Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano

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A groundbreaking major bestseller in Italy, Gomorrah is Roberto Saviano's gripping nonfiction account of the decline of Naples under the rule of the Camorra, an organized crime network with a large international reach and stakes in construction, high fashion, illicit drugs, and toxic-waste disposal. Known by insiders as "the System," the Camorra affects cities and villages along the Neapolitan coast, and is the deciding factor in why Campania, for instance, has the highest murder rate in all of Europe and whycancer levels there have skyrocketed in recent years.

Saviano tells of huge cargoes of Chinese goods that are shipped to Naples and then quickly distributed unchecked across Europe. He investigates the Camorra's control of thousands of Chinese factories contracted to manufacture fashion goods, legally and illegally, for distribution around the world, and relates the chilling details of how the abusive handling of toxic waste is causing devastating pollution not only for Naples but also China and Somalia. In pursuit of his subject, Saviano worked as an assistant at a Chinese textile manufacturer, a waiter at a Camorra wedding, and on a construction site. A native of the region, 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 aid an eighteen-year-old victim who had been left for dead in the street.

Gomorrah is a bold and important work of investigative writing that holds global significance, one heroic young man's impassioned story of a place under the rule of a murderous organization.

About Roberto Saviano

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ROBERTO SAVIANO was born in Naples in 1979. As a journalist, he writes for La Repubblica and L’Espresso, as well as for many newspapers around the world. After the publication of Gomorrah (now translated into forty languages) and its subsequent film adaptation, he received several death threats, obliging the Italian government to provide him with twenty-four-hour protection. He has been living in hiding since 2006. In 2011 he was awarded the PEN/Pinter Prize. OONAGH STRANSKY is the translator of works by Carlo Lucarelli and Giuseppe Pontiggia.
Published November 4, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 324 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Travel, History, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Gomorrah

Publishers Weekly

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Saviano has created a perfectly realized, morally compelling journey through the brutal world of contemporary Italian mob life in this ceaselessly violent tale of the Camorra, a network of thugs, e

Aug 13 2007 | Read Full Review of Gomorrah

Publishers Weekly

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Saviano's landmark expose of the demoralizing effects of organized crime in his homebase of Naples, Italy, is an incredible tale that loses its power in this long-winded reading by veteran Kramer. Dro

Nov 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Gomorrah

The New York Times

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A young Italian journalist counts the costs of the mob's power in this savage indictment of the Neapolitan crime organization known as the Camorra.

Nov 14 2007 | Read Full Review of Gomorrah

The New York Times

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A journalist explores the rampant organized crime in Italy’s Campania region.

Nov 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Gomorrah


Two of the characters in the film implicated in the dirty work of the Camorra, however, are able to extricate themselves from the crime network.

May 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Gomorrah

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tolis 11 Nov 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5


tolis 13 Nov 2013

Added the book to custom list 'Have read'