Jim Rimmer's Reviews > Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia

Cosa Nostra by John Dickie
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's review
Jan 03, 2012

really liked it
Read 2 times

Having previously read Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food I know John Dickie is very thorough in the manner than he tackles subjects and Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia is no exception. It is through the great arc of history, glorious cast of protagonists, rough hewn landscapes and associated minutiae that the full drama of the mafia finds its power. This book needs to tick along at a rollicking pace to fully cover the 150 or so years of brutality and barbarity to which Sicily and Italy have been subjected and accomplishes this well. Dense but absorbing, emphasising the arcane while detailing numerous horrors but without wallowing in the gore.

The updates in the more recent edition do read as though they’ve had more than their fair share of legal attention. For this reason I expect Dickie’s assertions, particularly those concerning more contemporary figures, might not satisfy all readers.

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