Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples' Organized Crime System Paperback – November 25, 2008
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“The most important book to come out of Italy in years. . . . I could not get this brave book out of my head.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Astonishing . . . gripping . . . [Saviano] exhibits the passion and heroism of a young man.” ―The Washington Post
“Brilliant.” ―The Wall Street Journal
“Read this important book and you will appreciate why Italy is still a country that needs heroes like [Saviano].” ―The Guardian (UK)
“An Engrossing book, animated by a fervor that's uncommon in American investigative reporting . . . As much a literary lament as a gritty exposé.” ―Mother Jones
“Endlessly eye-opening and sobering.” ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Robert Saviano was born in 1979 and studied philosophy at the University of Naples. Gomorrah, his first book, has won many awards, including the prestigious 2006 Viareggio Literary Prize. After its publication, he was placed under police protection.
- Publisher : Picador; First edition (November 25, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312427794
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312427795
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.53 x 0.88 x 8.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #835,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The Camorra he describes seems to have two components--a violent, vicious killing machine to enforce its rule and get its way. The other part is that of a commercial empire using its originally ill gotten gains to finance and capitalize a range of mostly legitimate businesses. Of course there are the illegal businesses--such as the drug trade. And even some of the "legitimate" businesses are only quasi-legitimate--high quality knockoffs or counterfeit fashion articles.
The books was originally published in ~2005 or 2006. So in that regard it's dated, but I don't doubt that the Camorra Version 2018 isn't all that much different from the Camorra Version 2006.
The author’s introduction of his own agenda to the story weakens a still very worthwhile read.
Top reviews from other countries
I appreciate this is to an extent nature of 'mafiosi' but severe pruning would have told the same story better.
Also he has a descriptive mind and that's good but some of the similies and metaphors were hard to grasp if you don't know the region or subjects as well as he.
You do get an overall impression of how ingrained and intractable organised crime is in Southern Italy and increasingly Eastern Europe. The scale and ingenuity of these crime families and their grip on and their significance to the Italian economy is much more shocking than their violence- to read about that is!
The book offers no solutions, no real study of the politics of how things came to this. The view is that's how things are in the South and there you go. I found myself asking 'so what' in the end.
It highlights lots of very big problems but didn't even attempt to analyse any solutions.
Although the structure of the book is excellent, thematic and engaging, the writing style is oddly poetic and verging on self indulgent. Some of the philosophical asides begin to grind after a while and seem patronising at times. This could be a result of a bad translation, or possible Saviano does indeed write in this style, either way it detracts from what is a well researched, disturbing and engaging read.