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on 2 March 2017
Quick delivery, great book
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on 17 May 2017
Brilliant book
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 December 2008
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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on 21 May 2013
I had been wanting to read this fr years and was disappointed within 10pages. There was no fluency and it was obvious the translation from Italian to English just wasn't working. It was the first book I returned to Amazon and was very disappointed to have done so
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on 24 April 2017
Just finished reading GOMORRAH by Roberto Saviano. The author unearths the different faces of mafia operating in Italy and the families involved. So much was the sensation of this book, that on its release, the author had to go into hiding, and is now under police protection.
Roberto Saviano is an investigative journalist. We in Pakistan need one Roberto too who could unearth the political/mafia families who take turns in ruling over the people of Pakistan!
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on 14 January 2008
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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on 23 March 2011
It's very difficult to give this book a bad review when you know the history behind it, that the young author is hiding for his life from the crime gangs he describes.

Happily, the book deserves the very best review because it is a great achievement. Searing, relentless, poignant, utterly candid, it is a shocking expose of life and labour amongst the Neapolitan poor, and the brutal syndicates who exploit them. It is also a wild indictment of southern Italian mores, far from the verities of the pasta commercial.

Heartily recommended.
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on 9 March 2016
A book that begins with an image of dozens of frozen bodies falling from a shipping container is one that promises to keep your attention, and this book does just that. Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano’s breakout bestseller is a book as horrendously beautiful and as carefully constructed as the produce of the crime gangs it details. Though it is a book full of facts and figures, they are cloaked in vibrantly descriptive prose. This not only makes the book easy to read, it makes it visceral and gripping. Saviano’s description of the places, the fear, and his own experiences help the reader comprehend the undeniable reality of the Camorra, spreading like an ink stain across the fabric of the world.

The structure of this book is almost as hard to concisely describe as the structure of the Camorra itself. As they are split into factions, ever changing, ever growing in power, so too is the book, it is part undercover report, part autobiography, part political condemnation, but these parts meld beautifully to create that rarest of things. A book that is equal parts raw, honest, and informative. A book that speaks of horror, yet somehow conveys its own form of hope. A book that comes from the streets, and elevates them to the heavens with its spectacular prose. Gomorrah is a book that speaks of the worst corners of this world, not because it wishes to shock, but because it wishes to inform, and inspire change. This is a brave book, a rare book, a book that changes the lives of all who read it, and the lives of all those found within its pages, its author included.

There is no doubt that Gomorrah was written in the heat of passion; its words drip with Saviano’s anger and shame at what has happened to his home, yet the rage does not overpower the reality, and what the reader experiences is a book equally filled with truth and emotion. The style of the book, its jarring and changing pace, its sudden switching of scenes and topics, its honesty, its visceral, vital, description, are all testament to the man who wrote it.

It is impossible that any other author, at any other time, could have written this book. It is a fortunate, and faithful, melding of one man, with one place, in one moment, combining his passion and experiences, with the Camorra’s corruption and hardship. It is true that without Campania, without the Camorra, there would be no book, but it is equally true that it could not exist, at least, not in such an exquisite, and affecting form, without Roberto Saviano. It is his voice that leads us through the world of the Camorra, and it is his voice, though tempered by Virginia Jewiss’ translation, that brings it to life with such power and precision.

This book consistently grows in power with every turn, until, in it’s last words, which take the form of an imagined declaration, torn from the lips of Saviano himself, it seems to become a cry from the mountains of Campania, that rushes through the twisted streets of Naples like the changing tide, chasing the Camorra wherever they hide, becoming a cry for change, a cry for hope.

This is more than a book, it is a world condensed into words. Its pages hold nothing less than the outpourings of a heart breaking at the destruction of its home and the exploitation of all those who live there. Gomorrah is, at its core, a call for cultural revolution, and there is no doubt that there will be one.
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on 25 April 2010
GOMORRAH - the question is this; how does anyone live a good life under such a corrupt society?
Organised crime has not simply infiltrated everyday life. It has intervened, at the most basic of levels, every business, trade, profession and commerce at the very roots - meaning: the people, the workers in the field, the farmers, the growers, the merchants, the store owners, the buyers, customers, you, him, her, me. Every one of us, from apple-pickers to presidents.

How can you trust a politician that has been exposed as a liar, a fraud, a scam-merchant, a gravy-train-robber, a cash-for-questions dealer?
How about a cop, a judge, a media baron? How do we know who has already been bought and paid for? Who exactly is in whom's pocket?

Gomorrah is not just about Naples. Roberto Saviano has demonstrated that the likes of the Camorra have spread their tentacles across the globe; dealing not just in heroin and cocaine, ecstasy, and weed, or the very things we all take for granted, cement, bricks and mortar; but in environmental waste: pollution, toxic leftovers from manufacturing, asbestos, arsenic and all kinds of poisonous chemicals and compounds. Not content with the profits from that they judge it convenient to interfere with the thing we should, and indeed must, hold sacred: our land, our soil, our rivers, streams and seas: waste printer toner might sound innocuous but would you want to ingest it with your carrots, cabbbage or cucumber? How about some tasty Cadmium?

An oil spillage makes headline news but a rusty old stinking ship full of toxic waste does not. It is a double win for the main man. He buys a floating piece of sea-going junk, fills the holds, stuffs it, at a price, with the crap, garbage that European cities do not want left on their doorstep, sinks it in the ocean and then claims the insurance. Done deal. No one is hurt. No one suffers. Where are our fish? Then there's landfill - just what do you think you are eating? What is seeping through our soil and into our rivers, being absorbed into our daily bread?

This is not enough; try people-smuggling, porn, enforced prostitution, paedophilia. Live off the world's poorest, desperate and starved.

Not content with destroying our environment with corruption, with toxins, with drugs, with destroying the lives of young and old, they introduce arms.

The Kaleshnikov is the most succesful weapon of all time. Easy to use, easy to clean, and cheap. A five-year-old can, and has, used one - to kill.

Not content with this the major players on the map of global destruction move into the realm of transporting atomic waste: stuff that is lethal for many several human generations if not properly contained. Not content with the profits from this they decide to sell this 'waste' on to countries that have a desire to refine this stuff into missile-grade weaponry. Not content with this they decide to smuggle and sell ex-soviet weapons stores to nations eager to go to war for profit.

I could go on but I think you've got the picture by now. So, and it is a big SO; back to the original question: how does anyone live a good life under such a corrupt society? You don't. You either keep your head down and your mouth shut or you get dead. The only other alternative is to do what Roberto Saviano has done - name names, point out the guilty, have bodyguards.

You don't have to live in Naples to get murdered for opening your mouth but it helps. Shout loud enough and you will get killed anywhere on the planet.

I only wish that I, and society in general, were honest and brave enough to shout our mouths off about these 'destroyers' as Saviano has done so explicitly.

Read it and weep for our world.
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on 9 February 2010
Great book written with good language.
It is ubelievable what I read in that book. It would never occured for me how nearly whole the Europe is controlled by mafias.
Some of the facts are really brutal and it's more like a criminal movie than reality. So, when you think it is reality, it makes you shiver.
That's more than I expected.
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