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A Simple Story

by Leonardo Sciascia

This book offers two for the price of one. The first novella - A Simple Story - told me more, in 40 pages, about the reality of the Mafia in Sicily than 'The Godfather' ever did. And the second - the wryly funny Candido - did the same for the Catholic church, fascism, communism and other modern European philosophies as the innocent hero tackles entrenched Sicilian opinion head on. A great read on both fronts.

Extract

Candido had to stay with his father, mainly for the reason - a reason recognised by everyone, including the women - that a woman who refused to resign herself to staying until death did them part with a husband she did not love and who did not love her deserved to be punished. And what better punishment could there be than this: to be deprived forever of her own child? The fact that the very opposite was the case - that it was a punishment for the husband to keep Candido, and one more freedom for Maria Grazia to give him up - did not matter: what mattered was to confirm the rule and keep up appearances.
Translated by Howard Curtis

Parallels

Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi
The Village of Stepanchiko by Fyodor Dostoevsky
 

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