Memory of the Abyss by Marcello Fois

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...the jokes are funny in the best tradition of blackly comic war novels.


When Samuele Stocchino is two years old the village sage can already see a heart shaped like a wolf's head beating in his breast: the heart of a murderer. As a colonial soldier in Northern Africa, recruited from one subject land to subdue another, the sixteen-year-old Stocchino learns to kill before he has learned to love, and it is a skill he hones to perfection on the pitiless battlefields of the Corso Front in the Great War.

Returning to Sardinia a hero to a pauper's welcome, he finds his family swindled and his sweetheart stolen away by the richest clan in the region, and from one first crime of passion a bitter feud is born. Stocchino terrorizes his wealthy neighbours and anyone who dares to till their land until, with Italy now firmly under Mussolini's boot, his elimination becomes Il Duce's priority. As he continues to elude capture, the seeds of myth are sown and the legend of Samuele Stocchino is forged.

Shrouded by mystery and portent, Memory of the Abyss is a stirring fusion of myth, history and fiction, a daring re-imagining of the true story of a notorious Sardinian bandit and a deft excavation of the island's cultural roots by one of Italy's most gifted and celebrated writers.


About Marcello Fois

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Marcello Fois was born in Sardinia in 1960 and is one of a gifted group of writers called Group 13, who explore the cultural roots of their various regions. He writes for the theatre, television and cinema, and is the author of several novels, including The Advocate (2003). Patrick Creagh is the award-winning translator of Antonio Tabucchi, Salvatore Satta, Italo Calvino, Flavio Conti, Gesualdo Bufalino and Claudio Magris.
Published March 1, 2012 by Maclehose. 224 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Above average
Reviewed by Thomas Jones on Aug 18 2012

...the jokes are funny in the best tradition of blackly comic war novels.

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