cover image Poisonville


Massimo Carlotto, Marco Videtta, , trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. . Europa, $15 (222pp) ISBN 978-1-933372-91-4

Northeast Italy’s industrial pollution provides the backdrop for Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss ) and screenwriter Videtta’s outstanding fable of greed, corruption and moral abandonment. Filled with echoes of Dante’s Inferno , the book centers on the murder of Giovanna Barovier, a young attorney interning on the staff of respected lawyer Antonio Visentin, within days of her marriage to Visentin’s son, Francesco. Cheap Chinese imports and Italian industries exiled to former Soviet-bloc countries have led to a national downward spiral into dissolution paralleled and individualized by Francesco’s private search for Giovanna’s killer. First finding himself accused of a crime of passion, Francesco soon descends through level after level of human depravity, from theft and brutality through fraud to betrayals so heinous they shatter the soul. Truly little hope if any exists for those who enter this vicious journey into the abyss of human evil. (Oct.)