Roberto Saviano is a 28 year old man, who grew up in Secondigliano, a rundown of 10,000 inhabitants on the fringe of Naples, of which 2468 residents are incarcerated for mafia and camorra related activities and the rest have simply been abandoned to their fate. It is also the trading centre through which about 80% of Europe's cocaine is filtered through, packaged, distributed, marketed, cut, and sold on. This is an unpalatable reality few outside of Italy understand, care about or are able to believe. And this little book has opened a floodgates, no less for the Italians who have always known the extent of the Camorra's corruption on all levels of italian and international society, but who, out of fear, or inability to get close, have not been able to speak about it in this much detail. Roberto's life has been largely destroyed by the writing of this book. He has had to change identity, separate from his family and lives under 24 hour police escort. But for those who live here, in the shadow of mafia, surrounded by the stink of corruption, of Naples' uncollected rubbish, of silent witnesses and a society still living in a dark middle age marked with bloodshed and hopelessness this book has opened a floodgates which may hope may finally lift the cover on a tragedy that affects not only the entire country, but all of Europe, and the world.
Please read this. The Camorra is not a Scorcese movie, the mafia is not some antiquated clichè. We live with it, and our country is slowly dying because of it. This is not a work of fiction, sadly.