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Gomorrah

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  5,540 ratings  ·  528 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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La Petite Américaine
Nov 12, 2009 La Petite Américaine rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Francesca Lenti
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.
Pat
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
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
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.
María
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
Amar Pai
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 tha...more
Marjorie
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
Wu Ming
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
F.R.
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
Roy
Oct 17, 2009 Roy rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Timothy McCluskey
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.
Robert
This book is more a condemnation of a Hell on Earth than an exposé or the work of an investigative journalist. Gomorrah is, at heart, a horror story that describes the Camorra, a Shape-Changing Beast that can appear a brutish thug at one moment, a wife and mother the next, and then the suave director of a global business.

Saviano is a philosopher whose point of departure is the empirical: The evidence before his eyes: A motorbike racing by him carrying two teenage hitmen; the vibrations of giant...more
Alexandra
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
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
Harry Rutherford
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
Pucca182
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
Jack
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
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
Ryan
Jun 03, 2008 Ryan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody, especially ALL Italians.
Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia

A jaw dropping, gut wrenching exposè. This author, Roberto Saviano, instantly became one of my heroes. He grew up in some of the most crime saturated parts of Campania, the Italian region that includes Naples. He leads us through places that most of us (even living in Italy) could never see. He brings us into his world, as through this book we can begin to understand the tangled confusion and cruel realities of the region. He is a kid from the ‘hood who found in hims...more
Delphine
J'ai enfin pu emprunter Gomorra de Roberto Saviano (Gallimard), traduit par Vincent Raynaud, à la Médiathèque et je viens de le finir.

Il s'agit d'un récit puissant, les pieds dans l'histoire, qui analyse tous les aspects des trafics mafieux, dans leurs moindres détails, du béton à la confection textile, en passant par les déchets dangereux. L'un des chapitres est même une dénonciation faite de "je sais", accumulés, les uns à la suite des autres.

Je trouve que ce texte remet bien les choses en pe...more
Paola
Lo lessi due anni fa. Ripreso perché la lettura di Solo per giustizia di Raffaele Cantone mi ci ha riportato. Lo ricordavo vagamente, letto affrettatamente appena pubblicato sull'onda, dell'allora, scandalo delle mozzarelle di bufala della Campania, bufale brucanti erba avvelenata.
Mi ricordavo bene le prime due pagine che paiono essere la sceneggiatura di un film di Quentin Tarantino.
Non ci sono parole per esprimere i sentimenti e le emozioni che Saviano con la sua documentatissima testimonianza...more
Frank
Laissez-faire capitalism where nothing is too big to fail, or even tear itself apart.
However, Saviano's descriptions suggest that the clans are also like states, albeit small and fluid.
They defend their borders and attempt to control everything within them, even while planning expansions and invasions of their own.

Sits nicely with a recent read: E.L. Doctorow's The Waterworks which illuminates life under New York's Tweed Ring.
The writing is more impressionistic and less engaging that a real fav...more
Chris
This book covers certain aspects of life in Southern Italy. It gives a quite different view of the picturesque landscape that the American and European tourist might see out of window of his or her train on the way to Paestum or Brindisi. Of course, these days you can read about Naples and its trash in the NYTimes. Certainly we don't want to condemn the whole program because of one little slip-up. This book makes you want to rent a car or hitchhike through Southern Italy and see all those sights...more
Robin
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
Paolo
Mi pento di non averlo letto prima. Serbavo dei pregiudizi nei confronti di Saviano ma dopo la lettura di questo volume gli sono molto grato per avermi aperto una finestra sul mondo. Le tematiche affrontate dall'autore sono molte per lo più la mano d'opera specializzata sfruttata dai clan e da alcune case di moda, il traffico di droga, lo smaltimento dei rifiuti e molto molto altro, etc.
Gomorra è una sorta di romanzo giornalistico dove il protagonista è lo stesso Roberto Saviano che si muove tr...more
Eric Blair
Muy bueno. Un paseo por la superficie y por ciertos mecanismos de un inframundo que nos está vetado a la mayoría: la mafia napolitana y su inmenso poder político, económico y social.

Roberto Saviano nos muestra el funcionamiento, motivaciones y brutalidad de un intrincado sistema que comprende desde jóvenes trabajadores de fábricas textiles clandestinas hasta altos dirigentes empresariales que mueven inmensos capitales. Si el poder de la camorra es tan enorme como el que sugiere este texto (y yo...more
Jillian
I wanted to love this book, and I'm a little sad that I didn't. But I found the translation a little awkward, and I suspect it's a lot smoother and more powerful in Italian.
That said, there is some mind-blowing information in here, as well as as some extremely beautiful and powerful passages. I'm definitely glad I read it, and I recommend it to anyone interested in Italy. (And others, for that matter, but especially people interested in Italy.)
Luis Fernando Franco
Se trata de una serie de relatos que tienen como hilo común los negocios de la Camorra, como lo llaman los políticos y policías; o "El Sistema" como se llaman a ellos mismos.

Hay tantos personajes en el libro que es difícil irles dando seguimiento, algunas familias que aparecían en los primeros capítulos sobre la "piratería" de la alta costura vuelven a aparecer al final, dentro de los negocios del cemento, por decir algo, pero en medio hubieron veinte historias más de otros protagonistas.

Hace re...more
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A disturbing under culture exposed 1 41 Jan 01, 2009 07:58PM  
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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
More about Roberto Saviano...
ZeroZeroZero Vieni via con me La bellezza e l'inferno: scritti 2004-2009 Super Santos Lo contrario de la muerte

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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.” 5 likes
“Saber, entender, se convierte en una necesidad. La única posible para considerarse aún hombres dignos de respirar.” 2 likes
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