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Gomorrah – Roberto Saviano

When Gomorrah came out in 2007, apart from spawning a popular TV series, it shook the world. The workings of Italy’s lesser known ‘other mafia’ — the Camorra — are laid bare and Saviano subsequently signed his own death certificate. He has been in hiding ever since.

Gomorrah – Roberto Saviano (2007) – 301 pages

It’s a gut-wrenching mosaic of stories, of how this organisation operates from Naples — mind you, a modern West-European city — and their direct impact on anything and everything in the area and indirectly all throughout Europe. No details are spared, murders and tortures included. The title is of course a word play on the the Camorra name and the biblical story of the city that was so foul it got destroyed. It makes complete sense.

Gomarrah is a necessary book, it was just a question of who dared to write it. Roberto Saviano did.

There are however some caveats. In trying to be complete the book features a devastating onslaught of names en characters. Too many to wrap your head around. But maybe that was precisely the point. The other caveat is that there is little explanation for how and why this specific area is the birthplace for the Camorra. But that was not the point, so you would need another book for that.

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