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He meets the tiny Argentinian football genius Lionel Messi and writes with moving empathy about his struggle to grow. He meets two Neapolitan boxing champions and mulls the paradox of how in Naples boxing is a way to stay out of the mob's clutches.


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In one of the strongest essays, he writes of meeting Joe Pistone, an Italian-American who for years, under the name of Donnie Brasco, worked as an undercover agent inside the Bonanno Mafia gang. I couldn't be afraid, because I knew that if I made a mistake I could die, and fear makes you make mistakes.

He relishes the warm solidarity offered him by Salman Rushdie. Do not listen to them. They killed [Anna], but not her words — because the proof that you've struck power in the heart is to be shot in the heart. These are consolations for a man living the strange life to which Saviano has been doomed.

But running through this collection like a seam of poison is despair at the way Italy has made its peace with the criminality he exposed. Yet there's a war going on around you and those who fight back lose everything. How did we get so blind?

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So servile, resigned, bowed down? Saviano revealed to stunned Italians just how much of their everyday lives was touched by the Camorra: In Campania, the mafia is now so woven into the social, political and financial fabric that the Camorra also go by the name of Il Sistema — they have, in short, become the system.

Approximately 4, cases in the last 30 years.

From Belfast Telegraph

As a young ambulance doctor, Saviano senior had misguidedly treated the gunshot victim of a Camorra hit. He began work on the book in , consulting police records and court transcripts, as well as taking jobs that allowed first-hand contact with the mob. He worked in the docks, on construction sites, even as a photographer at Camorra weddings. Did he ever imagine then that the book would become so successful?

Gomorrah was written with the recklessness of youth.

Roberto Saviano interview and extract from 'Beauty and the Inferno' - Telegraph

I had no idea how many people would read it, or what consequences it would bring. Saviano lives between hotels, state-rented apartments and police barracks, never staying anywhere longer than a month. My own cooking is dire. How does he cope, though, living in constant fear?

Beauty and the Inferno by Roberto Saviano – Review

Saviano is referring here, specifically, to Camorra killings, but his easy attitude towards death is also one that echoes Neapolitans throughout the ages. Naples is both overlooked by the deadly Mount Vesuvius and prone to devastating earthquakes. Saviano, in short, is cut from the same Neapolitan cloth as the camorristi: The question many asked after Gomorrah , though, was where, as a writer, Saviano could possibly go next.

That work was a masterpiece of courageous, investigative journalism. Saviano, by contrast, is a reporter, who needs access to people, the streets and real life. But Saviano being Saviano, his targets are familiar. Year after year, that share grows. Year after year, they crush more of their competition. Does Saviano think they can ever be beaten? These are clearly steps in the right direction, but many compare them to removing the head of a hydra: Just five feet, five inches tall, Saviano is like many a southern Italian: He is completely bald, too, and rubs his head a lot before speaking, as if to warm up his ever-busy brain.

And in February, he was the star-turn at a huge, anti-Berlusconi, anti-corruption rally in Milan. Berlusconi is no fan of his either. Unless, of course, for Saviano, like for so many men, football is something of a blind-spot. And what of the future? With their tentacles extending right across the globe, one fears, however, that the Camorra could find Saviano wherever he moved to.

In fact, without wishing to sound glib, one wonders just how much the Camorra really want to kill him at all. What with his constant appearances in the public eye, one does suspect they could get their man if they wanted. But the mafia operates best beneath the radar, illicitly accruing vast fortunes and silently infiltrating positions of power. Would they really want to draw attention to themselves by murdering a best-selling writer?

Walt Disney's THE INFERNO - Cancelled Film 1942 - Lost Documentary

The loneliness of the fugitive life informs all the essays in Beauty and the Inferno, Savianos first book since Gomorrah. Present throughout the book is a sense of Savianos peculiar isolation, which infuses his words with anger, exceptional insight and tragedy. Additional Details Original Language.

Reviews "It is good to be reminded of the raw bravery of the Savianos of this world and to salute them for sacrifices they have made in their challenges to power. Saviano writes very well Like Primo Levi, his testimony pricks our conscience, tests our resolve, makes us examine ourselves At once deeply disturbing and illuminating.

Beauty and the Inferno : Essays by Roberto Saviano (2012, Hardcover)

I want to smell the rot of politics and the stench of business. Saviano's confidence and sheer bulldozing coherence could serve as inspiration to all writers, both of fiction and journalism, as the path around weak speechifying and dutiful responses. Read Saviano and feel hope. Saviano's commitment to his subjects draws the reader in This is a strong collection from a brave and keen-eyed reporter. Like Primo Levi, his testimony pricks our conscience, tests ourresolve, makes us examine ourselves It is good to be reminded of the raw bravery of the Savianos of this world and to salute them for sacrifices they have made in their challenges to power.