Item description for The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto & Lawrence Venuti...
Giorgio Pellegrini is wanted in Italy for a series of crimes linked to political extremism. He has been hiding out in Central America, half-heartedly lending a hand to a group of leftwing militants engaged in a bloody civil war. After the Comandante orders the assassination of his companion and compatriot, Pellegrini decides it might just be time to head back home. As devoid of morals now as he once was full of idealistic fervor, an inveterate womanizer and a seasoned opportunist, Giorgio seems willing to do almost anything to avoid prison, from selling out his old pals in The Movement to cutting deals with crooked cops. But just how far is he willing to go to earn himself the guise of respectability in a society that appears to have lost the values it once defended so fiercely?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2006
Publisher Europa Editions
ISBN 1933372052 ISBN13 9781933372051
Availability 0 units.
More About Massimo Carlotto & Lawrence Venuti
Massimo Carlotto's first book, an autobiographical novel entitled The Fugitive, deals with his time on the run in Latin America. Carlotto is one of the most important exponents of the Mediterranean Noir novel and has been called an Italian James Ellroy.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Goodbye Kiss?
A black and white picture of obscure society corners Oct 14, 2007
I add this review above all as I disagree with a previous review from another reader. Comparing books, as he does, is a tricky and complex task. Thompson and Carlotto books are quite different under any aspect. Background, aims, means. Thompson and Carlotto are interested on focusing and bringing into light different aspects of crime. Some 50 more years have gone by between the two books. To advise re-reading Thompson in writing on Carlotto is as advising to re-read "Crime and Punishment" commenting on Thompson. Carlotto depicts a provocative and enlighting scenario of the post-70s european generation (non-UK, especially French, Italian, Spanish and German), of the 80s need of conformism and modern hypocrisy. The noir plot is, as in best writers (as Durenmatt), an excuse for bringing into light dark places of our societies.
Vicious Jun 29, 2007
It's a good thing this book is short. Its protagonist is a degenerate, a thief, a rapist, and a killer. The point seems to be to observe that in regard to his character the narrator is only as good or bad as his society (e.g., one of his cohorts is a bad cop). This is a bit of a stretch in my view, and I wasn't convinced by the hyperbole. It's admittedly difficult to follow in the footsteps of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me. Better to read that for the first, or second, time.
"Stash the heat and concentrate on the plan." Sep 21, 2006
When Massimo Carlotto's hard-boiled noir novel, "The Goodbye Kiss" begins, Giorgio Pellegrini is a fugitive living in South America. He fled Italy in the 70s after his involvement with the Red Brigades--now he's in his 30s and he's engaged in guerrilla warfare. One night, he's ordered to execute his friend, a fellow expatriate, and at that point Pellegrini decides it's time to return to Italy. Now just in case you imagine that Pellegrini feels 'bad' about killing his friend, think again. Pellegrini doesn't feel bad about anything. In fact he admits that he enjoys killing.
Returning to Italy as a fugitive, he strikes a deal with former comrades, but the deal puts him under the thumb of the corrupt--but elegant--detective Ferruccio Anedda. Surviving in prison--mainly through hustling the services of a transvestite inmate, Pellegrini is finally released. But he never intended to be just another working stiff. Drawn to elegant, expensive clothes, and fine restaurants, Pellegrini wants to live the good life that only an aura of respectability can bring. But for that he needs money....
Throughout his criminal career, Pellegrini possesses an innate talent for selecting desperate women who will enable his plans--someone slightly older than him, lonely and shopworn, and he admits, "I was drawn to forty-year-olds. The thought of worming my way into their lives and toying with their weak spots made my head spin." Too detached to be truly sadistic, Pellegrini leaves a trail of female victims behind on his climb to success and respectability. With the protagonist Giorgio Pellegrini, author Carlotta creates one of noir fiction's darkest characters. Devoid of any scruples, compassion or guilt, and guided only by desire and self-preservation, Pellegrini negotiates his world with a few principles--women are tools to get what you want, "no witness, no risk", and when it comes to killing "pick the easiest, quickest and cleanest method."
With the help of a corrupt lawyer, Pellegrini strategically plots his way towards 'rehabilitation.' According to Italian law, Pellegrini will be considered fully rehabilitated if he lives the respectable life of a model citizen for a period of five years. But this new life means that Pellegrini is now slightly higher on the food chain, and he has criminal opportunities that were not open to him before. Pellegrini rather likes his new life, and when his past comes back to haunt him, he's prepared to do whatever is necessary to preserve it. It's Pellegrini's savvy ability to morph that makes this book such a phenomenal, riveting read. His strategic thinking--unfettered by morality and emotion--kept this reader eagerly turning pages until this astonishingly dark novel's nihilistic conclusion--displacedhuman
Not the Best, But one of The Best - The Italian Jim Thompson? Jan 3, 2006
Well, I am glad that they translated Carlotto in English. I guess there is something in this novel that US crime/noir readers will appreciate: that is, the story told by the Bad Guy. And this Bad Guy, the narrating I of this dark story of corruption, violence, and politics (plenty of politics), is as good (or as bad) as the charaters you may meet in the pages of that underrated genius of US fiction, Jim Thompson.
The man who tells the story is a former Brigate Rosse terrorist and exile. But he is above all a cynical, cold, amoral individual. His story is the grim tale of how you can be formally rehabilitated, thanks to good connections and a corrupt political system, yet remaining the insensitive thug you were. And such cold, cynical people are always appreciated in a world like the Italian Nordest in the 90s, where only money and glamour and power count.
Carlotto's simple style has been criticized because it doesn't meet the literary standards of critics who only care for a high number of synonims and adjectives and adverbs. Actually he writes in a language which is as simple, polished and piercing as a bullet. But some of his choices of words and details are simply powerful. And this book is one of those where you couldn't take away anything.
A remarkable thing is that in noir you always have the dark lady. This is an exception. Here you have the dark man. The lady is the only clean person in the story...