Black Souls

Gioacchino Criaco

ISBN: 9781616959975

Published: March, 2018

Pricing

Hardcover $25.99

eBook $14.99

Gioacchino Criaco

Milan, Italy

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Description

The modern Italian classic about Calabrian organized crime—now an award-winning motion picture—makes its English-language debut.

In the remote Aspromonte Mountains in southern Calabria, Italy, three best friends embark on a life of crime in order to raise themselves up out of the poverty of their childhoods and the...

The modern Italian classic about Calabrian organized crime—now an award-winning motion picture—makes its English-language debut.

In the remote Aspromonte Mountains in southern Calabria, Italy, three best friends embark on a life of crime in order to raise themselves up out of the poverty of their childhoods and the suffering of their parents. Brainy Luciano, the behind-the-scenes schemer, was orphaned as a little boy when the local mob boss had his postman father executed. Lazy, jovial Luigi has learned that there’s no point in following the rules, since there is no path to riches for poor boys. And completing the triumvirate is the nameless narrator, from whose black soul comes the inspiration and energy for each new criminal project, from kidnapping to armed robbery to heroin dealing to contract killing.

Set in the lush Aspromonte forest in an unnamed town inspired by the author’s native Africo, the birthplace of the ‘Ndrangheta, Calabria’s ruthless and ubiquitous mafia, Black Souls draws on centuries of brigand lore, peasant rebellion history, mountain mythology, and colonial suffering to offer a gripping morality tale about how violence begets violence. The novel tells the cultural history of a disaffected people who have taken destructive paths into organized crime as a means of exploiting a system that has exploited them for hundreds of years.

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“In Black Souls, crime is a tragedy, not a cliché. Criaco tells a forgotten part of Italy.”
—La Stampa
“The black hole of Calabria, land of the 'Ndrangheta, seen from an insider's perspective.”
—La Repubblica
“A harsh and poignant novel, a lucid photograph of a world ruled by violence.”
—The North-Pas-De-Calais Gazette
“Criaco succeeds in bringing the reader into the dark universe of the black souls of Calabria.”
—Metropolis
“I was struck by Gioacchino Criaco's novel, by the emotional and visceral nature of its writing, of its ability to deal with boys entering the crime world without exalting violence. He delimits good and evil, but he puts himself in the shoes of the guys he's talking about, in their wrong, cruel, defeated destinies.”
—Francesco Munzi, director of Anime Nere, the film adaptation of Black Souls