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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 along the Neapolitan coast, and is the deciding factor in why Campania, for instance, has the highest murder rate in all of Europe and whycancer levels there have skyrocketed in recent years.

Saviano tells of huge cargoes of Chinese goods that are shipped to Naples and then quickly distributed unchecked across Europe. He investigates the Camorra's control of thousands of Chinese factories contracted to manufacture fashion goods, legally and illegally, for distribution around the world, and relates the chilling details of how the abusive handling of toxic waste is causing devastating pollution not only for Naples but also China and Somalia. In pursuit of his subject, Saviano worked as an assistant at a Chinese textile manufacturer, a waiter at a Camorra wedding, and on a construction site. A native of the region, he recalls seeing his first murder at the age of fourteen, and how his own father, a doctor, suffered a brutal beating for trying to aid an eighteen-year-old victim who had been left for dead in the street.

Gomorrah is a bold and important work of investigative writing that holds global significance, one heroic young man's impassioned story of a place under the rule of a murderous organization.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 2006

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About the author

Roberto Saviano

77 books1,077 followers
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 particulars of the Camorra business, Saviano has been threatened by several Neapolitan “godfathers”. The Italian Minister of the Interior has granted him a permanent police escort. Because of his courageous stance, he is considered a "national hero" by author-philosopher Umberto Eco.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,195 reviews
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,479 followers
October 8, 2019
Roberto Saviano must have some massive cojones. To bring out this book with exposes the Camorra - long hidden in the shadows of the crumbling high-rises of the poor neighbourhoods north of Naples - and their hydra-like influence on the Italian (and global) economy. Saviano grew up here and is able to talk to the dealers, the corner boys, the counterfeiters, the hitmen, etc and give us a closeup, unfiltered view of the heart of this organisation. This candid book earned him the glory of an extraordinary movie (2008) and a great TV series (2014 - 2 seasons) both also named Gomorra. but also two or three 24h/day bodyguards assigned by the Italian government because the Camorra (perhaps other mafia families too?) have a $5M bounty out on his head (that number may have changed but that is the approximate number from 2 or 3 years ago.) I would recommend this book followed by the movie (which also follows the book and adds a few other asides) and the TV show (somewhat more dramatised but still captivating and used on true stories that Saviano picked up.) It is an eye-opener as well as a page-turner. Once you finish, definitely read Extra Pure, his analysis of the cocaine industry.
Still a classic!
June 18, 2018
“Καταραμένοι μπάσταρδοι, είμαι ακόμα ζωντανός!....(;)"

Με αυτή την ζωντανή κραυγή θανάτου κλείνει ο Σαβιάνο το βιβλίο. Ένα ευαγγέλιο κόλασης που έγραψε ως καταγγελία, μαρτυρία, αποκάλυψη, βίαιη λιτανεία διαφθοράς και νεκρικής σήψης, που συνεπάγεται απελπισία και οργή.

Τα « Γόμορρα» του κόσμου μας εξετάζει ο συγγραφέας, παρατηρεί και μας αποκαλύπτει, με έναν συγκλονιστικό τρόπο, σε μια αφηγηματική κλίμακα εγκληματικά σκληρή, σχεδόν πέρα απο την κατανόηση του απλού αναγνώστη.
Σχεδόν πέρα απο τα ανθρώπινα όρια αντίδρασης, απολύτως εφιαλτικά και αποτρόπαια, διότι είναι αληθινά.
Ξεκινάει αργά και συνεχίζει με υπομονή, επιμονή, πάθος, μανία, οργή και θάρρος να αδειάζει πάνω στον ανυποψίαστο αναγνώστη την παθιασμένη και συγκρουόμενη δραστηριότητα της ναπολιτάνικης μαφίας Καμόρρα.
Προέλευση, ιστορία και αιματηρή άνοδο στην εξουσία διαφόρων μαφιόζικων φυλώ�� με απόλυτη επιρροή παντού και πανίσχυρη δύναμη για τα πάντα, όχι μόνο στην Ιταλία μα σε ολόκληρο τον πλανήτη.

Τα «Γόμορρα» είναι το όπλο που διάλεξε για να απειλήσει το «θάνατο», το μη αναστρέψιμο, το αιώνιο και αδίστακτο «Σύστημα».
Μετά τη δημοσίευση της απειλητικής του προκύρηξης εξαναγκάζεται να κρυφτεί και να ζει προστατευμένος υπο στρατιωτική κάλυψη.
Ο Σαβιάνο προσπαθεί να κατανοήσει διαδικασίες σκέψης πριν τις ενέργειες, συμπεριφορές και επιχειρηματικές πρακτικές των νόμιμων δολοφόνων της μαφίας.
Μας δείχνει μια διαδεδομένη και αδίστακτη οργάνωση ανώτερη και αλληλοεξαρτώμενη της σικελικής μαφίας, μια συνομοσπονδία καρτέλ, μια πανανθρώπινη φατρία που ελέγχει όλες τις πτυχές του παγκόσμιου εμπορίου.

Όπλα, ναρκωτικά, λαθρεμπόριο, βιομηχανία μόδας, καταναγκαστική πορνεία, παιδεραστία, ηλεκτρονικά αγαθά, είδη καθημερινής κατανάλωσης, ακόμα και μονοπώλιο στη διάθεση και διαχείριση απορριμμάτων - βιολογικά, τοξικά, απόβλητα, πυρηνικά - κάθε είδους.

Το εμπόριο του πλανήτη περνάει απο τη Νάπολη και τελειώνει επιστρέφοντας στα προάστεια της ως απόβλητο, που πρέπει να διατεθεί παράνομα στις γύρω περιοχές.

Εξαιρετικά καλό βιβλίο, δύσκολο όμως να διαβαστεί ως το τέλος και να δώσει συμπεράσματα.
Μπορώ επιγραμματικά να αναφέρω τις τρομακτικές σκέψεις που έκανα γυρίζοντας κάθε σελίδα.

Πως να ζει κανείς σε μια κοινωνία που είναι τόσο διεφθαρμένη;
Το οργανωμένο έγκλημα έχει εισβάλει παντού, έχει παρέμβει σε όλα τα επίπεδα της καθημερινής ζωής και συνεχίζει να ανθίζει με τις ευλογίες και την αγαστή συνεργασία πολιτικών, δικαστών, φορέων, θεσμών, δημοσιογράφων, εμπόρων, αστυνομικών, απλών πολιτών, φτωχών, απελπισμένων, νέων, ηλικιωμένων, γενικά, ανθρώπων ανεξαιρέτως.
Όλοι, οι πάντες και τα πάντα που έχουν ήδη αγοραστεί και γεμίζουν τις τσέπες τους με κέρδη, με χρήμα και αδιαφορία, με απληστία και συναίνεση, χωρίς ίχνος δισταγμού, γνωρίζοντας πως η αρρώστεια που διαδίδουν σαπίζει με γοργούς ρυθμούς όλη την υδρόγειο.
Η Καμόρρα και τα πλοκάμια της πολλαπλασιάζει καταστροφικά την εξουσία της και δεν χορταίνει ποτέ.

Κέρδος απο ηρωίνη, κοκαίνη και χιλιάδες ουσίες.
Κέρδος απο υλικά οικοδόμων και περιβαλλοντικά απόβλητα.
Μόλυνση, τοξικά υπολείμματα απο κατασκευές, αμίαντος, αρσενικό και δηλητηριώδεις χημικές ουσίες και ενώσεις.

Περισσότερο κέρδος. Τοξικά απόβλητα ευρωπαϊκών πόλεων φορτώνονται με συμφέρουσες τιμές σε σάπια πλοία που βυθίζονται στον ωκεανό. Πλωτά θαλασσινά σκουπίδια θανάτου, μένουν για πάντα στο βυθό και επιπλέον κέρδος έρχεται απο την ασφάλιση τους.

Δεν αρκεί. Περισσότερο κέρδος χρειάζεται. Δεν ειναι ικανοποιημένοι με την καταστροφή του περιβάλλοντος, τη διαφθορά, τις τοξίνες και τα ναρκωτικά. Αυτοί οι θάνατοι δεν αποφέρουν πολλά.

Το Καλάσνικοφ, το πιο επιτυχημένο όπλο όλων των εποχών. Εύκολο στη χρήση, ανθεκτικό, φθηνό. Ένα πεντάχρονο παιδάκι μπορεί και το έχει ήδη χρησιμοποιήσει - για να σκοτώσει ..!
Παραποιούν και εκμεταλλεύονται πρώην σοβιετικά αποθεματικά σε όπλα, τα πουλάνε σε έθνη που πολεμούν με προθυμία και το κέρδος αυξάνεται.

Τα πυρηνικά απόβλητα θανατηφόρα για πολλές ανθρώπινες γενιές αν δεν διαχειρίζονται σωστά.
Κι όμως, αυτοί οι κυρίαρχοι της παγκόσμιας καταστροφής κινούνται και στη σφαίρα πώλησης για αυτά τα «απόβλητα» σε χώρες που μπορούν να βελτιώσουν αυτά τα υλικά σε πυραυλικά όπλα.

Δεν θα αναφερθώ σε άλλα, ήδη είπα πάρα πολλά.

Γεμάτο διορατικές παρατηρήσεις και συγκλονιστικές περιγραφές δολοφονιών, μάχες σε όλη την επικράτεια, πολέμους μεταξύ φατριών, θλιβερά και αποτρόπαια βασανιστήρια και εκτελέσεις σε όποιον τολμήσει να αντισταθεί στο Σύστημα. Απελπισμένος τρόμος.

Παράλληλα είναι μια συνειδητοποίηση ηθικής,όχι μόνο για τη μαφία, για ολόκληρο τον κόσμο, αυτή τη μεγάλη επιχείρηση απο αδίστακτα όντα που έφθασε να αυτοκαταστρέφεται και να ακυρώνει κάθε μακροπρόθεσμη προοπτική ή ελπίδα.

Καλή ανάγνωση.
Πολλούς ασπασμούς.
Profile Image for Warwick.
812 reviews14.5k followers
April 6, 2018
There's an extraordinary scene near the start of Gomorrah that I don't think I'll be able to forget. Roberto Saviano, investigating the numerous clothing sweatshops in the countryside around Naples, happens to be with one of the master tailors when he turns on the television in his run-down shack one evening. It's Oscars night, and Angelina Jolie is on the red carpet – wearing one of his handmade outfits.

The man breaks down in tears. He had no idea – they just told him that one was ‘being sent to America’. He's one of the greatest tailors in Italy and he's just dressed one of the most beautiful women in the world – but he can't tell anyone. His job doesn't officially exist. He works twelve-hour shifts. He's paid six hundred euros a month.

How? Why? Because this is how even top fashion houses get stuff made – they (or possibly, for better deniability, some subsidiary entity) auction out the tailoring to groups of sweatshops in the South, who fall over themselves with promises to produce the work faster and cheaper than their rivals. Everyone who wants to take part is given the material, and whoever produces the right quality work first gets paid. Everyone else has to sell off their products however they can – in Asia, or Eastern Europe, or, as a last resort, in market stalls. That brand-name handbag being sold by a Nigerian outside the railway station may not be a forgery at all, but rather, as Saviano puts it, ‘a sort of true fake’ that really lacks nothing but the company's imprimatur.

It's just another part of The System – meaning the dense web of Camorra-controlled activities whose agents and beneficiaries extend not just up into northern Italy, but across Europe and, in fact, around the world.

The Camorra are much more numerous than Cosa Nostra or the 'Ndrangheta, and much more deadly – they've been responsible for more deaths than the Sicilian Mafia, Basque separatists or the IRA. (Campania has one of the highest murder rates in Europe.) That's nasty enough, but what's really chilling is how pervasive their control is, and quite how much economic power, according to Saviano, they wield.

In fact they're presented here as not so much a crime syndicate as a purified distillation of naked capitalism. It's not just drugs, it's also a vast global supply chain, a portfolio of legitimate and semi-legitimate businesses which all support and feed off each other, so that trying to find some area or segment that has not been tainted starts to feel hopelessly naïve.

Drugs, though, are important, and Saviano is impatient with worthy pontifications about the sociology of the ghetto. As he points out, ‘An area where dozens of clans are operating, with profit levels comparable only to a maneuver in high finance—just one family’s activity invoices 300 million euros annually—cannot be a ghetto.’ The numbers are sobering:

A kilo of cocaine costs the producer 1,000 euros, but by the time it reaches the wholesaler, it’s already worth 30,000. After the first cut 30 kilos becomes 150: a market value of approximately 15 million euros. With a larger cut, 30 kilos can be stretched to 200.

But you expect drugs. What I didn't expect was to hear about the Camorra controlling all the merchandise flowing in and out of Naples port; or how they have taken over Italy's waste disposal industry. This last is particularly upsetting: Saviano details how industrial and chemical waste is mixed with gravel or mislabeled so that it can be more easily transported, and then dumped in vast landfills. One abandoned quarry near Naples was found to have 58,000 truck loads of illicit waste in it. Child labourers are used to unload the barrels, which are acutely toxic. The area has inflated rates of cancers – but it isn't just a problem of the south. The activity is directly linked to big Italian companies in the Veneto or the capital, and in fact Saviano says that without this under-the-counter service from the Camorra, Italy would never have met the economic conditions for entering the EU.

Holding it all together are the capos and bosses who hide away in armoured mega-villas, conferring with accountants and issuing instructions to prosecute the latest inter-clan killing spree. The most important have jaunty Neapolitan nicknames – 'a scigna (the monkey), 'o scellone (the angel), 'o 'ntufato (the angry one). Local politicians are generally helpful to the clans, when they aren't outright members. The Camorra is often an area's main economy; as Saviano puts it, ‘refusing a relationship with them would be like the deputy mayor of Turin refusing to meet with the top management of Fiat.’

Their opponents are beheaded by circular saw, beaten to death in front of their families, or thrown into wells along with a couple of hand-grenades to take care of murder and burial all in one. In 2001, a guy called Antonio Magliulo made a pass at a boss's cousin:

They took him to the beach, tied him to a chair facing the sea, and began to stuff his mouth and nose with sand. Magliulo tried to breathe, swallowing and spitting sand, blowing it out his nose, vomiting, chewing, and twisting his neck. His saliva, mixing with the sand, formed a kind of primitive cement, a gluey substance that slowly suffocated him.

It is refreshingly jarring to read a book which links this violence with the run-down kids and sweatshop workers who drive it all – that does not, in other words, glorify it. We are a long way from cool Ray Liotta voiceovers and Tony Bennett soundtracks. (Far from Hollywood looking to the Mafia for inspiration, it's actually the other way round – Camorra bosses model their mansions on Al Pacino's house in Scarface, kids angle their guns sideways like Tarantino stars, and one female capo has a retinue of women bodyguards dressed in fluorescent yellow like Uma Thurman out of Kill Bill.)

The book generates a lot of disgust and outrage, and I wish there were a few more suggestions for what we could productively do with these feelings. Perhaps Saviano doesn't know any ways left to be an ethical consumer; certainly the tone often borders on the pessimistic. But it's saved from defeatism by his trust in the power of language.

In Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, Lila is constantly pushing Lenù, the respected writer, to finally write the devastating exposé of local Camorristi that she thinks will bring them down. Lenù can't quite do it, and the book she writes doesn't have the effect they were hoping. But Roberto Saviano really did lift the lid on a lot of things that Italians didn't know about or didn't talk about. The effects were dramatic, not least on his own life: he was put under police protection in 2006, and has lived outside Italy since 2008. But he made ignoring the issues infinitely more difficult. Words still have power, and someone using them like Saviano needs to be celebrated and protected.
Profile Image for La Petite Américaine.
207 reviews1,425 followers
November 12, 2009
**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 other groups such as the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, the Sicilian Cosa nostra, and the Pugliese Sacra Corona Unita, the main focus of this book is the Camorra, whose massive power in the drug trade, the fashion industry, arms deals, hotel construction abroad, cement-manufacturing, and illegal toxic waste-managing have turned Naples and the surrounding cities into the lawless trash-heaps they are today -- literally.

This is one of the most upsetting books I've read in a long time, even if the translation was poor, it still worked. The voice is that of a professional journalist, but someone who also grew up in the Camorra territories: he is an emotional reporter, a saddened philosopher, but he never overdoes it. He takes us through the internal family wars which leave hundreds of Camorristi dead, while a few outsiders fall victim as well: mothers of bosses, a 14 year-old girl caught in a crossfire of bullets, an ex-girlfriend of a low-ranking Camorrista who is tortured, shot, then burned in her car. He tells the story of a priest who dared speak out against the Camorra simply by publishing open letters to the church community -- these letters are arguably the most moving part of the book -- only to be shot dead in his church. He reveals the lives of the Camorra wives, who are just as involved in international business and trade as their husbands are -- and they are just as violent.

These are not the mafiosi that Americans have glorified in movies like The Godfather and The Sopranos, with pinstripes and stupid shoes restricted to a few Jersey-trash families. Today's Camorristi dress like they walked off the set of The Matrix, they are more brutal than ever, they are forever expanding, and they happily recruit young boys in the surrounding regions of Naples -- a place so goddamn shitty that the two times I drove through it I thought I would be shot ... it makes Oakland or Pakistan look like Disneyland -- because these kids have no hope. There is no work, there is no money, there is no way out, no life other than this. Studying and moving north seems pointless to them ... the only people with power and respect are the mafiosi. Death at the hands of a rival family or boss is glory for them.

Now here's the fun part. After ten years of experience in Italy and having lived in Verona for the last 3 years, I have become a firm believer in the Lega Nord party, the political group that wants to control immigration and eventually cut the country in half, making Italy two separate countries. And they should. Southerners are the most wonderful people in the country, but if they don't join the military or escape to the north, they generally turn to organized crime. Not all, but most. The corruption in the south leads all the money in the north, where everyone works, to just get wasted paying the taxes that the southerners either evade or can't pay.

Well, I've been fucking stupid and naive. After reading this book, I now know that, heh, the vast majority of the toxic trash dropped on Napoli has come from Veneto, my region. Whenever a mafioso is in trouble, he hides out in the north, usually in Veneto. Not only that, the biggest producers of Christmas cakes in Veneto and Lombardia? Camorra ties. The biggest milk producers in Italy? Camorra ties.

And it's not just organized crime, it's a national affliction. Cell phone companies here get together and fix prices every year. When there was talk of making pharmacies something anyone could open, EVERY PHARMACY CLOSED because all of the pharmacists went on strike. Same with the cabs, who didn't want more than one cab company operating.

I love it here, I honestly do, but I can't help but think ... THIS.FUCKING.COUNTRY. ARHGHG!

I wish everyone would get off America's back about how we need to pollute less and recycle more, that we need to have more equal opportunity and basically just be better all-around. Goddamn.

Read this book only if you want any sort of nice image you have of Italy destroyed. Excellent read, but thoroughly upsetting. Read at your own risk.

Hope I don't get whacked for having written this.
Profile Image for Nikki.
144 reviews
March 26, 2009
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 just a slog to read through lists of people or places I am completely unfamiliar with. I just wanted him to get to the point.

All of that said, I was sometimes moved and sometimes disturbed by this book. I was particularly disturbed by the last chapter, where he wrote about the link between organized crime and waste management, and how garbage, including toxic waste and human remains, is being "disposed of" by putting it in abandonned mines and underground storage tanks, in composting facilities, in fertilizer, and in the ocean. This has worldwide implications, and my mind is kind of reeling from it.

I also enjoyed reading of the author's struggles with having grown up where organized crime is de regueur, and trying to find his way in life. One passage I particularly liked was this:

"Being born in certain places means you're like a hunting dog, born with the smell of the hare already in your nose. You chase after the hare even against your own will, even if, once you catch it, you snap your jaws and let it go."

I didn't grow up in the kind of place Saviano did, but I did have a "wrong side of the tracks" kind of upbringing, and after reading that passage, I had to wonder whether the smell of the hare is in my nose, and how it may be manifesting.

Overall, I think this was worth reading, but I was left wishing my Italian was good enough to have read it without the translation.
Profile Image for Steven Godin.
2,320 reviews2,195 followers
August 16, 2019
I watched the movie long before reading this, and probably preferred it to the book. Gomorrah has no doubt enraged the gangsters, and following a series of highly credible death threats, since autumn 2006 Saviano has been given an armed escort at public expense. Public expense? I'm sure there quite a few Italian citizens who don't agree with this. Right from the off Roberto Saviano's Gomorrah is enough to communicate the raw force of his writing and a sense of why the book has been an astonishing success. Many Italians are reluctant readers, Saviano was a first-time author, still in his 20s, and Gomorrah is an angry, unsettling work of non-fiction leaving a nasty after taste. Gratifyingly, Saviano's life there after has boosted his book's sales even further and has failed to silence him. This is an important book, and you can feel and appreciate why Italy needed people like Saviano to speak out, but part of me wishes he'd just kept his mouth shut. As who knows how many others have been whacked as a result of this book. Compelling as the book may seem, I still think he didn't really hold the book together. The details of his own life are sparse, and his undercover investigations do not reach a climactic unveiling; nor are the facts he garners from judicial papers about the Camorra's role in narcotics, construction, waste management and murder particularly new. I'm not really a fan of true crime Literature, but do love reading about Italy.
3 stars is all I can give.
Profile Image for piperitapitta.
944 reviews326 followers
May 3, 2018

Al di là degli omicidi, delle connivenze, dello squallore umano e ambientale, quello che mi ha sconvolta è stata la descrizione degli affari e del riciclaggio delle merci che si svolgono nel porto di Napoli: crocevia della criminalità del mondo intero.

Approfitto del mio breve commento d'epoca per ricordare che oggi, 3 maggio, si celebra il World Press Freedom Day .

Ricordo, a memoria, perché sono sicuramente molti di più i giornalisti sacrificati per la libertà di stampa:

Daphne Caruana Galizia, blogger e giornalista di inchiesta con le sue indagini aveva affrontato per anni, illuminando i legami opachi tra la Politica e la Finanza nera che hanno fatto di Malta lo snodo cruciale del riciclaggio nel cuore dell'Unione Europea. La cassaforte discreta e a prova di scasso del denaro frutto della corruzione domestica e internazionale. L'hub dei trasferimenti di denaro da e per le principali piazze off-shore del mondo. La porta di accesso allo spazio comune di sceicchi, satrapi e oligarchi sufficientemente liquidi da comprare una seconda cittadinanza (quella europea, appunto): nel Golfo, nella vicina Asia, nella Russia di Vladimir Putin. (cit. La Repubblica), uccisa a Malta con un'autobomba il 16 ottobre 2017 (e invito tutti a leggere e a seguire il Daphne Project).

Ahmet e Mehmet Altan , detenuti da otto mesi insieme ad altri colleghi giornalisti nelle carceri turche senza accuse degne di tale nome (in questo senso la lettura di Ritratto dell'atto di accusa come pornografia giudiziaria è illuminante).

Federica Angeli (qui la sua pagina Facebook - dove oggi annuncia l'uscita in libreria del suo libro "A mano disarmata"), giornalista romana (di Ostia, per la precisione), sotto scorta dal 2013 per aver osato denunciare un membro della famiglia Spada, impegnata nella denuncia costante dello strapotere della mafia e della criminalità organizzata sul litorale romano nel X Municipio, quello dove anche io mi glorio di abitare da tredici anni.

Roberto Saviano, di cui ormai sappiamo tutto (ma ormai sembra essere passato di moda e infastidire i più: perché parla, molto, perché le sue idee non sempre sono condivise, perché il suo successo è diventato la sua prigione: ma il successo, si sa, si perdona a pochi, anche se in gabbia), sotto scorta dal 2006.

Profile Image for Emiliya Bozhilova.
1,200 reviews178 followers
July 1, 2022
Савиано не е изискан мислител. Той просто спасява света така, както може. За да мразиш качествено, така че да причиниш болка, трябва да разбираш нещата. Савиано ги разбира.

Цимент в количества, достатъчни да покрият цялото Средиземноморие и всяка горичка и дюна в околовръст (без канализация и със сажди в смеската, да се пести от материала). Мъртви строителни работници, оставени да си умрат, докато всички са се скатали да не ги разпитват службите за строежа. Шивашки потилни цехове за нелегални и почти безплатни маркови дрехи с етикет Made in Italy (да, “Версаче” и “Гучи” също са в играта, правят търгове със собствениците). 15-годишни хлапета с калашници, убедени, че са хванали Господ за брадата и мизерното им животче най-сетне има смисъл. Предприемачи с мастит многопрофилен бизнес (от наркотици до моцарела), но принудени управляват от нелегални квартири и да не мърдат без цяла рота охранители. Кръстят се и предано целуват икони на Богородица, да ги пази в бизнесначинанията им, със сълзи на очи освещават параклиси и гордо кръщават бебета. Квартални лаборатории с безплатни дози за пазарно проучване дали новата смеска от дрога се е получила добре и ще се окаже хит - а желаещи никога не липсват. Мърморещи и изнервени съпруги на затворници от клана, търпеливо чакащи месечната си издръжка от фамилията по възрастния куриер, който си довнажда към пенсията с тази дребна услуга. Токсични земеделски земи. И най-вече - широко затворени очи, избирателна амнезия, селективен слух и зрение за всички, гравитиращи около тази вселена. Мълчание, примирение, даже одобрение в стил - “те нашите мафиоти са си най-добрите, другите и на малкия им пръст не могат да им стъпят!”. Как да не се гордее човек!

Добре дошли в 2006 г., когато е издадена книгата, в прелестната Кампания и достолепния Неапол. Където, между впрочем, към 60% от трафика на докараните морски контейнери се губи по трасето и се разтваря като дим. В страната на реда и закона, където никаква държава, никакви болни либерали, никакви вярващи пренавити моралисти не могат да сложат прът в колелата. В страната на най-изчистения от финтифлюшки предприемачески капитализъм, направо в подраздел “дарвинизъм” - този на Камората. Коза Ностра и Ндрагета да гледат и да бледнеят от завист.

Никаква Антимафия, никакво разпускане на 70 общински съвета не може да спре Камората. (У нас думата “разпускане” не са я чували). Там са парите, а където са парите, е истината, а истината не се оспорва и се доказва само с калашник или изгаряне на живо в личния автомобил. Даже традиционно обичаните католически свещеници като дон Пепино Диана не са неприкосновени - ако много вземат да се вживяват, да мътят главите на паството, пет изстрела от упор преди месата решават въпроса. И после заглавията го представят като развратник нещо, и изреждат с патос последните любовни завоевания на двама известни босове - ами че хората искат да четат за знаменитостите, не ли?

Роберто Савиано представя поглед отвътре, погледа на момчето от квартала. Преди да му сложат охрана и да спре да излиза от къщи. (Да има сложен под охрана роден журналист? Да си траят, така се живее дълго, къде ще тръгнат прокуратура и МВР да се занимават с глупости.)

Да звучи познато? Не, не за Роберто, а за неговите “герои”? Които са и наши национални герои и днес, кротко си карат яхти и скъпи коли, и с умиление си припомнят първия милион със СИК, ВИС(1 и 2), ТИМ (за който и днес никой от службите няма да си признае, защото счита битката за отдавна изгубена), или оная история с “масовата” приватизация, проронват сълза за убит готин тип от славните мъжки времена, а сега трябва да придремват над някакви скучни холдинги с дълги имена и да не си знаят милионите, не ли? Какви скучни времена дойдоха…

Трябват повече такива като Роберто, а не като “неговите” босове. Но последните винаги се вреждат на копанката. Някои дори четат Сун Дзъ и Юнг. И после ни учат на бизнес похвати и бизнес етика. Всъщност вече са ни ги наложили. На политика. И на морал. На литературен и изящен български език. Че и освещават по някой параклис, не ли? А инспектор Катани накрая го убиват…

▶️ Цитат:

🎚”Роден съм в земите на Камората, на мястото с най-много убити в Европа, на територията, където жестокостта е неразделна част от бизнеса, където нищо няма стойност, ако не произвежда власт. […] В земята на Камората битката с клановете не е класова борба, утвърждаване на права или връщане на принадлежност. Не е осъзнаване на собствената чест, опазване на собствената гордост. Тя е нещо по-съществено, зверски плътско. В земята на Камората да познаваш механизмите за утвърждаване на клановете, способите им за извличане на печалба […] означава да разбираш как функционира твоят свят във всяко едно измерение, а не само в географския периметър
[…]. Да се изправиш срещу клановете се превръща във война за оцеляване […]. Единствената възможна, за да се чувстваш все още човек, достоен да диша.”
Profile Image for Zaphirenia.
278 reviews189 followers
November 24, 2018
Βουτιά στην καρδιά της οικονομικής ηγεμονίας της ναπολιτάνικης μαφίας, επαφή με την πιο σκοτεινή πλευρά της ανθρώπινης οικονομικής δραστηριότητας. Δεν υπάρχουν και πολλά να πεις για αυτό το βιβλίο, η μοίρα του συγγραφέα του μιλάει από μόνη της.
Profile Image for Francesca Lenti.
29 reviews5 followers
December 28, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Saša.
88 reviews40 followers
February 6, 2017
Chi vive al nord Italia può vedere la mafia come qualcosa di astratto, a metà strada tra la realtà e la finzione, più legata ad alcuni film come "Il padrino" che a fatti concreti e tangibili. Chi vive al sud invece conosce una verità ben diversa, sa che la mafia è un cancro nero, in apparenza inguaribile, che fagocita cose e persone. La mafia è il cuore maligno dell'Italia; un'organizzazione così forte che si fatica ad immaginarla. Il saggio di Saviano è un meritevole ritratto di questa organizzazione, nelle sue infinite ramificazioni e atrocità. Potere e denaro da una parte, dall'altra morte e dolore senza fondo.

''Tutto quello che esiste passa di qui. Qui dal porto di Napoli. Non v’è manufatto, stoffa, pezzo di plastica, giocattolo, martello, scarpa, cacciavite, bullone, videogioco, giacca, pantalone, trapano, orologio che non passi per il porto. Il porto di Napoli è una ferita. Larga. Punto finale dei viaggi interminabili delle merci. Le navi arrivano, si immettono nel golfo avvicinandosi alla darsena come cuccioli a mammelle, solo che loro non devono succhiare, ma al contrario essere munte. Il porto di Napoli è il buco nel mappamondo da dove esce quello che si produce in Cina, Estremo Oriente come ancora i cronisti si divertono a definirlo.''

Profile Image for Pat.
84 reviews9 followers
August 24, 2009
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 quoted. A documentary whodunnit, a novel about life and death, methods of killing portrayed in horrible details, a disgusting and fascinating book. The best chapter "Don Peppino Diana" about a priest who resists traditions, breaks the wall of silence and calls fellow priests to not baptize newborn family members of the godfathers, who names the system what it is: evil. What is power, what is the meaning of life? The book never mentions the final questions explicitly but it's hard to find literature where they are more present than in this one. I go to shops with different eyes now. Not for the faint of heart.
Profile Image for Jonfaith.
1,836 reviews1,342 followers
August 4, 2014
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 Naples area of Italy. This is a deeply emotional response to a Foucauldian nightmare, one where modern capitalism has disrupted classic Mafioso structures and replaced them with something more pervasive and insidious. The book opens with how the fashion and garment industries occupy the area around Naples and the fierce and often lethal competition which exists within such. Many of these operations expand upon a certain level of growth to include drug trafficking. The modern business notion of focus groups becomes warped to a situation where nearly free heroin is given to the destitute to see if it is safe. Credit and logistics allow the clans influence in global flashpoints and thus arms begin the circuitous travels.

The book concludes exploring the criminal involvement in construction and waste disposal. The details are harrowing. Saviano lists the misdeeds impassively, periodically noting "I know and I can prove it". This verification strikes me as an even more bleak outlook.
Profile Image for Azumi.
236 reviews166 followers
January 18, 2018
Un recorrido por el mundo de la Camorra napolitana contado en clave de reportaje periodístico que a veces puede llegar a abrumar con tantos nombres, apodos, barrios, pueblos, etc… pero que también llega a espeluznar por lo que cuenta sobre la industria textil, el tráfico de drogas, la gestión de residuos o la guerra entre los clanes. Un mundo en el que la vida no vale nada….

Ha sido muy valiente el autor al atreverse a escribir este retrato tan detallado y documentado sobre la organización de la Camorra, sus negocios, las rivalidades entre clanes y los continuos asesinatos cometidos sin ninguna impunidad. Una obra que le va a suponer verse amenazado de por vida, porque aunque pase el tiempo esta gente no olvida.

Me esperaba más una novela que ensayo pero lo he encontrado interesante, a pesar de que a veces con tanto aluvión de datos se puede hacer un poco pesado.
Profile Image for Έλσα.
479 reviews94 followers
September 8, 2018
Ένα βιβλίο που για εμένα πρέπει να διαβαστεί! Είναι συνδυασμός ρεπορτάζ και λογοτεχνικής αφήγησης. Ο Σαβιάνο περιγράφει τη δράση της Καμόρρα που ανήκει στην εποχή της παγκοσμιοποίησης. Γεγονότα που εν μέρει είναι γνωστά αλλά οι λεπτομέρεις σε κάνουν να ανατριχιά��ε��ς. Το τελευταίο κεφάλαιο ειλικρινά είναι σοκαριστικό! Διαβάζοντάς αντιλαμβάνεσαι ότι το βιβλίο είναι τρομακτικά επίκαιρο.
Profile Image for Sean Owen.
438 reviews23 followers
August 9, 2015
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 immediately by paragraphs that are nothing more than lists of names and places American readers are unlikely to be familiar with. I'm betting that a lot of the difficulties here are the result of a poor translation. It's unfortunate and a reworking would be a welcome sight for this interesting subject.
Profile Image for Arun Divakar.
796 reviews375 followers
September 17, 2018
Approximately 18 years ago and in a second hand bookshop at Coimbatore, I first chanced across Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. All that I knew about the book then was that it had something to do with the criminal underworld and its people. When I started reading it the first time, it all felt like one big let-down for me since there was not enough action in the first few chapters and pages and there were long, long deviations into stories of unimportant characters. I gave up ! A couple of years later I began re-reading the story and got totally enamoured with the character of Michael Corleone and came to a conclusion that this was how an underworld don should ideally be. Calm and rational on the one hand and yet deadly on the other and if I were to borrow Puzo’s own usage, Michael Corleone held the power of imperium over his fellow human beings.

Why I went into this long rant was to tell myself as to how mistaken I was in my understanding of the Mafia and how effective Mario Puzo was in concocting a fictional American Mafia story. The stories of the Italian cartels that Roberto Saviano talks about in his book is an antithesis to how much popular fiction has romanticized the criminal underworld. What Saviano talks about is equating the Italian Mafia to an octopus whose many tentacles wrap around and suffocate every aspect of life on the land. You can either be with the octopus or against it for there is no middle ground when it comes to the cartels. Gomorrah is a brutal account of a brutal business populated by unbelievably ruthless characters who are all real !

In the lands of the Camorrah, the organized crime network there are no innocents. Every gender, age group and type of person has a role to play when it comes to the Camorrah. For the boys, the life of a Mafiosi is a life of pride and power and for the girls it is about falling in love with a guy from the clans to ensure financial stability for life. The men and women of the cartels are locked in a perpetual struggle to find their way to the top of the pyramid while the old and the infirm sometimes become the messengers for the clans. Saviano makes it very clear right from the start of his book that the power of these networks stems more from the economic discipline than from the military might. The Camorrah has their fingers in all the tasty pies : shipping, retail, apparels, construction, waste disposal, politics, immigration and to something even as domestic as milk distribution. In short not a leaf trembles in the wind without the approval of these networks. Saviano does quote some annual turnover figures of the top chieftains in the business and some of these numbers (which is just from one arm of their business) would be worth the GDP of a few small nations combined together. This might and money comes at a heavy price though : a life of total isolation. A powerful mafia chief always has to stay one step ahead of the law and order and several steps ahead of the competition. One wrong move is equivalent to a life time in prison or an entire shower of bullets and hence outthinking one’s rivals is the order of any given day.

A state within a state is a clichéd usage and yet I cannot think of any better way to define the Camorrah mafia. What else can one call an organization who has full coffers and who runs like a well-oiled machine ? An organization whose military might once mobilized can lay waste entire swathes of territory, what do you call them ? The Mafia seems to be a way of life to this land and the choices it leaves the people with are very limited for a peaceful life. The price that Roberto Saviano paid for writing this book was also very high for he still lives under armed police protection. A price he chose to pay for breaking the sacred rule of omerta.

This is a disturbing albeit incredibly powerful book. Highly recommended !
Profile Image for Christine.
6,550 reviews473 followers
July 7, 2010
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 about the story. The first 30 pages are the hardest as you are getting use to style, but then, hold on.

Saviano is less concerned with the life of the mob bosses (though he does look at that) than with the effect the mob (Camorra) has on society. One of his most heart rending stories concerns a teacher who testifed about a murder simply because she believed it was the right thing to do. She didn't die, but she becomes socially dead. Not because of her testimony, but because she thought it was the right thing to do. She didn't get anything from it, wasn't looking for anything.

The amount of violence that Saviano details is shocking and frightening. His analysis is riveting.
Profile Image for Sotiria.
230 reviews44 followers
December 26, 2021
3 1/2 ★★★

To "Γόμορρα" είναι ένα βιβλίο που με έχει διχάσει... Η εμπειρία ανάγνωσής του ήταν εκπληκτικά δύσκολη αλλά το περιεχόμενο του σίγουρα το κατατάσσει ανάμεσα στο σπουδαιότερα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει.
Δεν ξέρω αν φταίει η μετάφραση κυρίως, αλλά η γραφή ήταν εξαιρετικά κακή και δυσπρόσιτη, σε σημείο να με κάνει να θέλω να το παρατήσω! Οι ατέλειωτες αναφορές σε πρόσωπα και τοπωνύμια που δεν λένε κάτι στους μη-Ιταλούς αναγνώστες έκαναν την κατάσταση ακόμα χειρότερη...
ΑΛΛΑ το βιβλίο αυτό μου άνοιξε τα μάτια σε τόσα πράγματα -συγκλονιστικά πράγματα- που αγνοούσα... Μήνες αφότου το διάβασα ακόμα σκέφτομαι πολλά από όσα αποκάλυψε ο συγγραφέας... Κάθε non-fiction βιβλίο που διάβασα έκτοτε το εξετάζω από τη σκοπιά των γνώσεων που απέκτησα μέσα από το Γόμορρα! Πώς μπορεί κάποιος να μιλήσει πχ για κλιματική αλλαγή και το τι πρέπει να κάνουμε για την αντιμετώπισή της χωρίς να λαμβάνει υπόψιν του την Καμόρα και το ισχυρό δίκτυο που έχει χτίσει το οποίο εκτός όλων των άλλων έχει σχέση με τη διαχείριση λυμάτων αλλά και με τον κόσμο του fast fashion;
Βγάζοντας τη Χολιγουντιανή "γκλαμουριά" που έχει πασπαλίσει την εικόνα του κλασικου μαφιόζου και ανοίγοντας τα μάτια μας στη σκληρή πραγματικότητα του οργανωμένου εγκλήματος, ο Σαβιάνο μας έδειξε πόσο μπλεγμένη είναι η οικονομία μας με αυτό... πόσο στενά συνδεδεμένη είναι η ζωή μας με τις οικογένειες της Καμόρα και του αιμοδιψούς αγώνα τους για κέρδος και υπεροχή, που δε σταματάει μπροστά σε τίποτα και κανέναν.
Δύσκολα ξεχνιέται ένα βιβλίο σαν αυτό και αν είστε αρκετά υπομονετικοί ώστε να αντέξετε την κατά τόπους απαίσια γραφή, σίγουρα προτείνω να το διαβάσετε !
Profile Image for Amar Pai.
960 reviews101 followers
March 19, 2015
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 that inspired the prize-winning movie Gomorra announced yesterday that he was leaving Italy after spending almost two years under close protection...

"I want a life. I want a home. I want to fall in love. I want to [be able to:] drink a beer in public, go to a bookshop and choose a book after browsing the back cover," Saviano said. "I want to go for a walk, enjoy the sun, walk in the rain and see my mother without fear - and without frightening her. I'm only 28 years old for fuck's sake."

Saviano said he was under round-the-clock protection by a team of seven paramilitary carabinieri. He spent his time in carabinieri barracks, "here today, 200 kilometres away tomorrow - moved around like a package without knowing what's up or what could be up"...

[H:]e expressed his gratitude to his protectors, not one of whom, Saviano said, had applied for a transfer on learning of the Camorra's chilling deadline. But he said that life in a "decompression chamber" was preventing him from pursuing his career as an author.

"In order to write, I need to steep my hands in reality," he said.

The conditions in which he was forced to live were also having a wholly unexpected effect, he said. They had turned him into a "worse man".

"In private I become an unlovely person - suspicious, wary and, yes, mistrustful to a completely irrational degree. I think that everyone wants to steal something from me, or at least trick me - use me. It is as if my humanity had been impoverished," he said.
Profile Image for Sarah.
143 reviews5 followers
June 5, 2009
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 like a reporter who was granted inside access? It was never explained. There were also countless times in the book where the author mentioned that so-and-so was thrown down a well then his body was exploded with a hand-grenade and nobody ever knew or saw him again... so how does the author know? A little clarification in the writing would've been appreciated.

My third and last complaint is again about the writing. Some of it was just not good. Take for example an analogy used by the author to demonstrate how the Kalashnikov has more total deaths in the world than any other thing ever... "fill a bottle with sugar by pouring the grains from a small hole in the corner of the bag. Each grain of sugar is someone killed by a Kalashnikov." This analogy, to me, is completely meaningless. Where's the comparison teaspoon of sugar of people killed by cancer or starvation?

So, all in all I do not recommend this book, but I didn't come away entirely empty handed. I enjoyed learning about the fashion industry and how high fashion Italian garments are made. I also picked up a few other tidbits here and there about how organized crime operates and how integral it really is to the economy.
Profile Image for Sve.
522 reviews177 followers
August 13, 2021
Отрезвяващо и доста депресиращо четиво, което ми разкри тъмната страна на любимата ми Италия. Особено тъжно ми стана като се замислих, че вероятно някои от използваните от Камората похвати се прилагат и в България.
Profile Image for F.R..
Author 29 books197 followers
June 18, 2010
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 happens around Naples. How there are numerous communities where a young man can either be a nobody with no respect in a dull steady job, or can have the possibility of riches and glamour in a gang. Then once in a gang, how he is part of a huge international conglomerate with its fingers in drugs, smuggling, waste disposal, cement, fashion and many other areas.

All of Europe, the US, South America, Africa, Asia are touched by what happens in Naples. With particular mention going, bizarrely, to Aberdeen in Scotland.

There are numerous stories and little details which will live in the memory: the long-time dead being exhumed and dumped on rubbish tips; women not wearing high heels because they’re harder to run in; ambulance drivers finding men wounded by gunshots in the street and not taking them to hospital, instead waiting at the roadside for the killers to come back and finish the job off; the fates of mayors and priests who had the bravery to stand up to these gangs.

I remember when this book came out that Roberto Saviano had to go into hiding in an Army base, such was the various gang’s fury at this expose. Since then he has been forced to leave Italy altogether. Hopefully one day circumstances will change and he can go back without fear of reprisal, as this is brave and searing account which clearly needed to be written.
Profile Image for Majo's Library..
105 reviews124 followers
February 1, 2013
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 e il territorio lo controllano, ma delegano gli affari ad una struttura tipo ''Franchising''.
Poi in particolare, questo -Viaggio nell'impero economico e nel sogno di dominio della camorra- mi ha sembrato un lavoro molto buono, anzi, un vero capolavoro italiano, dove qualche straniero puo vedere ciò che in realtà accade in'un posto dove il fatto di raggiungere qualche pezzo di pace è proppio una odisea. Un posto dove il denaro e la mafia ti affettano, e dove per forza devi scegliere da che parte rimanere.

Profile Image for Robin.
Author 6 books26 followers
August 17, 2014
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 their relatives), and the sheer industrial scale of the phoney fashion labels, drugs and other scams.

A particularly heartfelt chapter concerns Don Peppino Diana, a parish priest who stood up to the mob and was brutally and stupidly murdered (even many of the 'soldiers' blanched at killing him). It's one example of courage in book that is pretty breathtaking and also reveals the author's almost poetic side and his belief that perhaps words, or the truth, can be a major weapon against the gangsters.

Profile Image for Chickens McShitterson.
331 reviews4 followers
August 19, 2013
I had such high hopes for this, but it was a complete and absolute rambling mess of inanity. There's nearly no narrative structure, just a hodgepodge of unsubstantiated facts and names thrown about with loosely conjoined descriptions of shootings. The sheer number of names bandied about is maddening to follow- even more perplexing is that there is a map of Naples in the beginning of the book, but absolutely no diagrams of how the families and clans are related and which people were associated with which clans (and trust me, such an organizer would have been monumentally helpful).

After slogging through this for almost two weeks, I can safely say I did not learn much from this book, which is a total bummer.
Profile Image for Amarildo.
9 reviews
March 3, 2020
Contenuto incredibile, ma la scrittura non è all'altezza. Si nota una mutazione di stile durante la lettura; nei primi capitoli infatti le frasi vengono separate da punti ogni 3 parole, il che infastidisce la lettura. Migliora fortunatamente nel finale.
Profile Image for Carlos.
56 reviews1 follower
September 25, 2021
Sin duda un libro muy interesante para comprender y conocer un poco más de cerca el mundo del crimen organizado en el sur de Italia.
No se trata de una novela de entretenimiento, ni mucho menos una obra de ficción, lamentablemente, pero Saviano logra explicar el fenómeno de la mafia desde un punto de vista cercano, demostrando un gran conocimiento de ese mundo y sabiendo dimensionar lo que cuenta para que el lector lo comprenda. Precisamente es este aspecto el más destacable, a mi juicio, del libro, ya que logra explicar de una forma muy didáctica los entresijos de este ambiente, centrándose en sectores concretos que ayudan a ejemplificar cómo se desarrollan las actividades delictivas y de qué manera afectan a cuestiones que a priori pueden parecer más ajenas a este círculo.
Este sistema de narración, el cual sigue también Nacho Carretero en su libro Fariña, hace que la comprensión sea total, utilizando un lenguaje asequible y símiles muy acertados que logran que el lector se sumerja de lleno en el mundo del hampa más cotidiano, alejado de la visión cinematográfica más populista aunque, muchas veces, se supere ampliamente a la ficción.
Muy recomendable para el que quiera conocer más de este mundo. Seguro que buscaré más títulos de este gran periodista.
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