Kendra (New Orleans LA)
Hard to get through
The opening was gripping, but not enough to offset the next 50 pages. The writer is prone to run-on metaphors, names Italian families and cities with little background and seems scattered. It shapes up after that, but it's hard getting there. And "the anus of the sea" is just a little too visual for me.
Penny (Saginaw MI)
Globalization at its Worst
Author Robert Svaiano worked undercover as an assistant to a Asian textile manufacturer to document how China is involved in the black market of Europe from high-end clothing to low-end junk.
He then collected evidence on the Camorra mob. A mob that technically owns Naples, Italy, especially its poor people.
The violence, the audacity, the subterfuge is as amazing as it is sickening. Toxic waste is dumped where it's feasible, not safe. Tags denoting where items are made mean nothing. Bribes can buy anything.
It's a book of horrors that surely involves far more places than Naples and makes any and all products we buy anywhere suspect.
An interesting read. Another condemnation of China. Also it looks at how the criminal element changes to meet new world challenges.
Beverly (Tallahassee FL)
A Living Hell
Roberto Saviano paints a brilliant, bloody portrait of his hometown Naples, Italy. Far from the lovely image the tourist bureau would have you believe, lies a dirty, corrupt, toxic, violent world controlled by organized crime whose reach extends throughout the world. Shocking!
Debi (Charleston SC)
This book was hard to put down once I started reading it and at times I had to remind myself I wasn't reading a novel. I believe this book will have limited appeal due to the violence throughout. I think the book would benefit from an audio version read by the author. I admire Roberto Saviano for his fearlessness in sharing his story.
Fred (san diego CA)
I found Roberto Saviano's book a fasinating trip into the Camorra underworld.He writes almost poeticly in parts.Extremly riviting throughout. A book that can be read in one setting.
Carol (East Greenwich RI)
Roberto Saviano takes us into the underworld of Naples by infiltrating the operations of the Camorra. The majority of this book is an exposé on clan dealings and clan wars - think The Godfather or the Sopranos but more vicious and intense. The chapter on the Secondigliano War (the bloody Camorra turf war) is extremely graphic.
I was most interested when Saviano talked about Naples’ ports, China’s ties with the black market fashion industry in Italy and the illegal dumping of toxic waste, but these topics are covered only in the first and last chapters. Everything in between is soaked in violence. While the author does try to penetrate the criminal psychology of the Camorra, it is the brutality that will stay in your mind.
I’m glad I read Gomorrah for what I learned, but it was far too violent for my taste.
Gail (Cypress TX)
This book contains some very shocking and important facts. Unfortunately, because it is so poorly written, edited, and translated, it will have little appeal in the United States.
This book will be interesting to people who travel in Italy, value the Made In Italy brands, are disturbed about human rights issues, or have concern for our global environment particularly regarding toxic waste. This book is very difficult to read because of both the structure and the content.