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The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia
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The Day of the Owl (1961)

by Leonardo Sciascia

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7631812,153 (3.8)27
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English (13)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
A taut murder mystery, although the conflicts arise not so much from whodunit as from the corruption found at every level of society and the nameless characters who are closely observing the case. Salvatore Colasberna is shot dead one morning while boarding the bus in a small Sicilian town. Captain Bellodi, a native of Parma, starts investigating and the trail leads to other murders and multiple culprits. Bellodi is calm and methodical in his investigation, but his disregard for the usual traditions gets him into trouble. As the case progresses, there are cuts to scenes with nameless men discussing and vaguely issuing threats. The book was published in the 60’s and some characters, including politicians, are denying the existence of the mafia. It's probably a little standard now - the stereotype for a Sicilian murder mystery today would involve the mafia, but Bellodi faces multiple people trying to push the murder as a Cavalleria Rusticana-type crime of passion. A good read nonetheless. ( )
  DieFledermaus | Jul 6, 2015 |
Siciliaanse misdaadroman uit 1961, toen het fenomeen 'maffia' nog in alle toonaarden ontkend werd. Belangrijker dan de ontknoping van de misdaad is het beeld dat Sciascia schetst van de Siciliaanse horen-zien-en-zwijgen-maatschappij. Het boek is absoluut nog niet gedateerd. ( )
1 vote chrisgalle | Mar 5, 2015 |
While apparently a straightforward murder mystery, this novel deals with the stranglehold exerted by the mafia over Italy in general and Sicily in particular. The protagonist, an Inspector (and outsider since he's from 'the north') is thwarted repeatedly by the reluctance and inertia of the citizens; just as he believes he has the murderer, the proof melts away and he's left only with the dubious respect of the man he almost convicted.

Cleanly written, concise and expressive, the story enfolds the reader and, like a good dinner guest, leaves before it outstays its welcome. You are left simultaneously a little depressed and uplifted, just like the Inspector who knows that, despite the frustration and aggravation he found there, he has no choice but to return to the island. ( )
  TomBrennan | Aug 30, 2014 |
Probably the most powerful and realistic piece of fiction about the problem of the Sicilian Mafia ever written. This is a beautifully written and very deep "kind of" crime story that looks at the root of the issue, and not just at the tip of the iceberg.

The owl, such an elusive creature, is not supposed to be seen during the day, after all. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Probably the most powerful and realistic piece of fiction about the problem of the Sicilian Mafia ever written. This is a beautifully written and very deep "kind of" crime story that looks at the root of the issue, and not just at the tip of the iceberg.

The owl, such an elusive creature, is not supposed to be seen during the day, after all. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sciascia, Leonardoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baglione, AnnaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colquhoun, ArchibaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marchese, RiccardoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliver, ArthurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennings, LindaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scialabba, GeorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The Day of the Owl" was published in an English translation by Archibald Colquhoun and Arthur Oliver in 1964 (NY: Alfred A. Knopf). It appeared under the title "Mafia Vendetta".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159017061X, Paperback)

A man is shot dead as he runs to catch the bus in the piazza of a small Sicilian town. Captain Bellodi, the detective on the case, is new to his job and determined to prove himself. Bellodi suspects the Mafia, and his suspicions grow when he finds himself up against an apparently unbreachable wall of silence. A surprise turn puts him on the track of a series of nasty crimes. But all the while Bellodi's investigation is being carefully monitored by a host of observers, near and far. They share a single concern: to keep the truth from coming out.

This short, beautifully paced novel is a mesmerizing description of the Mafia at work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:34 -0400)

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