The Boy Bosses of Naples: A Novel
Picador, 9781250265302, 368pp.
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
In Gomorrah, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, Roberto Saviano revealed a true, devastating portrait of Naples, Italy under the rule of the Camorra, a crime organization more powerful and violent than the Mafia. In The Piranhas, the international bestselling author returns to his home city with a novel of gang warfare and a young man’s dark desire to rise to the top of Naples’s underworld.
Nicolas Fiorillo is a brilliant and ambitious fifteen-year-old from the slums of Naples, eager to make his mark and to acquire power and the money that comes with it. With nine friends, he sets out to create a new paranza, or gang. Together they roam the streets on their motorscooters, learning how to break into the network of small-time hoodlums that controls drug-dealing and petty crime in the city. They learn to cheat and to steal, to shoot semiautomatic pistols and AK-47s. Slowly they begin to wrest control of the neighborhoods from enemy gangs while making alliances with failing old bosses. Nicolas’s strategic brilliance is prodigious, and his cohorts’ rapid rise and envelopment in the ensuing maelstrom of violence and death is riveting and impossible to turn away from. In The Piranhas, Roberto Saviano imagines the lurid glamour of Nicolas’s story with all the vividness and insight that made Gomorrah a worldwide sensation.
“With the openhearted rashness that belongs to every true writer, Saviano returns to tell the story of the fierce and grieving heart of Naples.” —Elena Ferrante
About the Author
Antony Shugaar is a writer and translator. Aside from Giorgio Faletti’s A Pimp’s Notes, his recent translations include books by Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Silvia Avallone, Nanni Balestrini (with an NEA translation fellowship), Fabio Bartolomei, Massimo Carlotto, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Diego De Silva, Marco Mancassola, Gianni Rodari, and Paolo Sorrentino. He is the author of Coast to Coast and I Lie for a Living and the coauthor, with the late Gianni Guadalupi, of Discovering America and Latitude Zero. He has published with the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and online with the New York Times, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about translation for the University of Virginia Press.