Part Tarantino-style operetta, part soap opera, Ottavio Cappellani's hilarious novel takes place in a twenty-first-century Sicily rife with moody aristocrats, vain politicians, inept gangsters, shabby theater actors, and high-tech assassins. Balding, fortyish Alfio Turrisi is a mid-level Mafioso with deep pockets. He's in love with Betty, the spoiled daughter of a rival mobster. Alfio and Betty would seem to be the Romeo and Juliet of this poison-pen valentine to Cappellani's native Sicily. That is, until we meet another pair of star-crossed lovers: the gay theater director Tino Cagnotto and his bored and sexy youngamore, Bobo. Because the way Tino sees it, the real heat in that tragedy is between Romeo and Mercutio, not Romeo and Juliet . . .
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
November 01, 2009
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