- Title: Midnight In Sicily
- Author: Peter Robb
- ISBN: 9781875989058
- Page: 336
- Format: None
In an intoxicating mix of crime, travel, and food writing, the author sets out to understand both the historic roots of the Mafia and its central place in contemporary Italian politics.
Recent Comments "Midnight In Sicily"
This book is a pretty comprehensive account of the development, changing nature and widespread influence of the main groups of organized criminality in Italy (Mafia with origins in Sicily, and Camorra in Naples) after WWII. Much of the history is taken from firsthand accounts and documentation, some of it used in famous Mafia trials. A bit disjointed and occasionally tedious to read - the complex intertwining and overlapping of organized criminality, foreign powers interests, terrorism, cultural [...]
I was lucky to find this book in Sicily on the tiny English section of the Mandatori bookshop in Ragusa Ibla a few summers ago. It is an excellent read about the author's love of sicilian culture and food with the backdrop of the mafia's complete control of the island up to the assassinations of the anti-mafia judges Borsellino and Falconi. I learned an immense amount of things about Sicily thanks to this book. It is also thanks to Robb that I discovered and later read and LOVED Il Gepardo, the [...]
The title promises a broader and more rounded view of Sicily than what we actually get. Instead of a balanced overview of many aspects of the history of the island, we get an awful lot of Cosa Notra, with the occasional short chapter, or even just a few paragraphs, on a particular typical recipe or representative work of art, and then it's back to the mafia stuff again. Which is fine, if that's what you're interested in. Personally I found myself skimming over some of the interminable and hopele [...]
This is an excellent insight into Sicilian life. I read this as 'research' just before I went to live there in 2000. The family I lived with were amazed of the things I knew about because I had read about them prior. Go to Sicily it's wonderful!
A fascinating insight into Sicily and the Cosa Nostra, particularly the political influence of Andreotti. The extreme violence of the 1970's and 80s reads like fiction.I was fortunate enough to see Litizia Battaglia's work exhibited in Taormina, Sicily (times have changed in Sicily after all!) and those images along with Robb's writing really bring home the terrifying violence and power of the Mafia in Sicily .
A look at the post-war rise of Cosa Nostra and its intertwining with Italian politics (what with most of the Government’s ministers apparently being either a part of or closely tied with the group), this was an interesting although sometimes confusing book.A complex subject at the best of times, the vast array of names (whether they be the many organisations like the Demochristians, the Red Brigades and the Cosa Nostra, the criminals and the politicians - who are often one and the same, the pr [...]
This is a complex and fascinating read that weaves together Camorra, Cosa Nostra, Mafia and the politics of post war Italy. At times I felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the topic but as I continued to read I found the threads coming together to create a complete picture of this period in history. I really enjoyed the travelogue components that included history, culture and the food of Naples and Sicily, along with the interviews and descriptions with some significant spectators to the unfold [...]
I am trying to get a trip to Sicily organized for April. I thought this would help set the scene, though I am more interested in the volcanoes and food than the mafia. Anyone read it?Agonizing structure--so disjointed. It isn't holding my attention, too many mafiosi. I've put it in the loo--but I think it means I've given up.
The thing that is great about this book is the language. The topic is a bit grim, but the language is just enchanting. You can just start anywhere and read onward from there.
Bardzo dziwna mieszanka książki podróżniczej i dokumentalnej. Temat ciekawy, ale podany w niezbyt przystępny sposób - opisy sycylijskich miasteczek i wsi mieszają się tu z listą nazwisk i dat; kulinarne zachwyty nad regionalnymi specjałami podane są pomiędzy suchymi faktami dotyczącymi zależnościami między mafią i politykami.
It took me a while to get to the pace of this book, which starts with a line such as "I returned to Naples after a ten year absence" So it is that sort of book, with political and social observations of a narrator who is part of the tale. But as it went on, I was able to pay less attention to the narrator and focus on the extraordinary breadth of his coverage of Sicily, and to a lesser degree, Naples. Some of the tales were a bit on the side of The Lives of Rich and Famous People, but for the mo [...]
One of my favourite books, I've just re-read it for the third time (I've got an appalling memory, so it almost reads like new each time if I allow enough time to pass).Robb weaves Sicilian history, the Mafia, food, culture, politics and intrigue into a heady brew. None of these themes are explored in real depth, so if you want a recipe book or a detailed history of Cosa Nostra then look elsewhere.If you have an existing knowledge of the Sicilian Mafia and of general Italian history since 1945 th [...]
It takes significant talent to write a book about murder that is also life-affirmingly beautiful. It takes significant talent to write a book about labyrinthine institutional corruption that is also engrossing. Peter Robb's is one such talent, and "Midnight in Sicily" combines incisive thoughts on politics and gangsterism with reflections on food, art and literature that are so richly evocative that one's senses are attuned not only to Sicily's olive groves and caponata but to its corpses and sm [...]
A tale of the Sicilian mafia and an Australian journalist's life in Italy. Interesting information but tedious to read. This man cannot write.
More a history of Andreotti's dealings with the mafia than anything else, but still an interesting reading about Sicily, its people, its food, its history
This book is one of the very best I have read on an aspect of Italian life and politics.(The other is Christ Stopped At Eboli) I am going to read it again, as some of the detail is fading from memory. Robb, a long-term ex-pat writes seriously about the underbelly of Italian life, but also conveys hislove and respect for the country, its traditions and food especially!When visiting my husbands relatives in Sicily, I found the undercurrents there present - men with rifles nd wolf-dogs standing in [...]
Hace pocos días leí una entrevista con Juan Pedro Aparicio en la que señalaba: “Lo de España con sus escritores a veces parece como de broma. Eso sí, si tú eres australiano o australiana y ganas un premio en Queensland puedes ser recibido en España como un verdadero genio.” ¿A cuento de qué viene esta cita? Muy sencillo, Peter Robb es australiano y el libro, más bien flojo.No empieza con muy buen pie cuando en la página 17, tras la interminable descripción de un mercado palermita [...]
This book has been very interesting. I began reading it in September 2017 but had to put it down for a while. There are beautiful descriptions of Sicily and Naples that I enjoyed very much. There is also A LOT of talk on the mafia. When I first started reading I didn’t realize this. To be honest, the title and description are quite misleading. This is less a travel book than it is a history of the Cosa Nostra and it’s deep governmental ties. Nonetheless, when I saw it on my shelf this Januar [...]
Re-reading books can be a fraught business - the impression a book has on a reader can be a combination of the content of the book, the time and place it was read, the state of the reader's mind when reading, how receptive they were to the book's content, and how that content reacts to everything else in the reader's mind. Re-reading a book also takes time away from the possibility of reading something new.Some books, I think, should not be re-read: they are a book for a certain stage of a reade [...]
Got 80 pages through before I had to leave for Sicily. A confusing travelogue, partially because try as he may Peter Robb has too many names, crimes, and organization squeezed into too tight a chapter, but a really helpful look into Sicilian ways and politics. Robb's descriptions: of markets, murders, and changes was the most helpful writings for learning what Palermo would be like and how it got that way. Done literary! Some gorgeous prose. 7/10.
Interesting account touching on the Cosa Nostra, Sicilian and a bit of Italy's history at large. Was rather surprised that some of the major happenings are pretty recent too. On the flip side, it came off as a very tedious read with some bits of unecessary recounts here and there.
This reads like a movie plot - incredible stuff.
This was a tricky one for me to rate as it is very well written and researched but the subject matter of mafia history in Sicily was not a grabber for me.
Appreciation and disappointment. These are the feelings I'm left with after finishing "Midnight in Sicily". I'm appreciative that Robb is willing to dig down into an area of Italian life that so many - particularly Italians - are reluctant to, but I can't help feeling a pang of disappointment (several, actually) that the result is so lackluster and unenthusiastic. Having just finished Alexander Stille's "Excellent Cadavers" (which was indeed excellent) the contrast couldn't be sharper. We lived [...]
I enjoyed this book, the first of what I am sure will be many post-honeymoon Sicily books, immensely. It is part travelogue, part contemporary history. The unifying theme in a narrative that comprises journalism, personal reminiscence, history, geography, folklore, and astute criticism of painting, sculpture, literature, photography and food, is the domination of post-WWII Italian politics by organized crime and by the Sicilian Mafia in particular. Having lived for fifteen years in Naples, Robb [...]
This book tells the story of modern Sicily from its liberation in WW2 to the mid 1990s. Prior to this period, the Mafia, or Cosa Nostra, had existed as another layer of society between the people and the government and controlled the daily lives of the masses. But since the war, the Mafia has also become enmeshed in and corrupted the politics of both Sicily and Italy. Having personally seen, heard, read and experienced Sicily and its rich past, this book fills in the modern picture through the a [...]
Although Peter Robb's book is largely set in the Mezzogiorno, especially in Naples and Palermo, there isn't a better introduction to the extraordinary history of Italy between 1980 and 2000.For those who didn't go through this period, let it be said that you couldn't make it up. The amazing antics of the Italian state in this period are touched on in such films as The Godfather III, and might be mistaken for imaginative fiction. Unholy alliances between the Christian Democrats, the Vatican, the [...]
When I first read it in the 1990s, I was blown away by the politics and the deiscriptions and the immersion of the writer in the world of Sicily.On re-reading, 10 years late and after a trip to Sicily and after reading "Gomorrah", it felt slightly self-indulgent, dense for the sake of it, and lacking enough of the descriptions of Sicilian culture, architecture and food that I remembered from the first time.It was still engrossing but not quite as rewarding.One piece of information did amuse me. [...]
I am a fan of Robb’s and particularly fond of his conversational style. His lyrical and unapologetically bombastic style can sometimes be confronting while owing much to certain Australian storytelling traditions i.e. tall stories and pub yarns. There was one phrase very early in this book which I found so distasteful and disrespectful I almost put it to one side. But in the end I’m glad I persisted.I had read John Dickie’s history of Cosa Nostra not long beforehand so was familiar with so [...]
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. This was a delightful read before my trip to Sicily. The book gives you a good understanding of the Sicilian mindset and the mafia mindset. It seems to covereverything. Food, politics, past, present. The only problem I had with the book was that it felt like Robb was weaving one giant, messy spiderweb, and it was a bit hard to follow with him jumping around all over the place. I'm pretty sure we're MEANT to feel this way--Robb describes a Sicilian town he [...]
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