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When the protagonist is a vicious murderer,
This review is from: At the End of a Dull Day (Paperback)
This crime thriller has a certain offbeat brilliance to it once the reader gets used to the idea that the protagonist is a despicable human being with very few redeeming human qualities. Set in political corrupt modern Italy, "At the End of a Dull Day" is the story of Giorgio Pellegrini, an ex-terrorist/gangster who has carved out a very comfortable life as a respectable and prosperous night club owner in a town in the Veneto region of Italy. He is in full control of his life, including the minute-to-minute manipulation of his beautiful wife's daily routine and total subservience to his personal whims and physical needs. When his carefully built golden life starts to come apart after a major betrayal by his lawyer and political sponsor which involves the embezzlement of most of his Pellegrino's savings (actually investments in some shady projects), he reverts to old and very violent habits to salvage his garden of eden. Things spiral downward when the Calabrian mafia arrive on his doorstep.
While often a depressing commentary on the bottomless political and social hell that author Massimo Carlotto ascribes to contemporary Italy, the plot of this novel is unusually clever and frequently witty enough to keep the reader from total disgust. By book's end, it's difficult not to develop some level of admiration for Pellegrino and his determination to survive and prosper in what is very much a savage and violent political jungle.