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Gomorrah

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,775 Ratings  ·  651 Reviews
A groundbreaking major bestseller in Italy, Gomorrah is Roberto Saviano's gripping nonfiction account of the decline of Naples under the rule of the Camorra, an organized crime network with a large international reach and stakes in construction, high fashion, illicit drugs, and toxic-waste disposal. Known by insiders as "the System," the Camorra affects cities and villages ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2006)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonTrue Hollywood Noir by Dina Di Mambro
Best True Crime
182nd out of 585 books — 1,022 voters
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot DíazHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingThe Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael ChabonOn Chesil Beach by Ian McEwanThe Nine by Jeffrey Toobin
New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2007
67th out of 100 books — 49 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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La Petite Américaine
Nov 12, 2009 La Petite Américaine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Leghisti / People who know Italy
**Update** Saw Roberto Saviano on TV last night. He was talking. Talking. And talking. And talking. And talking. And talking. For a frickin hour and a half without stopping except when he was interrupted by applause. Great writer, but his nonstop jabber has me ready to whack a star off this book.**

Gomorrah is a young journalist's account of just what the power of the mafia has done to southern Italy, particularly (but not solely) the Camorra in the Campania region. While he does discuss briefly
...more
Francesca Lenti
Dec 28, 2007 Francesca Lenti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book should be taught in schools.
The media tend to forget about the camorra in Campania.
They only talk about it when there's more than 2 deads a day...
this book is a great tragical testimony of somebody who does not want to forget and wants to shout to everybody what the truth really is.
Recommended to anyone who doesn't want to stop to the surface and wants to go deep into the scum of reality.
Jonfaith
The most concrete emblem of every economic cycle is the dump.

Earlier this summer I enjoyed a podcast by one of the members of Wu Ming. The author spoke about responsibility and the New Italian Epic. Gommorah was the one example of the latter which was discussed at length. It was noted that the work suffered from a horrible translation into English. Perhaps the last qualification should give it a pass, as I found the work to be uneven. Nominally this is an exploration of criminal culture in the N
...more
Pat
Aug 24, 2009 Pat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ethics, documentary
Since he has pulished his book, Saviano is a hunted man. Does he glorify organised crime after all? Or where did my fascination come from when I read him? The book portrays the Camorra as the incarnation of capitalism in its purest form, whoever stands in the way of business will be eliminated with the appropriate means. Appropriate? How much are moral standards essential for good business? The question is neglected and yet imminent on each page. Who is good? Who is evil. Names over names are qu ...more
Nikki
Mar 26, 2009 Nikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book seems to have suffered a loss in translation, and there were also some formatting problems with it that may have been a result of it being on my Kindle, and not in paper form. Also, the author obviously wrote for the Italian reader. Several times, he made long lists of Camorristas or of cities in Italy, and I suspect that these may have meant something to someone who lives in Italy and who has more knowledge of the state of organized crime in the country than I do, but for me, it was j ...more
Alec
Jan 25, 2008 Alec rated it really liked it
Wow! Anyone who defends the idea that there is such a thing as a free market should take a deep breath and confront the multi billion dollar criminal enterprise depicted in this book. If you can accept that steroids in sports is a direct result of too much money being directly linked to performance, how do you think trillion dollar markets will behave? Read it and weep.
Amar Pai
Mar 19, 2015 Amar Pai rated it really liked it
I saw the movie first. Now that I've read the book, I'm amazed at how faithful the movie is to the book. The film is an almost chapter-by-chapter recreation of the original. One of the most faithful adaptations I've ever seen.

But, something's always lost in translation. What gets lost in the movie is the book's poetry, and also its anger.

Saviano is a brave man for writing this. I'm surprised he's not dead yet.

Gomorra film author to leave Italy after mob death threats


The author of the book th
...more
Majo
Jan 31, 2013 Majo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beh.. prima di fare questa recensione penso che sarebbe giusto dire che Saviano non è il tipico scrittore di quei racconti storici che a volte rimangono nel buio della memoria.
Visto che qui non si parla solo di Napoli o della Campania o del Sud; Gomorra è il motore del capitalismo. Ciò che ho però trovato di interesse davvero eccezionale è la descrizione della strategia manageriale della camorra moderna. Nessuna struttura centralizzata di famiglie che controlla il territorio: le famiglie ci sono
...more
Alexandra
Jul 09, 2013 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sachbuch, krimi, politik
Ausgezeichnet! Ein Camorra-Sachbuch aus der Innensicht des teilnehmenden Beobachters im Günther Wallraff Stil, geschrieben wie ein spannender Thriller mit vielen Hintergründen, persönlichen Elementen bzw. Ansichten und Querverbindungen. Bereits am Beginn fällt ein ganzer Haufen Leichen im Hafen von Neapel aus einem Container. Ausgehend von dieser Story wird die italienische Textilindustrie, über die Bauindustrie bis zur Müllentsorgung beleuchtet und genau beschrieben, wie das System Camorra lega ...more
Marjorie
Jun 25, 2011 Marjorie rated it really liked it
Where to start? A MUST READ book. It was a huge slap in the face and made "The Godfather" look like a care-bear mafia. Roberto Saviano makes us dive into the Italian mafia, the Camorra, an almighty organisation ruling the southern regions of Italy.
We are presented with his view, yes, but what remains are the facts, the cold-blooded facts: the terror that the Camora uses over Naples and its surroundings. The population live under their rule, the politicians are nothing but highly corrupted puppet
...more
James
We absolutely loved the TV series - Gomorrah - on Sky Atlantic (who isn't loving this sudden wave of quality, foreign, TV drama we've been getting) and it turned out that the series is based on this non-fiction expose of the Naples Camorra by investigative journalist Roberto Saviano. Apparently, since writing this book his life has been under threat from the very bosses he names and shames, and he now has a permanent police protection detail. Presumably that makes his next project somewhat harde ...more
Sean Owen
Aug 09, 2015 Sean Owen rated it it was ok
In "Gomorrah" Roberto Saviano sets out to expose the workings of the modern Italian criminal underworld. Visions of the mob as depicted in hollywood movies are quickly dispelled. The current mob is a hyper-capitilalist beast with it's hands in the world of drugs, politics, garbage and fashion. Saviano got great access, but unfortunately that isn't sufficient for a book to be a success. The writing is terrible and inconsistent. There are paragraphs of hyperbole attempting to be literary followed ...more
Robin
Aug 17, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roberto Saviano was still in his 20s when he wrote this courageous exposé of the Neapolitan camorra. That it is such a stunning read is no doubt down to the face that he comes from the region and feels passionately about how criminality pollutes – sometimes literally – life in the region.

The book is vivid in recounting events such as the horrific and dismaying Secondigliano War, the disastrous dumping of toxic trash illegally, the almost suicidal mentality that wants to kill every rival (and the
...more
Chris
In America, we seem to have a love affair with the mob. Look at the Godfather or Scarface just to name two. Then there's Goodfellas and who can forget The Sopranos. (Actually, I could. I never liked it). Maybe the lover affair is because of the desire to get away with things.

The real mob is one scary thing, but we know that. Roberto Savino doesn't just tell us that; he also tells us how the mob ruins society.

Gomorrah is most likely not the best translated book, yet there is something compelling
...more
Wu Ming
Dec 29, 2010 Wu Ming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WM1: Non ho letto nessuna recensione prima di affrontare Gomorra. Nessuna.
Libro impegnativo: a volte l'impasto è denso da soffocare, come la sabbia ficcata in bocca ad Antonio Magliulo legato su una sedia, spiaggia di Castelvolturno, litorale domizio.
Il lettore deve affrontare Gomorra con attenzione, coscienza, responsabilità. Altrimenti verrà travolto.
Mentre mi spingevo nel fitto ha preso forma un'ipotesi: l'io narrante di Gomorra è l'autore, ma non soltanto e non sempre. L'autore, per di
...more
Harry Rutherford
May 26, 2010 Harry Rutherford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, non-fiction
This is a journalistic account of organised crime in Naples; the title is a pun on Camorra, the name of the Neapolitan mafia. It’s an eye-opening, depressing book. The prose is occasionally a little purple for my taste, which I suspect is partly the translation. And I feel a bit petty criticising the prose style since Saviano risked his life to write it; he now lives under 24 hour police protection. I can only hope his bravery does some good, although the book makes the problem seem intractable. ...more
F.R.
Jun 18, 2010 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone expecting a kind of cool, macho life of gangsters, with charismatic real-life characters and bloodily amusing anecdotes is in for a shock. This is a raw, vicious and angry book, a true expose of how the Camorra dominates life around Southern Italy and how from there it extends its tentacles worldwide.

Although it gives an overview of the various gangs and the characters involved, the book goes much further and breaks down the sociological and economic causes of and reactions to all that ha
...more
Sarah
Jun 04, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it
I almost gave up on this book in chapter 2. I should have. I'm not certain what the problem was, but I've chalked it up to poor translation (both words and culturally). Most of the time I had no idea what the author was talking about. Maybe Italians grow up knowing who the Mondragones are, but I would have benefited from some background info.

Also, having actually completed the book, I still have no idea how the author got all of his information. Was he inside? Did he have friends inside? Was he
...more
Roy
Oct 17, 2009 Roy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in economics or organized crime
I read this book while travelling through Campania. We had lovely weather, stayed in some of the most beautiful coastal town in Europe and had a very breezy and relaxing week, but every moment I expected to turn the corner and find the seedy underside of southern Italy – some youth selling drugs, or hand bags, or Kalashnicovs – but never found it.

Well, there was a very lively trade of cheap clothes wherever we went …

For any fan of the Wire, you won’t be surprised by how organized crime can embra
...more
Jack
Feb 10, 2010 Jack rated it it was ok
Disappointing considering all the buzz that it got - probably 2.5 stars - but that might be partially an issue of translation; I can't really qualify this, but it often feels like the translator was too literal in transplanting every word into english, so that some of the style and descriptions that might have flowed in Italian doesn't quite pop here.

Also, I often more curious as to how the Camorra actually performed the operations he talked about. It's very important if they completely control
...more
Louise
May 12, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: italy, crime
This is a worrisome portrait of the extra-legal underworld centered in and around Naples. It is run by "clans" that are much larger, more ruthless, more sophisticated and more international than the American style Mafia family. These clans compete with each other for market share in drugs, hazardous waste, high fashion, arms and anything else they choose.

The prose is absolutely wonderful. Well chosen words provide descriptions of people, life and feelings in a way you usually don't find in inves
...more
Sofia
Aug 25, 2015 Sofia marked it as to-read
Shelves: next, non-fiction


Hard Talk - Stephen Sackur interviews Saviano where he talks about the power of the 'word' and the reader and how silence is acquiescence.
Μιχάλης Μανωλιός
Βαθιά υπόκλιση στο κουράγιο να γράφτεί ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο (και μετά ο συγγραφέας να ζει αιώνια κυνηγημένος, σαν άλλος Ρούσντι) που περιγράφει τον καρκίνο της Καμόρρα με τα μάτια ενός ντόπιου. Απο κεί και πέρα, είχε άπειρα ονόματα και (εμένα τουλάχιστον) δεν μου κράτησε πάντα το ενδιαφέρον.
Христо Блажев
Dec 01, 2014 Христо Блажев rated it really liked it
Гомор, който е неунищожим: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/g...

Мъчно се чете тая книга. Погледът все иска да се плъзне напред, да мине над безкрайния шпалир от имена – поръчители и поръчани, – да подмине някак си поредната вендета, поредното преразпределение на пазара, окъпано в кръв, поредната неразбираема братоубийствена схватка. Но не бива. Четеш, четеш, до пренасищане, до преливане – съзнавам, че дори в момента на затваряне на книгата нямам ясно усещане за структурата ѝ, тя е толкова раз
...more
Timothy McCluskey
May 31, 2009 Timothy McCluskey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-stories
This is a very difficult book to read, not because of style but because there are no heroes. Everyone is trapped into the corruption and no one escapes its reach. It has becomes a way of life which infects even the youth. There is one chilling scene in which a young boy lures the mother of a rival gang out from here house - a woman who has befriended him - and she is assassinated. In the movie, he calmly walks away. The glamour of the Godfather, etc. is not part of this story.
Heather
Jul 21, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
After a trip to southern Italy last year, this book was part revelation and part confirmation. Of course, as non-Italian-speaking tourists, we drifted on the surface, stunned by the beauty of the area and enjoying the wonderful hospitality we found everywhere. I am disturbed, exactly as Saviano wants his reader to be, by the extent of these revelations, though, sadly, I'm not surprised. Even the slightest attention to reputable news sources should set off alarm bells. The willingness to destroy ...more
Libros Prohibidos
Jan 20, 2015 Libros Prohibidos rated it it was ok
Parece un libro más sobre la Mafia, pero en realidad es justo eso. Reseña completa:

http://www.libros-prohibidos.com/robe...
Maria
Nov 02, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very daring story that Saviano is telling, and I'm feeling a wish for that I could be like him, a feeling of hope in the fear and disgust I get from this story.

I remember the scene that he begins the first chapter with, the one with the containers and how quickly they switch place in the harbour. Efficiency. And how it leaves opportunities to hide things that some want to keep hidden.

This book is a glowing example on how industries aren't what they say they are, or what they seem to be
...more
Greg
When Gomorrah was firt published, it was risky investigative journalism at its finest; Saviano revealed to Italians and to the wider world the nature and extent of the Comorra's domination of Naples, Campania and beyond.

Even the best journalism loses its immediacy over time, but after 10 years and from half a world away, Gomorrah is still a riveting read. Saviano recounts a catalogue of vicious crimes and ongoing feuds that turned Campania into a bloodbath, pretty much the murder capital of the
...more
Pucca182
Aug 07, 2012 Pucca182 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A bordo della sua vespa, Saviano ci guida nell’impero economico della camorra, facendoci scoprire i meccanismi del “Sistema”.
Partendo dal porto di Napoli, punto di passaggio per tutto quello che è prodotto in Oriente, scopriremo tutti i settori dove la camorra ha investito a livello mondiale, quali il tessile, la droga, le armi, il cemento e, infine, i rifiuti.
Leggendo questo libro si comprendono: ingranaggi, struttura e organizzazione dei clan, i cui capi si considerano degli imprenditori, bram
...more
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Roberto Saviano is an Italian writer and journalist.

In his writings, articles and books he employs prose and news-reporting style to narrate the story of the Camorra (a powerful Neapolitan mafia-like organization), exposing its territory and business connections.

Since 2006, following the publication of his bestselling book Gomorrah (Gomorra in Italian), where he describes the clandestine particula
...more
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“Ad aver dato fastidio alle organizzazioni criminali è il mio lettore, non sono io. Il mio lettore è ciò che loro non vogliono, il fatto che in questo momento ne stiamo parlando, che ne hanno parlato tutti i giornali, che continuano ad uscire libri, che continuano a nascere documentari, è tutto questo che loro non vogliono, è l'attenzione su di loro, sui loro nomi, soprattutto sui loro affari.” 8 likes
“Sea lo que sea que hagas, será siempre una equivocación por un motivo u otro. Esa es la verdadera soledad.” 3 likes
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