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"Viviano looks to uncover a family secret: how his great-great-grandfather, a man mysteriously known as "the Monk," was gunned down at a crossroads in rural Sicily more than a century earlier, the victim of an ordered hit. In search of answers, Viviano travels to his ancestral village of Terrasini. His book echoes this sentiment as he intersperses the account of his investigation with a fictional re-creation of events supported by his findings. Each complements the other, and the book is further enriched as, over the course of his clearly weighty research, Viviano shares a portrait of Sicily and its inhabitants. Of particular interest and, as it turns out, importance are his discoveries about the origin of what has become most strongly associated with the island - the mafia. Viviano is clearly fascinated by it, but his own experiences with carnage as a reporter keep him well clear of any Hollywood glorification. Rather, he traces its evolution as a brutal yet organic power structure in a land traditionally ruled by outsiders. Viviano's conclusions seem both well reasoned and enticing, as do the results of his inquiry into the story of his great-great-grandfather - a search that comes to a particularly satisfying surprise ending. And while the book is a solid piece of storytelling and reporting, its greatest strength may be that, while it begins as a personal search, it ultimately reveals the history of a people."

Very favourable reviews on

Large format (trade) paperback 2001.

272 pages + photographs.

Good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston ?North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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