I could not contain my curiosity about Mafia after reading The Godfather. So, did some search. And its quite interesting. While Mafia, today, is used as a generic word representing all organized crime, the word was originally used indeed for those having Italian/Sicilian origin. Interestingly, many of the structural and ritual arrangement of Mafia depicted in that book seem very real (while apparently the author had never met a gangster). However, the idealization of the characters does not appear to be so, as can be read up in this article. http://www.bestofsicily.com/mafia.htm. To quote
Renting The Godfather trilogy at the video store is easier than reading Dante’s Divine Comedy. But, one wonders, have the same “Mafia fans” ever seen The Leopard, In the Name of the Rose or Cinema Paradiso? (Do they know that the real Mafia murders innocent people, even women and children?)
And yeah, I did not know that one of the characters in the novel has too many similarities with the famous Frank Sinatra.