Published to coincide with the new Sky Atlantic TV series, Roberto Saviano's groundbreaking and utterly compelling book is a major international bestseller and has to date sold 750,000 copies in Italy alone.
Since publishing his searing expose of their criminal activities, the author has received so many death threats from the Camorra that he has been assigned police protection.
Known by insiders as 'the System', the Camorra, an organized crime network with a global reach and large stakes in construction, high fashion, illicit drugs and toxic-waste disposal, exerts a malign grip on cities and villages along the Neapolitan coast is the deciding factor in why Campania has the highest murder rate in all of Europe and why cancer levels there have skyrocketed in recent years.
In pursuit of his subject, Saviano worked as an assistant at a Chinese textile manufacturer and on a construction site, both controlled by 'the System', and as a waiter at a Camorra wedding. Born in Naples, he recalls seeing his first murder at the age of fourteen, and how his own father, a doctor, suffered a brutal beating for trying to help an eighteen-year-old victim, left for dead in the street.
Gomorrah is both a bold and engrossing piece of investigative writing and one heroic young man's impassioned story of a place under the rule of a murderous organization.
"A kaleidoscopic personal testimony rooted in a visceral rage and revulsion at what organised crime has done to one of the most beautiful places on earth. … Organised crime is a permanent emergency in southern Italy, and it has never been written about with such guts and passion … Read this important book, and you will appreciate why Italy is still a country that needs heroes like him."
- John Dickie, GUARDIAN REVIEW
"A superb piece of investigative reporting … Saviano is without question a winning young man with real potential as a writer."
- Misha Glenny, THE SUNDAY TIMES
"Every so often, when reading Saviano's book, Gomorrah: Italy's Other Mafia, published in Britain this Friday, you have to pause, and remember he is writing not about some war-torn African territory or former communist state, but about life in a big city in a rich nation in western Europe; a founder-member of the European Union; a favourite destination for low-cost flyers, and a country whose affairs are increasingly - and, Saviano suggests, dangerously - bound up with ours."
- John Hooper, THE GUARDIAN
"(Saviano) has produced one of the most enthralling and disturbing books written on organised crime ... the great value of Gomorrah is to highlight two points: the power and wealth that southern Italy's Mafias have accumulated in recent years, and the fact that their globalisation makes them an issue of concern for us all. His description of the effects of gang war on ordinary people (“Women stop wearing high heels—too hard to run in them”) is masterly. His final chapter, set in the apocalyptic wilderness of the Camorra's smouldering waste dumps, is inspired—and prescient, as the garbage crisis in Naples unfolds."
- THE ECONOMIST
"This brave account of the most organised of all Italy's crime fraternities demands respect. Saviano's devastating account of his homeland is highly emotional: unlike many, perhaps older and wearier, Italian journalists, he still feels personally outraged by what he sees. His descriptions of the lawless violent world of Naples are both gritty and sentimental, a poetry of cruelty. Perhaps unsurprisingly, since the book came out, he has been threatened by the clans and now has a police escort for his own safety."
- Clare Longrigg, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH