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Comment: Minimal wear to cover; spine slants a bit. Pages show space where apparently bookmark resided. Otherwise very good: binding is tight and sturdy; pages clean, bright, crisp and unmarked.
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Chourmo (Marseilles Trilogy) Paperback – May 7, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Marseilles Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609451279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609451271
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of gritty noir who haven't read Total Chaos, the first title in Izzo's Marseilles trilogy, will still be gripped by this sequel. Ex-cop Fabio Montale, whose compassion puts him at odds with his colleagues and superiors, gets an appeal from his attractive cousin to trace her missing son. Tragically, Montale soon finds the boy was killed by gunmen targeting someone else. The apparently related death of a friend, a social worker dedicated to working in Marseilles's poorest neighborhoods, further spurs Montale to risk his life to track down those responsible. Like the best American practitioners in the genre, Izzo refrains from any sugarcoating of the city he depicts or the broken and imperfect men and women who people it. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

In Chourmo, the second volume of Izzo's Marseilles trilogy, Fabio Montale, an introspective ex-cop with a placid life based on cronies, aperitifs, and a little fishing, is yanked back into his city's politically charged underworld. On one single sunny day, a beautiful cousin whom he hasn't seen in years enlists his help to find her son, a wayward teen-ager, and an old friend is gunned down in front of him on the street. Izzo, who died in 2000, is more than adept at noir conventions—gritty light, sudden switches of scene, the pervasive rot of cynicism, which sullies even the best intentions. But what makes his work haunting is his extraordinary ability to convey the tastes and smells of Marseilles, and the way memory and obligation dog every step his hero takes.
Copyright © 2006 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Those who haven't read "Total Chaos", the first book in Izzo's Marseille-set trilogy, needn't worry that they are missing crucial information. This second book (whose title is a slang term referring to the slaves who rowed in Roman galleys and is used to express the sense of solidarity felt by those in the slums), picks up the life of Fabio Montale about a year after the events of "Total Chaos" and only refers to them in passing. Since being drummed out of the corrupt Marseille police force following that adventure, Montale has been mostly sipping wine at home while watching the sea, or out fishing on his little boat. This tranquility is broken when his beautiful cousin Gelou, whom he hasn't seen for twenty years, comes seeking his help.

It seems her teenage son has gone missing and probably came to Marseille to meet an Arab girl he became sweet on. Alas, a prologue shows the reader the tragic outcome of this assignation, and it doesn't take Montale long to discover that the boy was shot to death -- possibly in connection with the killing of an exiled Algerian intellectual. Meanwhile a social worker who spent a lot of time in the projects and was a friend of Montale's is killed before his eyes in a drive-by shooting. It's the book's one significant weakness that these two seemingly unrelated victims both happen to have ties to Montale, since this coincidence is what allows the plot to unravel in the manner it does.

As in "Total Chaos", things get very convoluted very quickly as Montale runs around Marseille getting entangled with all kinds of characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig VINE VOICE on December 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
and the sails were low. Will you never let us go?" Rudyard Kipling, "Song of the Galley-Slaves"

The title of Jean-Claude Izzo's "Chourmo" is taken from an old Provencal word describing the rowers in Roman galleys. Izzo writes that "In Marseilles, you weren't just from one neighborhood, one project. You were chourmo. In the same galley, rowing! Trying to get out. Together." But the melancholy subtext here is that either by design or fortune (good or bad) all the rowing in the world never gets the characters that inhabit Izzo's world very far from Marseilles. This is not really surprising when you consider that Marseilles never really let Jean-Claude Izzo get away. Izzo was bon in Marseilles in 1945. He died, at age 54, in Marseilles. Chourmo is Volume II in what is known as Izzo's Marseilles Trilogy. Total Chaos (Marseilles Trilogy) is Volume I; Solea (Marseilles Trilogy) is Volume III.

"Chourmo" reintroduces us to Fabio Montale, Montale, now retired from the force, is content to listen to his music and work on his cottage overlooking the bay he swam in as a child. But his cousin Gelou, asks him to find her son who snuck out of the house one night to see a girl and who has not returned. Montale next sees an old friend gunned down in a low-income housing project. The rest of the story is devoted to resolving how these two seemingly parallel story lines play out. Along the way we are exposed to the many social forces that shape the nature of crime and punishment in Marseilles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ewka on August 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I did not read the Total Chaos and now I cannot wait to read the two remaining books. Chourmo spoiled me for other books for at least...a couple of days. I cannot live without reading any longer. Wonderful book full of smells of crime, love, food and wine. Good historical background for a present Muslim - French relations. Touchy and the end will knock you down. A must read for anybody loving a good suspense story. So different from the latest US product of the same type.
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By graig healey on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very dark, but writing was excellent. Have not read anything so gripping for a very long time.All three in the trilogy were great
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