Books

Sandokan

A Novel

158 Pages

Published September 2014

Sandokan
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About the Book

I'm never coming back to my home town.

A major Italian author’s tale of growing up with Italy’s most brutal criminal enterprise, the Camorra.

This striking novella is based on first-hand research of the Camorra, an Italian organized crime network more powerful and violent than the Mafia. It's the brutal organization that was recently exposed by Roberto Saviano, both in his brilliant non-fiction account and the film adaptation. Saviano, as it turns out, first interviewed Camorra members while working as a research assistant to Nanni Balestrini, collecting the stories that would become Sandokan.

Though fiction, Sandokan is horribly, devastatingly real. The narrator is a resigned victim of the Camorra. The Camorra members are his neighbors, and he presents an uncompromising description of a world under savage occupation, the true combination of backwardness, violence, and ambition that locks small-town southern Italy under the control of organized crime. It is one of the most meaningful and riveting books to have been produced by Italian literature of recent years, by one of Italy’s most significant authors.

The Contemporary Art of the Novella series is designed to highlight work by major authors from around the world. In most instances, as with Imre Kertész, it showcases work never before published; in others, books are reprised that should never have gone out of print. It is intended that the series feature many well-known authors and some exciting new discoveries. And as with the original series, The Art of the Novella, each book is a beautifully packaged and inexpensive volume meant to celebrate the form and its practitioners.

Praises

Praise for Nanni Balestrini’s Sandokan

“Sandokan is literature, capable of prying open, like a powerful crowbar, the grates of history in our part of Italy…. a work of literature with enormous power of moral and civic denunciation.”
—Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System

“Dark and unforgiving… Sandokan is a masterful Italian tragedy, blunt and never romantic.”
—Bookslut

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