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Chourmo (Marseilles Trilogy) by Jean-Claude…
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Chourmo (Marseilles Trilogy) (original 1996; edition 2013)

by Jean-Claude Izzo

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4041541,001 (3.88)21
Book Two in the Marseilles Trilogy This second novel in Izzo's acclaimed Marseilles trilogy is a touching tribute to the author's beloved city, in all its color and complexity. Fabio Montale is an unwitting hero in this city of melancholy beauty. Fabio Montale has left a police force marred by corruption, xenophobia and greed. But getting out is not going to be so easy. When his cousin's son goes missing, Montale is dragged back onto the mean streets of a violent, crime-infested Marseilles. To discover the truth about the boy's disappearance, he infiltrates a dangerous underworld of mobsters, religious fanatics, crooked cops and ordinary people driven to extremes by desperation.… (more)
Member:sereq_ieh_dashret
Title:Chourmo (Marseilles Trilogy)
Authors:Jean-Claude Izzo
Info:Europa Editions (2013), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Chourmo by Jean-Claude Izzo (1996)

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English (9)  Italian (3)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Another solid Noir crime read and great second book in Izzo's "Marseilles Trilogy". This one still has a fair bit of hard-boiled action and violence, but not quite as extreme as I found in the previous book, Total Chaos. The overall tone of the story is a little more laid back, reflective and philosophical but it is still a really nasty world of organized crime, corruption and racial intolerance/unrest (with growing fundamentalist/terrorist underpinnings). The desolation and rage that characterizes Montale adds to the gritty, determined edge of the story. Izzo adds just the right balance of quieter contemplation and heart-pumping drama and I am really growing to like Montale as a character, so I was happy to see that this is as much Montale's story as it is about Marseilles and the mystery. The downside for me is that Izzo withholds from the reader information Montale is privy to. I am not a big fan of being left in the dark of what the leading protagonist knows, so I tend to find the "reveals", when they happen, to be a bit frustrating as I don't have all of the facts as I try to piece together the situation. That is really the only grip I have with this one.

Overall, a great follow-up to Total Chaos, and I am looking forward to reading Solea, the final book in the trilogy. ( )
  lkernagh | Dec 9, 2018 |
Among his best. ( )
1 vote RickHarsch | Feb 15, 2018 |
Chourmo gives false hopes that all will turn out well. That you can live your life to old age and find happiness. That noir is not so dark. That good may not win, but holds its own. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
Marseilles detective Fabio Montale, who left the police force some time after the end of the previous book, is contemplating taking on the management of his local café, but (surprise, surprise!) he gets mixed up in another criminal investigation when his cousin's teenage son goes missing. It's more or less the same mix of organised crime, police corruption, and eclectic multi-culti Mediterranean music, food and poetry we enjoyed in the first book, with a bit of Islamic extremism thrown in to complicate things further. The plot is a little bit predictable, and the introduction of yet another of Montale's loved-and-lost childhood sweethearts feels a bit clunky, but it's Montale's very individual view of the world and way of commenting on it - noir, romantic and pessimistic all at the same time - that makes these books worthwhile. ( )
  thorold | May 30, 2016 |
Chourmo is the second novel in Izzo's Marseilles trilogy (aptly named, as the essential character in all the novels is the city itself). Marseille, in all its complexity, is a constant for Izzo; the city's role in the drama goes beyond that of background or setting for the crime-story: the corruption, murder, sex, love and hate with which he populates his noir narratives. Marseille is, in a sense, both father and mother, friend & lover for generations of immigrants, once Italian & Spanish, more recently, North African. It is both fishing village, impoverished post-industrial metropole, & millenial new-economy super-city. In Chourmo, retired police officer Fabio Montale reenters the investigative fray when the youngest son, Guitou, of Fabio's favorite cousin, Gélou, disappears while on an unauthorized weekend visit with his girlfriend Naima. Much murder and mayhem insues, with corrupt police, Islamist extremists, FN racists, confused, more or less innocent adolescents, and the Mafia all involved. A Vietamese buddhist temple, a pair of elderly lovers, & a stupendous car chase along the coast finish things off. My only disappointment is that Izzo waxes less lyrical less often in Chourmo than he did in Total Khéops on the endlessly fascinating topics of food & music. Fabio Montale has become even more cynical, more fatalistic & more of an alcoholic. One senses that for him, in spite of his determination to focus on the life & love he finds very close at hand with friends, food, drink & the sea, his fate must be a tragic one.
( )
  Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
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Guitou, wie seine Mutter ihn immer noch nannte, stand oben an der Treppe vor dem Bahnhof Saint-Charles und betrachtete Marseille, die grosse Stadt.
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Mit dem Leben ist es wie mit der Wahrheit: Man nimmt was man findet, oft findet man, was man gegeben hat.
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