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Il giorno della civetta

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,833 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Di questo romanzo breve sulla mafia, apparso per la prima volta nel 1961, ha scritto Leonardo Sciascia: "... ho impiegato addirittura un anno, da un'estate all'altra, per far più corto questo racconto. Ma il risultato cui questo mio lavoro di 'cavare' voleva giungere era rivolto più che a dare misura, essenzialità e ritmo, al racconto, a parare le eventuali e possibili int ...more
Paperback, Gli Adelphi #203, 137 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Adelphi (first published 1961)
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Jacob
'Do you believe in the mafia?'
'Well, er...'
'And you?'
'No, I don't.'
'Good man! We two, both Sicilians, don't believe in the mafia.'
(The Day of the Owl, 33-34)


We two, both Sicilians, prefer to deny reality.

Must...resist...joke...about...Republicans...

Violence! A man has been murdered, shot, in broad daylight in the town square of S. as he tried to board the bus. But who shot him--and why? The police, commanded by the newly-appointed Captain Bellodi, find no answers and all silence--the bus dr
...more
arcobaleno
Ma… voi ci credete alla mafia?
Sciascia ha una scrittura liscia e pulita, ma nello stesso tempo ricca ed elegante, una logica raffinata e non indifferenti capacità espressive che rendono subito la lettura piacevole e coinvolgente: in questo breve romanzo non si smentisce.
Scritto nell’estate del 1960, quando il Governo non solo si disinteressava del fenomeno della mafia, ma esplicitamente lo negava, è improntato come un ‘giallo’, di cui però conserva solo una superficiale etichetta. L’omicidio (d
...more
Noce
«Il popolo» sogghignò il vecchio «il popolo... il popolo cornuto era e cornuto resta: la differenza è che il fascismo appendeva una bandiera sola alle corna del popolo e la democrazia lascia che ognuno se l'appenda da sé, del colore che gli piace, alle proprie corna...»
Questo libro è un manifesto, un classico e un racconto.
E anche senza leggerlo, lo abbiamo già in testa, perché è arredato con l'Italia, quella in cui viviamo, che disprezziamo e che tanto alla fine amiamo.
Che cos'è la mafia?
Sc
...more
Arwen56
La scrittura è magnifica e questo mi ha fatto trarre un profondo sospiro di piacere dopo averne letto anche solo poche pagine iniziali. Finalmente, dopo alcuni ultimi, incauti e disastrosi acquisti “libreschi”, ho potuto di nuovo abbandonarmi al piacere di seguire un periodare degno di tale nome, al gusto di rigirarmi tra le labbra un aggettivo che riusciva a conferire al sostantivo cui si riferiva un significato più intenso e corposo, alla soddisfazione di seguire un solido filo logico. Incomme ...more
Jessica
New York Review Books covers: designed especially to console us poor schlumps who can't have Prada shoes? Maybe not, but they do help that bitter pill go down easier.

I feel like Italians are better known for fashion and food than for their fiction. I did enjoy this spare, oddly poetic and mostly-dialogue 1960s detective novel about mafia killings in Sicily, but I couldn't help daydreaming hungrily about clothes, art, and sex. I know actually nothing about Fascism or the Mafia, so a lot of this b
...more
Cphe
Loved the premise of this novel. A man is gunned down on the streets of a small town in Sicily and inexplicably all of the witnesses fall silent. It is up to the newly appointed Bellodi to delve into the murder but he finds himself up against the shadowy and sinister Mafia.

I found this to be a clunky read in parts but that may have been due to the translation. Being a shorter length novel there wasn't a lot of room for characterisation and I also had difficulty at times distinguishing which cha
...more
Frank
"Questo è il punto su cui bisognerebbe far leva. È inutile tentare di incastrare nel penale un uomo come costui: non ci saranno mai prove sufficienti, il silenzio degli onesti e dei disonesti lo proteggerà sempre. Ed è inutile, oltre che pericoloso, vagheggiare una sospensione di diritti costituzionali. Un nuovo Mori diventerebbe subito strumento politico-elettoralistico, braccio non del regime, ma di una porzione del regime. Qui bisognerebbe sorprendere la gente nel covo dell'inadempienza fisca ...more
Tyler Jones
The novels of Leonardo Sciascia are case studies of how humans cope within a corrupt society. The society, in his case, was Sicily; ostensibly run by a political and religious elite but in reality controlled by the oldest tradition of organized crime in the western world. Two groups of people exist: those who do wrong and pretend they do no wrong, and those who have been wronged and pretend they have not been wronged. For the average Sicilian turning a blind eye is not a character flaw, it is a ...more
Richard
A simple murder investigation becomes a fascinating, frustrating, and ultimately strangely moving glimpse of the hold the mafia had on Sicily in the early 1960s.
Sam Quixote
Sicily in the mid-20th century and an honest man is gunned down in the street in plain view of dozens of witnesses - but no one saw a thing. Such is the extent of the fear the mafia exerts over everyone - except to outsiders. Captain Bellodi is assigned this frustrating case and quickly realises that everyone covers for everyone else for fear of being next on the list of the Mafiosi. Until a lucky break will lead him to head of the crime family... but will he survive the consequences?

Leonardo Sc
...more
Olivia
This book was recommended by an Italian friend, in response to my requests for good books about Italy. I took it on a trip to the beach yesterday, and finished it really quickly (it's only 120 pages, with relatively big print). It is a good book, and the story is interesting, and I feel that it does a good job of setting a scene, and it gives you a good feel for the Sicily it is talking about and the time period in which it is set. The characters were not very interesting, but that is not really ...more
Rick
Forget The Godfather - this is the novel about the power of the Mafia in Sicily. On the surface this is a mystery novel, but on re-reading this novel goes to the heart of the corruption of Sicilian life and the politics of Italy. It is written with a sardonic lightness of touch that belies its seriousness of intent.

Great stuff and I'm so happy that it's been re-issued in the UK.
Hersilia Press
It is impossible to do justice to a book like this, which has become a classic and in the opinion of many (me included) should be compulsory reading at school. It is the first Italian fiction book to deal with the mafia phenomenon, which is nowadays commonly accepted as a reality of many societies (not only Italy) but when Sciascia was writing, it certainly wasn’t.

The book deals with the murder of an entrepreneur, Colasberna, at the hands of the mafia. Carabinieri Captain Bellodi, who is origin
...more
Joyce Lagow
The Day of the Owl[return]Leonardo Sciascia[return][return]A Sicilian, thinks Captain Bellodi, of the Carabinieri, doesn� t really relate that much to the national government; that� s just the outside entity that imposes taxes, police, military service. What counts--the only thing that counts--is the family, which defines a Sicilian in much the same way that a contract does between, say an Internet service provider and a client. Such a contract clearly states the rights and responsibilities of e ...more
Maria Grazia
Sono passati 52 anni, niente è cambiato, compreso il fatto che qualcuno, agli alti livelli della politica, cerchi di dire che la mafia non esiste.
Ci sono stati morti, umili ed eccelletnti, c'è stata una commissione parlamentare, ci sono condanne definitive che non hanno tolto i politici condannati dal loro posto, ma l'intreccio tra affari e mafia si è sempre più rinsaldato, e i corretti metodi di indagine sono ancora quelli suggeriti da Sciascia, e ancora non messi in opera, sebbene ce ne si rie
...more
Fabio
Un grande Sciascia, oserei dire "come al solito".
Il suo stile mozzafiato senza (o con scarse) pause ci fionda in una storia di ordinaria mafia, Sicilia e della lotta di stiletto e finezze tra un "uomo" vero, rispettato persino dal capo mafioso che cerca di incastrare, e quest'ultimo, anzi contro l'intero "sistema" di omertà e connivenze.
Il breve monologo sui 5 tipi di uomini (uomini, mezzi uomini, ominicchi, ruffiani e quaquaraqua; cosi' come ripreso nel celebre film con Franco Nero https://ww
...more
Guenda
Un giallo che non è un giallo. Sciascia ha questo modo spiazzante di raccontare: ti fa credere che si voglia risolvere un mistero e poi in realtà il romanzo parla di tutt’altro. Mi era già capitato leggendo “A ciascuno il suo” (che sinceramente mi era piaciuto di più, molto di più).
Lo sfondo, sì, è quello di un omicidio. Un duplice omicidio, per l’esattezza; ma tutto ciò è solo un pretesto. È l’estate del 1960. Siamo in Sicilia. È un periodo in cui il governo non solo non fa niente per fermare
...more
Georgia Smith
A scattered and entirely unsatisfying book that, were it not centered in Italy, would barely capture any attention. Average characterization, a poor plot (it reads like a police report - no intrigue, no excitement, just a few jumps from one person to the next), vague dialogue. Unnecessary information introduced in the wrong places (like the last page!). Overly simplistic - it assumes the audience knows nothing, so it must explain everything. Essentially, you have no chance to wonder or hope or g ...more
Donato
Succinctly explains the Sicilian (and thus Italian) problem, in all its intricate and fascinating machinations. And that's exactly the problem: it explains it rather than shows it.*

Well, OK, it's not all telling and no showing (which is why I'm actually giving this 3.5 stars). Part of the theme is reflected in the style, with its semi-colons and colons: tricking you into thinking the story is being told straight when in fact it's anything but straight; almost baroque; contradictory; its snippets
...more
Renato Mite
Un imprenditore edile si rifiuta di fare affari secondo i dettami della mafia e viene assassinato in una pubblica piazza mentre sta per salire su un autobus. Nello stesso giorno, un agricoltore esce di casa e scompare.
Nessuno nella piazza, i passeggeri, l'autista e il controllore dell'autobus, nessuno ha visto niente. Quell'agricoltore abita sulla via da cui è fuggito l'assassino, e forse l'ha visto in faccia. Queste sono le premesse con le quali il capitano Bellodi comincia le sue indagini. Fra
...more
Nining
Interesting way of telling in a simple way an example of how mafia operates. The way the book failed to mentioned full names, cities and even regions, make it more interesting as if the reader is in the midst of the mafia environment. Will reccomend it to someone who wants to know how mafia was in early 60s, when people were stil denying its existence...
Tabasco
Probably the most powerful and realistic piece of fiction about the problem of the Sicilian Mafia ever written. This is a beautifully written and very deep "kind of" crime story that looks at the root of the issue, and not just at the tip of the iceberg.

The owl, such an elusive creature, is not supposed to be seen during the day, after all.
Charlie
Sciascia, a Sicilian, wrote this book about the Sicilian mafia at a time when the mafia wasn't spoken of openly. It's a noir, but instead of being psychological, it's about institutions -- state, law, religion, and family in Sicily.
Adam
Sciascia's first crime novel is a portrait of the deeply-rooted corruption in post-war Sicily, of the mafia's stranglehold on business and politics. A fast-paced, minimalist, highly-polished novel with superb dialogue.
khavez
Una historia interesante que describe la mafia Siciliana, lectura interesante donde se refleja lo que en la década de los setentas parecía algo oculto por todos los grupo de poder en Italia. Es interesante ver como 50 años después parece ser lo mismo. La primera mitad del libro es un tanto recursiva y parece no llevar a ningún lado, salvo a la descripción de escenario y costumbres italianas. Sin embargo la segunda mitad parece tener mas sustancia y una trama mucho mas fluida y atractiva. Lo cual ...more
Pamela
The Day of the Owl is a short novel about the effect of the mafia on an unnamed Sicilian town. Captain Bellodi attempts to investigate a murder which he believes is connected to the mafia, but encounters the obstructive attitudes of a society that does not even admit the mafia exists.

This was first published in 1961, when there was still reluctance to acknowledge the impact of the mafia. It is a brave and defiant refusal to obscure or ignore the truth, and provides a fascinating portrayal of how
...more
James
I'm glad I read this after Mafia and Mafiosi - I think so doing made me appreciate both books more. This first novel by the Sicilian writer and politician Leonardo Sciascia is an unusual policier in that the murder investigation that comprises the 'plot' is a bit of a McGuffin. The real subject of The Day of the Owl is the elephant in the room that in the novel, as in the real mid-20th-century Sicily it portrays, must not be discussed, though, apparently, the 1961 publication of this book promp ...more
Howard
Beautifully crafted, economically written crime novella from Sciascia from 1961. Constructed from a handful of scenes, sometimes between speakers whose identity is not clear, following in the aftermath of a murder. It's not a thriller or a whodunnit just a slice of life and a meditation on the realities of life under mafia rule delivered incisively, wittily and with moments of quiet beauty and nostalgia. Sciascia neither glorifies nor rages against the mafia but simply tells the stories he knows ...more
Dale
This book is suffused with sadness and frustration at the complicity of politicians with the mafia. The hero of the story, captain Bellodi, is investigating the murder of a local construction contractor, and soon learns that the contractor is the only one in town who has refused to play along with the mafia; he is a man of principle who wants to do an honest job, and refuses to do the shoddy work required on mafia-obtained contracts. He is shot down early on a Saturday morning, and it doesn't ta ...more
Eustachio
È un libro importante su un tema importante il cui fine evidente è quello di parlare della mafia. Per istruire, non dilettare.
Nell'avvertenza Sciascia spiega che ha scritto Il giorno della civetta come esempio della sua definizione di mafia, «ma forse è anche un buon racconto». Non direi poi così buono.
La storia ruota attorno alle indagini sull'uccisione di un imprenditore. Si prosegue faticando insieme al capitano Bellodi: faticando perché nessuno vuole parlare, ma anche per via del narratore o
...more
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NYRB Classics: The Day of the Owl, by Leonardo Sciascia 1 5 Oct 22, 2013 11:50AM  
  • That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana
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  • La ragazza di Bube
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44709
Leonardo Sciascia wrote of his unique Sicilian experience, linking families with political parties, the treachery of alliances and allegiances and the calling of favours that resort in outcomes that are not for the benefit of society, but of those individuals who are in favour.
Sciascia perhaps, in the end, wanted to prove that the corruption that was and is endemic in Italian society helps only t
...more
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