Puzo, Mario

About the author

Mario Puzo was an American author of considerable range: as well as serving up horse’s heads on pillows in The Godfather, he let them have gentle adventures in his children’s book, The Runaway Summer of Davie Shaw (1966). Though one can see an inkling of the way things were going: Peter Harrington, the London-based antiquarian book dealer had for sale a first edition presentation copy of The Runaway Summer, in which Puzo wrote “For Carol. If you don’t like it, I’ll kill you.”  

Mario Puzo (1920–99) was born in New York, and during the war served as a public relations officer because of his poor sight. He wrote articles for pulp titles after the war, and in 1955, published his first book, The Dark Arena. Although well received, this tale of post-war Germany was not a great seller, like his story of his mother’s struggle as an immigrant from Italy, The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965).

With a family to support, Puzo moved away from writing about life as he had experienced it, and moved into the world of the Italian-American mobster. He wrote The Godfather to make money, and it did.

Finding the book
The Runaway Summer of Davie Shaw is not impossible to find. The Puffin paperback isn’t exactly common, and can be (for a paperback) expensive.

Links and sources
Peter Harrington
Mario Puzo, Wikipedia

Bibliography (horse books only)

The Runaway Summer of Davie Shaw

Platt & Munk, New York, 1966, 186 pp, illus Stewart Sherwood.
World’s Work, Tadworth, 1976, 144 pp.
Puffin, Harmondsworth, 1979, pb