The Fugitive

Overview


"Carlotto is the reigning king of Mediterranean noir."-The Boston Phoenix

After serving years in jail for a crime he didn't commit, Massimo Carlotto received a presidential pardon in 1993. The first book he wrote as a free man was The Fugitive, telling of his years on the run from a politically motivated murder charge. This gritty tale takes readers from the French underworld to a Mexico besieged by guerrilla warfare. Virtually a handbook on how to live life on the lam, The ...

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Overview


"Carlotto is the reigning king of Mediterranean noir."-The Boston Phoenix

After serving years in jail for a crime he didn't commit, Massimo Carlotto received a presidential pardon in 1993. The first book he wrote as a free man was The Fugitive, telling of his years on the run from a politically motivated murder charge. This gritty tale takes readers from the French underworld to a Mexico besieged by guerrilla warfare. Virtually a handbook on how to live life on the lam, The Fugitive is also a vibrant novel full of vivid underworld characters and breathtaking moments that Carlotto recounts in the cool, lucid prose that has become his trademark.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Billed as a novel, this less than compelling account by one of Italy's top authors of crime fiction focuses on the six years he spent as a fugitive from Italian justice for a murder he claims he didn't commit. After an Italian court upheld his murder conviction in 1979, Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss) lived in Paris, Madrid and Mexico City. He describes in some detail his various disguises, people he met in the expatriate communities, techniques for evading capture and sources of income—primarily his family and wages as a translator. What's lacking, however, is any sense of urgency. During his years on the run, Carlotto was never pursued by Italian authorities; he finally gave himself up in 1985. Though fortunate for him, the result is a flat, suspenseless plot. Originally published in 1994 in Italy, this short book contains frequent digressions into local politics and the machinations of Carlotto's legal case—including his eventual presidential pardon—that interfere with his story of personal flight. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
A novel, or perhaps a memoir, recounting years in hiding abroad after a conviction for murder in Italy. The publisher maintains that Carlotto, a master of Italian noir (Death's Dark Abyss, 2006, etc.), has produced another "vibrant novel." But the narrator, one Massimo Carlotto, sure sounds like the author, and the facts of the case, insofar as he's willing to share them, sound indistinguishable from the 1976 murder conviction that sent the author to prison, into a legal maze of appeals verdicts, reversals and regime changes, and finally off to Mexico before he was sent back in 1985 for more of the same before his pardon in 1993. When Carlotto (the narrator) focuses on his time on the run, he's immensely entertaining. Adopting a tone of scorching sarcasm-the coyote who betrayed him to the Mexican authorities is "that well-known kidder"-he describes his life as "an accidental fugitive" with no plan and no resources, the succession of false identities (Bernard, Lucien, Alberto, Jose, Jason, Max) he made part of his repertory, his chagrin at purchasing tableware and bed linens he knows he'll soon be leaving behind, his harrowing ten-day search for a friend's child lost in the Mexico City subway and the illness that almost killed him in prison and colored every move of his life outside ("If you have to become bulimic, Paris is the right place for it"). The resolute avoidance of strict chronology allows the narrator to avoid describing the original crime he was convicted of or saying very much about the endless rounds of legal wrangling that followed. That's probably just as well, because when he talks about socialism or camaraderie, he's prosy and boring ("I met and became friends withwonderful people, who helped me to grow as a person"). Contains moments of tedium. Overall, though, a powerfully dreamlike evocation of life on the lam.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933372259
  • Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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