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L'oscura immensità della morte

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Nel corso di una rapina, un malvivente prende in ostaggio una donna e il figlio di otto anni e li uccide. L’uomo, Raffaello Beggiato, viene condannato all’ergastolo, mentre il suo complice riesce a fuggire. Il marito della donna assassinata e padre del bambino, Stefano Contin, non si dà pace. Per quindici anni vive con l’ossessione di quella che lui chiama “l’oscura immens ...more
Paperback, Dal Mondo Noir, 160 pages
Published May 9th 2004 by e/o
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Barry Pierce
You can see by the rating what I thought of this. I’m not even going to review this. It doesn’t deserve my words. So I’m going to let the book review itself. Here is an actual passage from Death’s Dark Abyss. Enjoy

“Giorgia started crying, kissed me on the forehead, and went back to being a whore. Today’s Monday. Another shitty fucking day. The cigarette’s done and I got to make a decision. Before leaving I hugged mamma. She cried too. I’m really fed the fuck up now. And I’m heading across this m
Tom Vater
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this slight novel (Original title: L’oscura immensita della morte, 2004) by Massimo Carlotto, the master of Italian Noir, is anything to go by, then European crime fiction is in a killer shape. Carlotto’s tale of a man who has lost his wife and child in an armed robbery gone wrong stands our perception of good and evil on its head and throws a glaring light on the heartlessness of Berlusconi’s Italy.

Silvano, the story’s victim, is a broken man. Following the senseless death of his loved ones,
Bonnie Brody
Raffaello Beggiato, high on cocaine, robs a jewelry store and takes a mother and child hostage, killing them both. He is sentenced to life in an Italian prison. Beggiato has a partner in this crime but he never gives up his partner's name, leaving everyone in the dark as to who the killer was.

Silvano Contin, the husband and father of the murdered victims of Beggiato's crime holds on tentatively to any semblance of life. "I didn't have the desire, let alone the energy, to start living again." He
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europa-editions
Violence only begets violence and none of us are truly innocent. Nor are we free from the consequences of our own violence or that of those closest to us. This book is powerful, this book is upsetting, this book is disturbing and this book is breathtaking.

A more honest portrayal of the randomness of violence and the effects it causes that ripple out endlessly would be hard to find. Victims and criminals mesh and become indistinguishable as the author finds the evils present in the most tortured
Graham P
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No-frills, bare-knuckled first-person noir where the lines are blurred between the revenger and the punished. Carlotto keeps the prose tight (barely 160 pages) and goes into the heads of two characters; one a grieving widow whose hate for the indifference of life is changing into reckless abandon, and the killer, trying to live out a few years of freedom before cancer takes him under. Atmosphere, twists, tricks - all is kept restrained by Carlotto. Nothing cute, endearing, or clever about this n ...more
Tom Mooney
Sep 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Takes terrible to a whole new level. Just awful, tasteless shit.
Debbi Mack
This is the first time I've ever tried Italian noir, and it's easy to see, after reading DEATH'S DARK ABYSS, why Massimo Carlotto is "widely considered Italy's foremost crime fiction writer" and "a major exponent of the Mediterranean Noir novel." It's also easy to understand why he writes noir about the Italian criminal justice system, given the fact that he served years of jail time for a murder he didn't commit, but was eventually given a presidential pardon.

The story is told by two characters
Stephen Durrant
Now I guess I know what "Mediterranean noir" is: fast paced, gripping, completely amoral, and about as noir as noir can be. "Death's Dark Abyss" is narrated in alternate chapters by Rafaello, a murderer dying of cancer in prison, and Silvano, whose wife and child were Rafaello's victims. But this is no simple story of good versus evil. Instead, it's evil versus very evil with the revenge more appalling than the original murder. Characters with any sense of morality or social commitment are consi ...more
Staci Taylor
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Staci by: Writing Teacher
SOO GOOD! The author was sentenced to a crime he did not commit, and was ultimately acquitted. Carlotto is able to provide two perspectives in the case of a murderous crime. So many questions are posed: should guilty individual be allowed a second chance? should we take the laws into our own hands and seek revenge to gain some sort of justice? The various twists in the plot make you enticed for the 145 pages this short read gives.
Richard Brand
This is a mean and vicious study of how a crime affects two people, and for neither is there much good out of it. Language is filthy. The images are brutal and the conclusion is not further along the road than when it started.
Dan Cowles
I was disappointed ... was expecting something smart, didn't find it.
Mark Robertson
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On this book's cover, the Boston Phoenix is quoted as calling Carlotto " The reigning king of Mediterranean noir". This short novel - it's only 152 pages - is a good introduction to King Massimo. It's a disturbingly dark story involving two lead protagonists, one of whom is a criminal responsible for the brutal murder of the other one's wife and child. Despite this book being an extended meditation on the nature of death and of justice, it's not without its lighter moments.

The book consists of
Shubham Tiwari
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tale of two polarising personalities caught in two different situations but joined together by a tragedy is what makes this book unputdownable. Raffaello Beggiato and Silvano Contin are two ends of a spectrum yet they find solace in the most unthinkable places in the end, i.e. in each other. This book which is more like a case study of character developments communicates with you through what characters are thinking and what they fear.
P.S. A recent Hindi film 'Badlapur' was based on this book
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who appreciates good quality hard boiled noir
A difficult one to carry off, but carried off in an accomplished manner. Two first person narrators telling the same 'story' from their individual points of view. Is the 'bad guy' just some out of luck, tough life, social castaway? Is the 'victim' cold-hearted, cruel, and menacing? It is a dark reflection on how we perceive and experience 'crime', and the consequences for both sides. Apart from that it is a damn good read, and a disturbing one.
Donald Schopflocher
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, italy
A spare novella reminiscent of James Cain or Patricia Highsmith. The violence is horrific; the voices of the protagonists, presented alternately in the first person, are authentic if shockingly blunt; all of these characters are badly broken but recognizably human. If this is representative of Mediterranean Noir, bring it on.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very clever novel of revenge and murder
Massimo Carlotto has a unique background for a crime writer: a convicted murderer, fugitive from justice, done hard time in prison and ultimately cleared in one of Italy's most famous court cases. Little wonder that he is regarded as one of the pre-eminent Italian crime novelists.

Death's Dark Abyss is a hard-boiled crime yarn in the style of Dashiell Hammett or James M. Cain. The story starts with a robbery that goes horribly wrong, with one of the robbers panicking and murdering a female hostag
Jim Leckband
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tightly written with a moral imagination that really surprised me, "Death's Dark Abyss" is not your normal crime fiction. Taking the revenge tale and turning the tables on who gets redeemed, I never knew where Carlotto was taking me.

We know where he took the victim, Silvano - into death's dark abyss. Those three words reverberate like the Dies Irae throughout the whole book. Originally we see the abyss as the place where Silvano's wife and child, murdered by Raffaello during a robbery, are mour
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like Breaking Bad, Scarface, and stories about characters descending into moral decay.
The story of a normal, seemingly good man who becomes just as evil as the murderer who took his wife and son. A compelling look at a man who descends into moral decay.

The novel raises questions about the punishment of criminals and the vindictiveness that surrounds it. When does society's desire to make criminals suffer go too far, making the punishers just as bad (if not worse) than the criminals? When does a victim's justification for wanting a murderer to suffer become so bloated that it cau
Really dark noir. Brutal, perverse at times, and unrelenting. The story opens with a jewelry heist gone bad, hostages, and the murder of a child and his mother. Roll it forward 15 years, Raffaello Begiatto, the shooter, is in prison, dying of cancer. On the outside, the husband and father of the mother and child, Silvano Contin, lives a half life of TV, work, and bed. Beggiatto, since he's terminal, applies to be released, hoping that he can recover his portion of the stolen loot, and spend his ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Massimo Carlotto's The Goodbye Kiss produces yet another anti-hero in the vein of Ripley. Pellegrini is an amoral and self-serving Italian fugitive who aims to set himself up for life in the home country after years of exile in South America following atrocities he committed with the Marxist Red Brigade in the 1970s. As part of his masterplan to reinvent himself, he bullies and blackmails weak women, rips off shady criminals, allies himself with a corrupt cop, starts a fine restaurant and claws ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know how to rate this book. It is not a book one 'likes' or 'dislikes.' It just is. It is short, almost a novella, telling the story of the crook Raffaello Beggiato and Silvano Contin. Beggiato, during a botched robbery kills the wife and child of Contin. Beggiato is sentenced to life in prison. 15 years later Beggiato has cancer and he writes a letter to Contin to see if he would be willing to write a letter so he can be released to die outside prison. Contin writes his letter fo ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I didn't love, nor totally dislike this book, but it was one that was hard to read, and to a degree, enjoy. Neither of the main characters are appealing, especially the conniving murderer of a child and his mother, who is angling to get out of jail and escape Italy. The husband/father of the victims grieves the whole time, then sees an opportunity to balance the scales. The story is told from both their points of view. The book truly is a dark abyss. There are many insights into prison life and ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-noir
Pure noir in the tradition of Hammet and Thompson, a psychological study of victim and victimiser and how the lines between them are crossed and recrossed. Much more subtle than the line between good and evil, we all know that doesn't exist. Well worth a read though I'm a Crumley sort of girl myself and there wasn't a visible light anywhere.
Nick Duretta
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark and grim noirish thriller concerning a bank robber who kills two hostages (a woman and her young son) and the victims' father, who lives to enact revenge. The tale is told from the standpoint of the two men, who are not as far apart from a moral perspective as you might imagine. Quite gripping. It would make a good film.
Carlo Mayer
Apr 08, 2013 added it
Shelves: italiana
Lean Italian noir that threatens to echo Charles Bronson's howls. Fast and a bit twisty, although dialogue a bit boggy.
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
A fast-paced, ultra-grim tale of crime, revenge, madness, and atonement. A masterpiece.
Markus Volk
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, even for Carlotto it is gloomy. Still I liked it. Wouldn't advise anybody to start with it before knowing another form this author.
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Massimo Carlotto è nato a Padova il 22 luglio 1956. Nel 1976, giovane universitario e militante di L.C., scopre casualmente a Padova il cadavere senza vita di Margherita Magello, colpita da 59 coltellate, e viene accusato dalla polizia dell’omicidio dopo essersi recato volontariamente a testimoniare.

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