book proposal and sample chapter, but Winegardner was the one who rose above them all.

The Godfather Returns is the first book in Mark Winegardner’s continuation of The Godfather Saga. The story begins in 1955 when Michael Corleone has just had a huge win in the war of the New York crime families. After his victory, he’s looking to consolidate his power and take his family into more legitimate businesses. In order to do so, he’ll need to confront Nick Geraci, a former boxer and Corleone street enforcer who is just as deadly and cunning as Michael. The two enter into a personal cold war which will span years from 1955 to 1962.

Their war will touch everyone from Tom Hagen, who is now running for political office in Nevada, Francesca, Sonny’s daughter who is learning what her family really is, Don Louie Russo, head of the Chicago mob, and Kay Adams, Michael’s wife who is about to learn the truth about her husband. The story takes readers from New York to Washington to Las Vegas to Cuba as the Corleone’s story intersects with political, legal, and entertainment empires.

Winegardner continues his Godfather saga with The Godfather’s Revenge. This is the third and final book in the Godfather saga. It picks up after the events of the first book in 1963 as organized crime will intersect with national politics. A subordinate of Michael’s named Carol Tramonti, the underboss of New Orleans, is humiliated by the US Attorney General and deported to Columbia. The Attorney General is the brother of the President, Danny Shea.

Tramonti makes his return to the States with revenge on his mind which well set off a series of events that will change the course of American history. Michael knows that this is no time for weakness and sets out with consigliere Tom Hagen to forge a new path into the future. This story wraps up the Godfather trilogy.

Winegardner’s first novel was The Veracruz Blues. The book is based on actual events which took place during the postwar baseball days of 1946. As people returned from war, there weren’t enough jobs to grow around and that included baseball players as well. The story follows a group of Americans players who grow frustrated by their treatment from the owners of major league teams and defect to a Mexican baseball league.

These players play alongside greats from the Negro Leagues, Mexican greats, and Cubans. Something that wouldn’t be done in Major League Baseball until much later in time. The story is told through a variety of viewpoints as a reporter named Frank Bullinger Jr. tries to document the wild season for a book within the book. This book features a lot of moments that seem like they could be from the author’s imagination, but are actually based on actual events.

Winegardner wrote another book about baseball, 1990’s non-fiction book Prophets of the Sandlot. The book follows a baseball scout named Tony Lucadello who worked in baseball from 1942 to 1988. The scout worked for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies in his career and signed fifty players who went on to play in the MLB. Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt were two Hall of Fame players who he signed. Winegardner followed Lucadello in his last year on the job and got to know the man who was always on the lookout for young players who had the right stuff.

Crooked River Burning is a novel that takes place in Cleveland in the summer of 1948. A boy named David Zielinksy can only look forward to a life working on the docks here while Anne is from a well-to-do family with a political boss for a father. The two will fall in love and become reluctant star-crossed lovers as this book works as a retelling of Romeo and Juliet in late 20th century Cleveland. However, the story turns out to be far from a dopey take on the classic, but an in-depth story laced with history. This book is Winegardner’s epic tale of a twenty year love affair set against the backdrop of a city in flux. The story features moments like Satchel Paige pitching for the Indians, Carl Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a major American city, and the infamous river fire. Crooked River Burning is a masterful saga of the conflicted city.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mark Winegardner

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