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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Who is Lou Sciortino ?

Ottavio Cappellani

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase Who is Lou Sciortino ?

Title: Who is Lou Sciortino ?
Author: Ottavio Cappellani
Genre: Novel
Written: 2004 (Eng. 2007)
Length: 227 pages
Original in: Italian
Availability: Who is Lou Sciortino ? - US
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  • A Novel about Murder, the Movies, and Mafia Family Values
  • Italian title: Chi è Lou Sciortino ?
  • Translated by Howard Curtis

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Gave it a try, didn't take to it (neither style nor approach did much for us) -- but then we've never been big fans of the Mafia-genre in any of its forms

Chances that we will review it:


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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
New Statesman . 5/7/2007 Daniel Trilling
The NY Times Book Rev. . 5/8/2007 Jeff Turrentine
The Observer . 24/6/2007 Francesca Segal
San Francisco Chronicle C- 6/6/2007 Theo Gangi
Die Welt . 22/10/2005 Hendrik Werner

  From the Reviews:
  • "Readers looking for a rounded portrait of modern-day Sicily might be disappointed. Glimpses of the world inhabited by Mafia dons and their henchmen -- the thuggish, sharp-suited picciotti -- are fleeting, as the author eschews descriptive detail in favour of a fast-paced narrative. (...) It's a testament to Cappellani's skill as a narrator that the labyrinthine plot never gets overly confusing." - Daniel Trilling, New Statesman

  • "There are some funny scenes and characters here (...) but the tonal shifts from farce to violence are handled clumsily, and the action feels both overpopulated and underdeveloped." - Jeff Turrentine, The New York Times Book Review

  • "Characterisation is somewhat lacking and it is certainly not a novel in which we will bleed for any of the troubled mafiosi, but then there are plenty of others doing enough bleeding for all of us." - Francesca Segal, The Observer

  • "There are interesting implications in this work about the Italian gangster's role in cinema and self-idolization. Unfortunately, much of the irony is lost in the uneven storytelling and superficial characterization. Who Is Lou Sciortino ? reads less as a book and more like a sketch of one. (…) All this could be tolerable, even really funny, if the narration held up its responsibility of painting a picture for the reader. As is, this book is told more like a screenplay, the narration more like stage direction. The novel seems to expect an actor to fill in what's happening." - Theo Gangi, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "Cappellani gründet diese rasante und hochkomische Mafia-Persiflage durchaus auf Fakten. Entstanden ist ein gelungener Spagat zwischen Aufklärung und Farce." - Hendrik Werner, Die Welt

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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Who is Lou Sciortino ?: Reviews: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Italian journalist and author Ottavio Cappellani was born in 1969.

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