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Gomorrah: Italy's Other Mafia [Paperback]

Roberto Saviano , Virginia Jewiss
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Nov 2011

Published to coincide with the eponymous blockbuster film, Roberto Saviano's groundbreaking and utterly compelling book is a major international bestseller and has to date sold 750,000 copies in Italy alone. Since publishing his searing expose of their criminal activities, the author has received so many death threats from the Camorra that he has been assigned police protection. Known by insiders as 'the System', the Camorra, an organized crime network with a global reach and large stakes in construction, high fashion, illicit drugs and toxic-waste disposal, exerts a malign grip on cities and villages along the Neapolitan coast is the deciding factor in why Campania has the highest murder rate in all of Europe and why cancer levels there have skyrocketed in recent years.

In pursuit of his subject, Saviano worked as an assistant at a Chinese textile manufacturer and on a construction site, both controlled by 'the System', and as a waiter at a Camorra wedding. Born in Naples, he recalls seeing his first murder at the age of fourteen, and how his own father, a doctor, suffered a brutal beating for trying to help an eighteen-year-old victim, left for dead in the street.

Gomorrah is both a bold and engrossing piece of investigative writing and one heroic young man's impassioned story of a place under the rule of a murderous organization.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Media tie-in edition (4 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330450999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330450997
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A fascinating primer on organised crime, and a powerful indictment of a corrupt economy.' -- Daily Telegraph

'A superb piece of investigative reporting.' -- The Sunday Times

'Gritty, often heartbreaking, this menacing expose holds you by the throat.' -- The Scotsman

'His furiously impassioned book has led 'the System' to declare they want him dead by Christmas... a must read.' -- Non-Fiction Books of the Year - The Metro (National)

'In a book packed with murder and beatings, Saviano names names and points to the bodies...Naples will never be the same.' -- The Independent

'Powerful and poetic.' -- The Sunday Telegraph

'The Neapolitan author is only 28, with a single blazingly vivid and courageous book to his name' -- The Independent

'Unprecedently intimate.'
-- The Observer

'What makes Saviano's [account] different is the intensity and complexity of his engagement...Deeply unsettling.' -- Tim Parks, The London Review of Books

`Gritty, often heartbreaking, this menacing expose holds you by the throat' -- Evening Standard

Review

'The Neapolitan author is only 28, with a single blazingly vivid and courageous book to his name'


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
122 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening the Floodgates 17 May 2008
Format:Hardcover
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.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An act of bravery 7 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover
Saviano's insight on this deadly subject made me wonder a few times about his personal relationship with the people he so openly denounces. This is a 28-year-old courageous man who has decided to put his life on the line to cast some light into the darkest area of Italy's social and political life. When I read the first chapter, I had the distinct feeling that what I had in my hands was a truly ground-breaking book. When I read about the links between organised crime and global trade, and to such a scale as well, I could understand why Italy is in the G8 in spite of its disastrous economy and almost irreversible ideological void. Who thinks that organised crime is a phenomenon contained within the Italian peninsula, must think again. Eye-opening and inspirational.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPELLING READING 14 Jan 2008
By La Fata
Format:Hardcover
I have read this book in the original language a year ago and it is still quite clear in my mind. The courageous Roberto Saviano is a master in telling true stories , and this book gives you a powerful insight of the Neapolitan mafia and the wider implications for us all in an extremely readable & compelling manner. A MUST for anyone interested in Italy and Italian current affairs. Once you start reading it you cannot put it down!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Finally someone has the guts of letting the world know what happens in the South of Italy, telling a truly and insight truth. I am from Naples I know every single person and story that has been mentioned in the book, but to read it has still surprised me! It has given me a view of what there is behind the killings or the street's telling; of how big is this empire in the world, not just in Italy as everyone always thinks. Unfortunately to let the world know about this the only way was to translate this book, which I think it's impossible to translate it to make you all feel the goose bumps.
Please do not read this book if you only reads books expecting a drama story or a romantic ending, etc...this is reality, this is what happens behind your backs on a daily basis, this is about the power and about people above us which preside over the nations.
Don't bother to leave negative reviews about this book simply because you cannot understand, or you find it boring, you will never understand anything like this in life.
I bow to Saviano's courage and I seriously hope there will be more people willing to risk his life to give this kind of knowledge to the world!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A passionate, troubling and at times personally conflicted exposé of the Neapolitan mafia the Camorra, Roberto Saviano examines the origins, the history and the bloody rise to power of the various clans to become a powerful and influential force not just in Campania or Italy but throughout the world. In Gomorrah, in a manner that would force him to go into hiding following publication, he names names, examines the environment that gave rise to the Camorra, and tries to understand the thought processes behind their actions, behaviour and their business practices.

What is revealed is staggering and on a scale almost beyond the ability of the reader to grasp. Saviano shows a more widespread and powerful organisation than the more well-known Sicilian mafia, a confederation of clans and cartels that has its fingers in almost every aspect of world commerce - not just gun-running and drug-dealing, but in everything from the fashion industry (passing off high quality copies with the tacit agreement of the main fashion houses) to electronic goods and even monopolising the waste disposal industry. In a nice symmetry, the novel opens by looking at how all the world's commerce passes through Naples, and ends with a look at how it all comes back to Naples as waste to be illegally disposed of in the surrounding countryside.

Exceptionally well-written in this respect, full of poetic, original and insightful observations (which some clearly find difficult to read) that strive to capture the enormity of the scale of the Camorra's activities, the book can also be quite shocking, describing the killings and clan wars, the battles over territory, the grim tortures and executions carried out to anyone who opposes the System. It's a fascinating look at the manners and morals not just of the Camorra, but of the world today, of big business of the most ruthless sort taken to its ultimate extreme, with no social conscience or long-term outlook. Truly terrifying.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This essential, brilliant, brave and devastating book
Gomorrah should be essential reading for everyone who visits Italy simply to enjoy the enchantments of its art, its unspoilt landscapes, its music, its architecture and its food. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Cafe Poet
5.0 out of 5 stars havent read this yet but sounds good
sounds very interesting looking forward to reading this book how people are living in nightm ares like this it sound like an awful life but interesting to read about
Published 2 months ago by Wendy Tallentire
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject matter
Probably not subject matter that would appeal to all but thoroughly enjoyed this - found level of intensity just right
Published 4 months ago by Ms M Valori
5.0 out of 5 stars Gomorrah!
Excellent book, well written, and no holds barred on descriptions of events. No wonder Roberto Saviano had to get out of Italy after exposing theses events
Published 6 months ago by Satisfied
5.0 out of 5 stars book review
this is the second time i have read this book and am very pleased with my purchase. service and product both excellent
Published 7 months ago by karen
1.0 out of 5 stars Really struggled with this, maybe it was just me ...
Really struggled with this, maybe it was just me, I got 25% thought it and then stopped, first book that has ever beaten me
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars iTALAIN HUSBAND
HE LOVED IT IT IS SO GRAFIC AND IT REALY IS LIKE THAT HE ALSO REMEMBERS A BIT ABOUT NAPLES AND THE SURRONDING TOWNS
Published 8 months ago by ELIZABETH SORRENTINO
5.0 out of 5 stars Ciao.
Excellent writer of books, this one was used and at a fully inclusive cost of 1.50 you cant go wrong
Published 12 months ago by Roberto
3.0 out of 5 stars How to make Italians feel embarassed
I only rated it with three star because after reading it I was ashamed and embarassed. This is a book that describes in depth the dark side of a part of Italy, where desperation a... Read more
Published 13 months ago by enzo beatrice
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Interesting
A fascinating book that I couldn't put down. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in organised crime. (Read the book before you watch the movie!)
Published 14 months ago by Jim T
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