NAPLES ’44 BY NORMAN LEWIS
€ 12.80 excl VAT
Lewis arrived in war-torn Naples as an intelligence officer in 1944. The starving population had devoured all the tropical fish in the aquarium, respectable women had been driven to prostitution and the black market was king.
Lewis found little to admire in his fellow soldiers, but gained sustenance from the extraordinary vivacity of the Italians. There is the gynaecologist who ‘specialises in the restoration of lost virginity’ and the widowed housewife who times her British lover against the clock. ‘Were I given the chance to be born again,’ wrote Lewis, ‘Italy would be the country of my choice’.
Naples ’44: An Intelligence Officer in the Italian Labyrinth by Norman Lewis
Format: 192pp demi pb
Thirty-three years ago, John Hatt set up as a publisher creating ELAND BOOKS, a company born at south London. John Hatt’s Eland was the first of a wave of travel lists that emerged in the early 1980s, quickly joined by Century Travellers, the Penguin Classic Travel Library, Picador and Virago. You wouldn’t have wanted to put any money on it, but only the Eland list has endured. Nowadays, E-editions enable our books to be read in parts of the world where bookshops do not exist, but otherwise Eland continues, very much as it first started, with between two and eight new titles a year, and run from an attic. It is a classic tale of the Hare and the Tortoise, or should one say the Leopard and the Eland. For one of the defining characteristics of the Eland is that it is no good at high speeds but ‘can trot along at fourteen miles an hour indefinitely.’
‘… one of the greatest of twentieth-century British writers and Naples ’44 is his masterpiece. A lyrical, ironic and detached account.’ – Will Self
‘One goes on reading page after page as if eating cherries.’ – Luigi Barzini, New York Review of Books
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