Title: Roberto Saviano's: Gomorrah
Hollander - November 11, 2007 10:42 PM (GMT)
Roberto Saviano's book Gomorrah is being released in the United States this month.
Nov. 10, 2007, 7:06PM
Hatred is mutual between Italian author, mob
Writer exposes inner workings of organized crime
By IAN FISHER
New York Times
ROME — Roberto Saviano jokes that he has a mobster's face, which, if true, has done nothing to endear him to the real criminals he writes about. They despise him, so much so that Saviano, 28, has been forced to live in hiding under state protection, a sort of Salman Rushdie in Italy's still unresolved struggle against organized crime.
The distaste is mutual.
"I have always hated them, a personal hatred, not just an intellectual one," Saviano said in the safety of his publisher's office here, with his three well-armed police bodyguards waiting outside on the street.
"It is a very personal hatred because they ruined my country, forced people to emigrate, killed honest people," he said.
By his count, 3,600 have been killed in the area where he grew up, outside Naples, since he was born in 1979.
"I know where to hit them to make them angry," he added.
Saviano became famous in Italy after the 2006 release of his first book, an up-close account of the inner workings of the Camorra, the crime group that has operated around Naples for more than a century.
Sales beyond expectations
The title was provocative: Gomorrah, a biblical wordplay invoking sin and degeneracy. The subject was notable: Little has been written about the Camorra, whereas books and films about the Sicilian Mafia have flourished for many decades.
But Gomorrah (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 2006) went beyond expectations. It sold 750,000 copies here and is being released in the United States this month, partly because of the way Saviano wrote it: It is a literary scream that names names, of the killers and the killed, in a style inspired by the filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini's broad unflinching criticism of Italy and by Truman Capote's devotion to dirty detail.
"When you die on the street, you're surrounded by a tremendous racket," he writes, describing one of scores of slayings he bumped into as a teenager in the town of Casal di Principe, then went out seeking as an adult researching his book.
"It's not true that you die alone. Unfamiliar faces right in front of your nose, people touching your legs and arms to see if you're already dead or if it's worth calling an ambulance.
"All the faces of the seriously wounded, all the expressions of the dying, seem to share the same fear. And the same shame. It may seem strange, but in the instant before death there is a sort of shame or humiliation."
Shame has been no small part of the complicated reaction here to Saviano and his book, despite its ongoing success. It has sold well in translation around Europe, notably in France and Germany.
A movie in Italian is being filmed, and a stage version has opened in Naples, though Saviano did not attend the opening for security reasons. But with the strong desire in Italy to shed its identification with organized crime, the book cut too close to truth to make him a popular man here.
"No one will forgive me for what I did," he said in the interview. "I gave attention to a world that creates problems for the honest part of my country. And also some of the honest ones in my country hate me because I spoke of crime. It is as though I had reduced Italy only to the part of it that is criminal. I don't think I did that."
Recent news seems to support Saviano's view of the pervasiveness of the mob: In late October, Italy's small business group reported that mob activity accounted for the single largest sector of the nation's economy.
'Very important' book
Saviano believes that the Camorra — though views differ, he counts it as more powerful than the Mafia or 'Ndrangheta — remains as centrally integrated into life here as ever.
Alexander Stille, a professor of journalism at Columbia who wrote one of the most respected books on Italy's struggle with the Sicilian Mafia, Excellent Cadavers, called the book "very important" for shedding light on a group that has unjustly "taken second or third billing" compared with the Mafia.
"What the book does so well is to remind people, as if it needed reminding, that a third of the country is essentially condemned to a state of permanent underdevelopment because of the persistent, and in many ways increasing, dominance, of organized crime," he said.
The Camorra is not as well known as the Sicilian Mafia, but much of the lore and romance of mob life was born around Naples. Don Corleone of The Godfather was modeled on a Camorra boss, though he was portrayed as Sicilian in the book.
The real Lucky Luciano dropped dead of a heart attack in the Naples airport. John Gotti's family was not from Sicily but from a town near Naples, as was Tony Soprano's.
Amid other threats as the book gained popularity — and after an appearance in his hometown during which Saviano publicly challenged Camorra bosses by name, earning both praise for bravery and criticism for being either self-promoting or suicidal — some camorristi were wiretapped discussing Saviano's "destiny."
"What's required is a public intervention by the state," Umberto Eco, perhaps Italy's most prominent author, wrote at the time. "Let's not leave Saviano alone."
x-man - November 16, 2007 01:00 PM (GMT)
i just finished reading the book this week.
it is amazing story...lot's of details,names,cities....the camorra active in some big and amazing legal activities suce as the international fashion industry or construction of "half of italy" according to saviano....and the rest of it i will let you find out :D
very good book!
GangstersInc - November 17, 2007 12:46 PM (GMT)
I cannot recommend this book enough!! The best mob book EVER!!!
Hollander - November 20, 2007 10:28 AM (GMT)
Gomorrah: A Personal Journey Into the Violent International Empire of Naples' Organized Crime System., Roberto Saviano
By Steve Scherer
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Camorra Mafia is one big business in Naples, judging from a new book by Roberto Saviano.
The Camorra monopolizes illegal activities in the city's port, controls milk deliveries in the surrounding Campania region and is the principal retail distributor of cocaine across Italy, he writes. The Camorra even has a lock on tailoring for the country's elite fashion houses, says Saviano, a Naples native whose best-seller has provoked so many death threats that he now lives under police protection.
It's no secret that the Mafia's tentacles reach far and wide in this stony, sun-baked land. Italian organized crime generates annual revenues of 41 billion euros ($60 billion).
What's remarkable about "Gomorrah'' is that Saviano is talking about Campania, not Sicily. Though books about the Sicilian Mafia and Corleone-born mobsters crowd Italian bookstores, little has been written about the Camorra and its stronghold, Casal di Principe.
This first-person account shatters the omerta, or code of silence, that has permitted the Camorra to rule the territory for more than 100 years. He describes the grisly events he witnessed in this violent world. "Compared to Casal di Principe, Corleone is Disneyland,'' he writes.
Armed with a police radio, Saviano followed "the most ruthless war that Italy has seen in the last 10 years,'' waged between clans seeking control of the region's drug market.
Gradually, he began to understand the economics of crime. "The rules that are dictated or imposed are those of business, profit, and victory over all the competition,'' he writes. These same forces are at work the world over, he argues.
The Camorra's reach is global and its methods brutal, Saviano writes. To monopolize regional milk distribution, Mafia thugs burned trucks that delivered rival brands and shot one driver in the arm, court documents show.
At its best, "Gomorrah'' offers gritty close-ups whose intensity recalls the work of Italian director Sergio Leone in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.'' Saviano describes seeing a severed head on a bloody car seat, for example, and the charred body of a 22-year-old woman.
He wanders into a bleak mob-controlled Naples suburb that he says has Europe's highest ratio of pushers to inhabitants. The squalor there feeds "the darkness where the beating heart of the market gets its energy,'' he says. "The System,'' as the Camorra is known, strips life of any other meaning, he says.
Hollander - November 29, 2007 11:33 AM (GMT)
Naples mob book becomes film
Garrone to put Saviano's 'Gomorra' on screen
(ANSA) - Naples, November 29 - A worldwide bestseller about the Naples Mafia is now being turned into a film.
The book, Gomorra by Roberto Saviano, is so raw and revealing that Saviano has been put under 24-hour police guard to protect him from the Camorra.
In a November 25 review, the New York Times called it ''the most important book to come out of Italy in years''.
It portrays ''an alien land of doped-up child soldiers, gun-toting clan women, illegal Chinese immigrants, sweatshops, drug smuggling, garbage and cement,'' the NYT said.
The film version has been entrusted to one of the leaders of a new wave of Italian cinema, Matteo Garrone.
Garrone, 39, sprang to prominence in 2002 with The Embalmer, a dark tale of obsession and murder involving a southern taxidermist.
The Roman director says he's seeking to bring to life Saviano's protagonists while avoiding a black-and-white picture of the troubled Italian city.
''I don't want to play the moralist, splitting good from evil. Don't expect a denunciation or an expose','' Garrone said after the first unedited snippets from the film were presented at a cinema fest here.
''The focus will be on filling in the characters that Saviano's book outlines in pen strokes. Probing their humanity is what intriques me,'' he said.
The original title of the film was to be Six Brief Stories but Garrone will now be using the title of Saviano's book, which is a play on the word Camorra.
Much of the film will focus on a man who makes toxic waste disappear, one of the many illegal activities of the Camorra.
One of the book's striking claims is that the Italian economy would not have been healthy enough to join the euro zone if big northern businesses hadn't sold their waste to the Camorra on the cheap. The waste disposal kingpin, Franco, is played by Naples-born actor Toni Servillo, 49, known to international audiences for the 2004 art-house hit The Consequences of Love.
While concentrating on showing what makes Saviano's characters tick, Garrone won't be shying away from the violence the Camorra uses to rule the districts of Naples around the city's huge port.
''It'll be a war film - a war taking place in 2007 just 150km south of Rome,'' he said.
GangstersInc - December 2, 2007 11:08 AM (GMT)
Books of The Times
Where Savage Parasites Rot a Nation From Within
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: November 14, 2007
In the United States organized crime has entered a Tony Soprano twilight, as small-time bosses carve up ever-smaller wedges of a shrinking pie. In Italy, by contrast, all systems are go. In shipping, fashion and construction, to name just three booming businesses, the mob holds sway, often acting through, rather than despite, local government. All told, according to a recent report by an Italian small-business association, mob-related activity accounts for the single largest sector of the Italian economy.
Chris Warde-Jones for The New York Times
A Personal Journey Into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System
By Roberto Saviano
Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 301 pages. $25.
First Chapter: ‘Gomorrah’ (November 14, 2007)
Lars Klove for The New York Times
Roberto Saviano, a young Italian journalist, counts the cost in “Gomorrah,” his savage indictment of the Neapolitan crime organization known as the Camorra. Although less well known than the Mafia, its Sicilian counterpart, the Camorra has held the economy of southern Italy in a tight grip for more than a century. With time it has adapted and modernized, spreading from Naples to outlying towns, while adding financial services and real estate to its expanding portfolio.
“Never in the economy of a region has there been such a widespread, crushing presence of criminality as in Campania in the last 10 years,” Mr. Saviano writes.
The garment sweatshops of Secondigliano, a small town on the outskirts of Naples, provide Mr. Saviano with a case study. Day and night, highly skilled workers turn out low-cost counterfeits that compare favorably in quality with the originals from the big fashion houses. The factories are bankrolled by the Camorra, which lends money at low rates. Factory workers get their mortgages through the Camorra. Once completed, the clothes often find their way to boutiques owned by the Camorra all over Europe, many in Camorra-owned shopping malls.
The Camorra has come a long way since the days of cigarette smuggling. But despite the corporate face, it relies on age-old techniques of intimidation and violence, which Mr. Saviano describes in gruesome detail. When Cammoristi want to send a message, they do a thorough job. Enforcers make their point with one victim by sawing his head off with a metal grinder and blowing it up. The notorious Pasquale Barra, better known as the Animal, set new standards some years back when he ripped a target’s heart out with his bare hands and then bit into it.
Mr. Saviano, whose hometown, Casal di Principe, lies in the heart of Camorra territory, comes up with a total of 3,600 bodies since 1979, the year he was born.
Objective, analytic journalism is foreign to Mr. Saviano. The subject at hand is too personal, and in any case he takes a fiery, romantic view of the reporter’s mission. “I believe that the way to truly understand, to get to the bottom of things, is to smell the hot breath of reality, to touch the nitty-gritty,” he writes.
This passion for close-up, eyewitness reporting leads him to take small-time jobs in Camorra businesses, to show up whenever the police turn up a dead body and to mingle in the open-air drug market in Secondigliano, where fresh batches of heroin are tested on addict volunteers. If they drop dead, the batch is too potent.
The up-close style and the floridly noir prose make for vivid scenes. When he’s concentrating properly, Mr. Saviano also exposes the nuts and bolts of Camorra operations, complete with names and precise figures. His account of the drug trade, which the Camorra has shrewdly expanded to serve the casual, middle-class customer, is a model of muckraking journalism.
So are the chapters on the construction industry and the Camorra’s sinister trade in illegal waste dumping, much of it toxic. All over Italy highly trained experts in law and the environment make the rounds of Italian businesses, offering to ship everything from dead bodies to printer toner to illegal dumping sites in the south. This is worth billions of dollars a year.
From time to time Mr. Saviano takes flight on his own prose and, drunk with indignation, loses touch with the nitty-gritty. His chapter on the port of Naples, where Chinese entrepreneurs now control the illegal offloading of containers, makes for colorful reading, but Mr. Saviano neglects to explain how the Camorra fits in. Often names and killings speed by in a blur, devoid of context. Mr. Saviano never does explain the Camorra’s structure adequately.
Granted, it is a bewildering mess. The sheer scope of the Camorra’s businesses numbs even Mr. Saviano, who confesses to despair. Everything, he writes, seems to belong to the mob: “land, buffalos, farms, quarries, garages, dairies, hotels and restaurants.”
A small flicker of hope burns in a chapter devoted to Don Peppino Diana, a crusading priest who denounces the Camorra from his pulpit in Casal di Principe, organizes protest marches and sets up community programs to siphon support for the Camorra.
“He decided to take an interest in the dynamics of power and not merely its corollary suffering,” Mr. Saviano writes. “He didn’t want merely to clean the wound but to understand the mechanisms of the metastasis, to prevent the cancer from spreading, to block the source of whatever was turning his home into a gold mine of capital with an abundance of cadavers.”
On March 19, 1994, the name day of his patron saint, Don Peppino was approached in his church by armed men who shot him in the head at close range. He died instantly. Mr. Saviano, for his part, has been forced to live in hiding under police protection since his book was published last year in Italy.
GangstersInc - May 9, 2008 09:34 AM (GMT)
presley1000 - May 18, 2008 04:49 PM (GMT)
Author a hit with Mafia
Heavily guarded Roberto Saviano is known as the Salman Rushdie of Italy
Adrian Humphreys, National Post
Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Heavily guarded Italian mob author Roberto Saviano, 28, poses for a photograph at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 in Toronto.
TORONTO -Roberto Saviano, the embattled Italian author of a sensational expose of the calamitous world of the Camorra, the Mafia of Naples, stares with darkly brooding eyes but flashes a mischievous smile when asked what Canada means to the mobsters in his neighbourhood.
"I'll answer the way a Camorrista would say it: 'Canada is a country full of forests' -- meaning it is a country where it is easy to hide -- 'and it is a place where it is easy to invest. It is our place.' "
It is with an accepting sense of irony that Mr. Saviano says one of the world's most bloodthirsty and rapacious criminal organizations eyes our country as a safe haven because it is he, a best-selling author and respected journalist, that requires an armed escort, not only at home in Italy but as he arrived yesterday in Toronto.
It is he who is in hiding.
Mr. Saviano, 28, has been dubbed the Salman Rushdie of Italy. The connection is a nod to the fatwa death warrant issued against Mr. Rushdie by the late Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after publication of his book The Satanic Verses.
When Mr. Saviano's book, Gomorrah (the title is provocative wordplay on the name of the Camorra and the eponymous biblical city of wickedness) was released in Italy in 2006, it hit with the clatter and punch of a Kalashnikov rifle.
The tentative first printing of 5,000 copies evaporated and it soon became a European publishing sensation with sales figures exceeding a million. The book brought unwanted attention to the secret and deadly commerce in the decaying neighbourhoods around Naples and sparked public debate over the canker that is the Camorra, a rarely examined cousin of the better-known Mafia groups of Italy.
The book was greeted with less enthusiasm, however, by some of the colourful characters Mr. Saviano portrays in unflinching detail.
In response to his words, a reply came in the acrid language of the mob: They called for his death.
With Mr. Saviano constantly accompanied by an armed escort, and when back in Naples even living inside the police station, he has avoided the bullets but suffers the discomfort of confinement.
The Camorristi have turned this into a boast. "What they said exactly was: 'We buried you without shooting you. We put you in a coffin without shooting you.' The reason I was granted police protection was to allow me to speak out and not to simply go away and live my life in hiding somewhere.
"It would be a lie to say that I never regretted writing this book," he says through a translator. "Many mornings I wake up and hate the book because of the life I have to live."
Yet he remains unrepentant.
"I am not afraid -- not because I am brave but because people get used to anything."
Last week, Mr. Saviano met Mr. Rushdie face to face in New York.
"We spoke about the difference between ourselves," says Mr. Saviano. The blasphemy of Mr. Rushdie's book was that it was written, he says. The blasphemy of his own book comes from the fact that it is being read.
"It is a big difference. It is not what I wrote that is dangerous. It is that it was read by so many people that makes it dangerous."
In that, his sin against the mob has compounded. The influence of his book continues to swell. It has been translated into several languages and published in more than a dozen countries. It has been turned into a stage play and a movie based on it will soon be released.
He is speaking out in Toronto, Montreal and New York.
His message is a poignant one for Canada.
In 2004, Italian investigators named Giovanni Bandolo the head of the first known Camorra group operating in Canada. From a warehouse in Woodbridge, north of Toronto, the group sold counterfeit Versace leather jackets across Canada for several years.
What seemed a petty crime took on grave implications when the National Post revealed that the operation's profits were traced back to Naples, where they helped fund a vicious war for control of the underworld that at the time had claimed more than 120 lives.
"This is a very big problem regarding criminal organizations, the fact that many people believe that the problem of clans, the problems of criminal organizations, is only an Italian problem," Mr. Saviano says.
"It is not only an Italian problem, it is an international problem."
Hollander - May 20, 2008 10:12 AM (GMT)
Naples mob film hit at Cannes
Gomorra gets warm reception in bid for Golden Palm
(ANSA) - Cannes, May 19 - A keenly awaited film on the Naples Mafia got a warm reception at the Cannes Film Festival Sunday night.
The film, Gomorra, based on the Roberto Saviano bestseller of the same name, was greeted with five minutes of applause from the festival public, jury, and European Union culture ministers.
''It's a marvelous film, worthy of the best Italian cinema tradition,'' said top French critic Daniele Heymann.
''Gomorra recounts a frightening Italy, it scares me,'' said Margaret Bream of the Toronto Star. ''It's a reality I know very well, it's Iraq,'' said Iraqi journalist Erfan Rachid.
Director Matteo Garrone had said during the shoot that his adaptation of the Saviano book would be ''a war film - a war taking place just 150km south of Rome''.
Italian Culture Minister Sandro Bondi said: ''It's a film of great civic value because it uncovers a real part of Italy, a place you can barely believe is part of this country''. Gomorra is Italian for Gomorrah, the Biblical sister of Sodom, and is a play on the name of the Naples' crime syndicate, the Camorra.
Roman director Garrone picked five stories from Saviano's book to illustrate the Camorra's hold over Naples, its brutal use of kids and the drug and toxic-waste trafficking that feeds would-be glamorous lifestyles.
Saviano, a 28-year-old journalist whose round-the-clock police protection prevented him from taking to the Red Carpet, said he was happy with the ''realistic'' portrait of Camorristi who ape Hollywood mobsters while raking in profits that ''put Fiat to shame''.
Garrone, 38, one of a new wave of Italian film-makers, said he had got ''precious'' tips on ''how real Camorristi strut and preen before practising butchery'' from a young woman he met while shooting that he is soon to marry and have a child with.
He also paid tribute to the residents of a Camorra-controlled suburb of Naples where much of the film was shot - a couple of whom he gave cameo roles in the film.
''Though they live inside the Camorra 'system' they were still all over the shoot, giving advice and providing first-hand information,'' he said.
Gomorra shot to the top of the Italian box-office charts over the weekend, unseating Superhero.
It has had no press reviews yet but users of the Internet Movie Data Base have given it an 8.6 out of 10 rating. Gomorra - which Garrone said had already got a dozen or so overseas distribution deals - is one of two Italian films competing for the Palme d'Or.
The other is Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo about veteran Italian statesman Giulio Andreotti.
Both star acclaimed Naples-born actor Toni Servillo.
Mucho Lucho - June 27, 2008 05:44 AM (GMT)
i bought this book today. iv been to naples a few times and its my dads city so i can relate alot to it.
hopefully it'll be a great read and i can check out the movie
Mucho Lucho - June 27, 2008 08:00 AM (GMT)
i was just reading the first few pages and i think in the 2nd chapter, 'the system' they explain the network of the directory and its fashion industry links. one of the suburbs they mention is five dock from new south wales.
i live in that suburb :) (im not lying)
GangstersInc - July 10, 2008 02:42 PM (GMT)
Mafia fury keeps author on run
Paola Totaro, Naples
July 5, 2008
Italian author Roberto Saviano lives, and moves around, under constant police protection. Photo: Penny Bradfield
IT IS a glorious summer day in Naples when Roberto Saviano calls out of the blue to say he has arrived before time — two hours early to be exact.
The place we are to meet has been negotiated over a period of weeks and when the armoured cars park, five Neapolitan carabinieri in civilian clothing emerge before their charge. Once inside, all rooms — and even closets — are checked carefully before the men nod and leave him to talk.
Not yet 30, this young man should have the world at his feet: Gomorra, a raw and furious diatribe against the global might of the Neapolitan Mafia has sold more than 1 million copies in Italy and The New York Times has now placed it on its must-read list. The film adaptation floored critics at the Cannes Film Festival and the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano — and Pope Benedict — have offered the young author public support.
Instead, he is living a Salman Rushdie-style life in semi exile as threats to his life by Camorra henchmen have forced him to move from house to house, under constant police guard, travelling by bulletproof car.
When he walks in and sits at the table to talk, it is the eyes of this slight, tattooed man that really are striking: they are dark, ever so dark and seem truly haunted. His written words exude intelligence and courage but it is clear, face to face, that there is also deep sadness inside the anger.
"In Naples, the hatred directed against me is without limits. Twice, our car has been spat on. I have to go around in an armoured car. I cannot find a house to live in … just now, I have been chased out of the house where I was and am living in a hotel," he says.
"Do you know what they did … the other tenants banded together to pay the proprietor the equivalent of a month's rent. Here, I am seen as dirty because I spoke and I wrote of 'that thing'. I never expected such hostility. It is total. Absolute." Saviano's book is a mix of investigative journalism drawn from interviews and court reports entwined with harrowing first-hand tales and observations. It is imbued with fury — at the senseless violence and the exploitation of innocent people, compatriots whose stories have been ignored by the Italian press for years because they came from marginalised southern towns that meant nothing.
"You ask why this story was not told sooner? So did I. But it is not omerta (the Mafia code of silence). It is because these were stories about people regarded as nobodies, as merda (shit), as people out there, not in the big cities and towns," he says.
A native of Casal di Principe, the township that spawned the powerful Camorra clans known as the Casalese, Saviano's father was the local doctor who once suffered a ferocious beating for breaking a Camorra rule and helping a shooting victim. Roberto, one of two sons, was imbued with the macho and often primitive values of southern Italian men and admits openly that despite his intellectual education (he studied philosophy at university), these are mores he finds hard to shake.
The Camorra "sistema" described by Saviano is gut wrenchingly violent, parochial and yet terrifyingly entrepreunerial — the clan has embraced and exploited a globalised world, identifying economic opportunities early in new markets, from China to Russia, throughout Europe and even to Australia.
Vast, sinister and enormously powerful, its 30 billion-euro-a-year network of businesses spans construction, development and transport to illicit waste disposal, arms trafficking and drug importation and distribution.
Camorra provision of cheap domestic labour and transport for Italian high fashion houses has allowed them to produce and export near perfect copies into Chinese, German, Spanish and British markets. The big houses turn a blind eye to the copies in return for labour costs that allow them to keep the valuable "Made in Italy" stamps.
"Australia is a place which has been known by investigators to be a place of money laundering … this has occurred for many reasons, the biggest is emigration, which has provided some local support. But there is also the known fact that Australian police have not turned their attention to the Mafia … and that they will not do so until they (the clan) start shooting," he told The Age.
"If they bring in money but do not kill each other in this (Australian) territory, then it is OK. It is well known that when Mafia have had problems in other countries — in Canada, in the United Kingdom, in America and even in China now — it has always occurred because the healthy parts of the Italian community, the law-abiding citizens have turned their back on them, refused to collaborate with them. That is the answer, that has long been the answer."
Saviano says that investigators in Italy have long known that the Calabrian arm of the Mafia, the n'Drangheta, launder enormous amounts of money through Australia.
"They buy property, develop, buy, buildings, buildings, buildings, shops, shops, shops, restaurants, restaurants restaurants … they enmesh themselves in the economy of the society, they enter the arteries of commerce and then comes transport, fuel, trucking companies. And then it is ever bigger money."
"Ma chi l'ascolta?" he says. "Who the hell is listening? And who the hell cares?"
After 30 years, Roberto Saviano has made the world listen about Naples. Now, the world can only hope that they don't shoot the messenger.
Hollander - May 23, 2009 05:35 PM (GMT)
New Saviano book set for launch
Gomorrah writer to publish collection of articles
(ANSA) - Rome, May 22 - Roberto Saviano, the Italian writer whose bestselling expose' of the Naples Mafia led to a life in police protection, is set to publish his second book.
La Bellezza e l'Inferno (Beauty and Hell) will hit Italian bookshops in mid-June as the long-awaited follow-up to Saviano's 2006 Gomorra, an insider's tale of the Camorra crime syndicate.
Gomorra, a play on the name Camorra and the Biblical sin city Gomorrah, was so successful that Saviano's chief target, the Casalesi clan, put out a bounty on the writer.
The threat against the 29-year-old writer increased when his tale was turned into a film of the same name that won second prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
Saviano has said that the pressures of his life under guard have greatly interfered with his writing and the new book is believed to be largely a collection of previously published magazine articles.
But the 25 articles, including a new one written specially for the book, ''have been reworked and reorganised according to themes so as to convey his vision of life, of political and social commitment, and art between the poles of beauty and hell,'' according to a note from the publisher, Mondadori.
Gomorra won eight literary prizes in Italy and was named among the best books of the year by both the New York Times and the Economist, the first book to achieve that distinction.
It has sold more than two million copies in Italy and been translated in 42 countries, appearing on bestseller lists in Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden and Finland.