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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate account of the terrifying reality of war
I've given this novel four stars but maybe three and a half would be a more accurate score. The writing is so patchy - sometimes it soars and achieves a startling brilliance while at other times it is overwritten and clumsy. There are some stock characters here - the good peasant, the mafioso boss, the intriguing Princess, the stoical village women - and for me they never...
Published 4 months ago by countrygirl

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Think twice . . . then think thrice . . . but avoid checkout
Hosannas in the TLS and the Guardian reviews prompted me to order this book and have it sent all the way to America. Its premise (the Mafia returns to Sicily with Patton's and Montgomery's armies) sounded intriguing enough. My hopes were disappointed. Having read it, I am frankly baffled that any reviewer could praise this desperately poorly written novel. The blood...
Published 4 months ago by James Connelly


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Think twice . . . then think thrice . . . but avoid checkout, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: In the Wolf's Mouth (Hardcover)
Hosannas in the TLS and the Guardian reviews prompted me to order this book and have it sent all the way to America. Its premise (the Mafia returns to Sicily with Patton's and Montgomery's armies) sounded intriguing enough. My hopes were disappointed. Having read it, I am frankly baffled that any reviewer could praise this desperately poorly written novel. The blood and guts of the battle scenes has been praised as "poetic"; but it's forced and unconvincing, to say the least. I willed myself ("flogged" might be the better word) to finish the book, hoping there might be something to redeem it. There wasn't. Truly, it is one of the most ineptly written books I have ever read. Whatever merit Foulds may have as a writer, his editor should not have let him get the bit in his mouth and run off with ludicrously extravagant and clumsy metaphors and sometimes freakish diction that would make you laugh, were there not so many instances of them to, in the end, annoy you. The characterization is utterly arbitrary, cartoonish really and nothing more. Think before you lay out 17 and give this one a wide berth. Not only is it a waste of money, it is also a waste of cellulose. Worse of all, it is a waste of your valuable time -- a far, far worse sin. But to give it its curate's egg due: Suzanne Dean's cover design is striking -- the best thing about the book, in fact.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a failure to match stellar reviews, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: In the Wolf's Mouth (Kindle Edition)
I don't wish to repeat the critical comments already posted but simply to record my agreement with their disappointment in this shallow novel. I too bought it on the back of a host of favourable reviews and am baffled that so many supposedly practiced judges can have been so misguided.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars History .... Selective And Not One Italians Would Recognise, 20 Mar 2014
This review is from: In the Wolf's Mouth (Hardcover)
Very poorly researched and realised. Lacks authenticity and any understanding of the formation of modern Italy,thats politically, economically and socially. I wonder how someone who shows little grasp of the historical facts can ever create believable characters, that reflect or represent in any complexity a period of history and the position Italians found themselves in. Terrible and misleading.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate account of the terrifying reality of war, 30 Mar 2014
This review is from: In the Wolf's Mouth (Hardcover)
I've given this novel four stars but maybe three and a half would be a more accurate score. The writing is so patchy - sometimes it soars and achieves a startling brilliance while at other times it is overwritten and clumsy. There are some stock characters here - the good peasant, the mafioso boss, the intriguing Princess, the stoical village women - and for me they never seemed authentic and therefore never became engaging. The descriptions of warfare rang true with a horrible vividness.
So - worth reading but didn't live up to rave reviews. By the way, do writers and journos operate some sort of mutual back-scratching over reviews? It seems to me that they do.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than some think!, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: In the Wolf's Mouth (Kindle Edition)
Well, I really don't know what was going on with a couple of the previous reviewers!

This is a novel - and often a powerful one, not a work of precise history, although it deals with events well within the lifetime of many of us. More importantly, it evokes with chilling accuracy much of the atmosphere as the Allies, with their eyes firmly on the greater prizes of Italian capitulation and eventual overall victory, compromised again and again through haste, ignorance and credulity.

Plenty of echoes of the warped morality of The Godfather and also of the fading grandeur of The Leopard, that very fine film.

Woven through all this is - for those fortunate enough to have spent time on the island - the strange, dark and beautiful character of Sicily itself. For me this is an unhesitating full four stars.
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In the Wolf's Mouth
In the Wolf's Mouth by Adam Foulds
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