List price: $13.00


Translated by Antony Shugaar

This striking novella is based on first-hand research of the Camorra, an Italian organized crime network more powerful and violent than the Mafia. It’s the brutal organization that was recently exposed by Roberto Saviano, both in his brilliant non-fiction account and the film adaptation. Saviano, as it turns out, first interviewed Camorra members while working as a research assistant to Nanni Balestrini, collecting the stories that would become Sandokan.

Though fiction, Sandokan is horribly, devastatingly real. The narrator is a resigned victim of the Camorra. The Camorra members are his neighbors, and he presents an uncompromising description of a world under savage occupation, the true combination of backwardness, violence, and ambition that locks small-town southern Italy under the control of organized crime. It is one of the most meaningful and riveting books to have been produced by Italian literature of recent years, by one of Italy’s most significant authors.


NANNI BALESTRINI was born in Milan in 1935. He is a respected Italian novelist and poet. Among his claims to fame is the fact that he used a computer to write poetry in 1961. One of his novels has been translated into English as The Unseen.

“Dark and unforgiving … Sandokan is a masterful Italian tragedy, blunt and never romantic.” Bookslut