3 thoughts on “Massimo Carlotto DEATH’S DARK ABYSS


    “And his was the kind of crime that authorized anybody who wore a uniform to break his face.”

    A court case, in 1989 Italy, of a man who had robbed a jewellery shop and later shot dead his hostages, a boy and the boy’s mother….asked to give the court the name of his accomplice (who had escaped with the loot) — to earn a lighter sentence than life…


    “I resoled and replaced the heels on a rack of shoes. And I duplicated a bunch of keys.”

    Habits continue, as does my reading and reviewing, the resoling of books, finding keys to their locks. This is a powerful chapter from the point of view of the father and husband of the victims, asked to feel mercy for the culprit in prison now suffering from cancer. Over the years eager to find the sidekick who had scarpered, having perhaps been the shooter himself. Silvano also thinking of and haunted by his wife’s dying words that echo the eponymous ones on the surface of this book’s front leading edge. An obsession with everything ‘going dark’ one day. This is a timely read for me having finished last night a powerful drama series on Netflix depicting the Jeremy Bamber case in the White House Farm murders, that once happened near where I live. The echoes and connections, although different in many ways, are remarkable and make this chapter even more meaningful to me. A meaningful coincidence.



    “The shitload of Valium is the only privilege of a life sentence.”

    The prisoner himself, his striking real-time stream-of-consciousness (expletive-filled) notebookery of a journal (cf notebookery here in the ‘narcissus variations’ by chance earlier this morning). But there is more to this desperate man who once shot on impulse Silvano’s wife and son. Now to be rescued by cancer?
    More to this man than meets the eye, I wonder. One of his words stands out like a sore thumb: “entraîneuses”.
    A plastic cup on the lip of a peephole, as I recall, too. And the moka’s on the burner. Toward what eventual gestalt? Toward what darkness?

    “Here the darkness reminds you the red stamp on your file reads, ‘sentence ends: never.’”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s