From the author of the #1 international bestseller Gomorrah comes a groundbreaking investigation of the international cocaine trade, as vicious as it is powerful, and its hidden role in the global economy.
“Zero zero zero” flour is the finest, whitest available. “Zero zero zero” is also the nickname among narcotraffickers for the purest, highest quality cocaine on the market. And it is the title of Roberto Saviano’s unforgettable exploration of how the cocaine trade knits the world into its dark economy and imposes its own vicious rules and moral codes on its armies and, through them, on us all.
Saviano’s Gomorrah, his explosive account of the Neapolitan mob, the Camorra, was a worldwide publishing sensation. It struck such a nerve with the Camorra that Saviano has lived with twenty-four hour police protection in the shadow of death threats for more than seven years. During this time he has become intimate with law enforcement agencies around the world. Saviano has broadened his perspective to take in the entire global “corporate” entity that is the drug trade in cooperation with law enforcement officials, who have fed him information and sources and used him to guide their own thinking and tactics. Saviano has used this extraordinary access to feed his own groundbreaking reportage.
The result is a truly amazing and harrowing synthesis of intimate literary narrative and geopolitical analysis of one of the most powerful dark forces in the global economy. In ZeroZeroZero, Saviano tracks the shift in the cocaine trade’s axis of power, from Colombia to Mexico, and relates how the Latin American cartels and gangs have forged alliances, first with the Italian crime syndicates, then with the Russians, Africans, and others. On the one hand, he charts an astonishing increase in sophistication and diversification as these criminal entities diversify into many other products and markets. On the other, he reveals the threat of violence to protect and extend power and how the nature of the violence has grown steadily more appalling.
Saviano is a journalist of rare courage and a thinker of impressive intellectual depth and moral imagination, able to see the connections between far-flung phenomena and bind them into a single epic story. Most drug-war narratives feel safely removed from our own lives; Saviano offers no such comfort. As heart racing as it is heady, ZeroZeroZero is a fusion of a variety of disparate genres into a brilliant new form that can only be called Savianoesque.
“Taken as a whole, [ZeroZeroZero] is an angry rebuke to all those—traffickers and politicians alike—who perpetuate the violence….By reminding readers of the senseless suffering wrought by the cocaine trade, this book makes a powerful case for a new approach.”
“In articulating [his] cri de coeur, [Saviano] has developed a literary style that switches from vivid descriptions of human depravity to a philosophical consideration of the meaning of violence in the modern world. Indeed, when he revisits his work on Naples — the city where he was brought up and from which he is now excluded — his reflections soar into the realm of the poetic. But for me, most important of all is the hope Saviano gives to countless victims of criminal violence by standing up to its perpetrators, especially those from his home country.
“An epic account of how the modern cocaine trafficking business came to be and how widespread, how impenetrable, and how intertwined with international commerce and politics—and our everyday lives—it is.”
“Another blistering crime exposé… A wide-ranging and disturbing look at international cocaine trafficking.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred
“Surges with fast-moving prose detailing the lives of drug lords and pushers, the inner workings of their violent world, and how their lucrative business affects all our lives.”
—KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred
REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
Hunted by the mob.
Why does the mob want to erase this writer?
PEN Atlas Q&A: Roberto Saviano
Roberto Saviano: Italy's most hunted author
'Gomorrah' author on how writing a mould-breaking book on organised crime cost him his freedom
- The Independent
Why this Italian journalist regrets exposing the mafia