Review of A Dead Every Now and Then, by Paolo Borrometi, a book about Mafia

November 8, 2019
Italian book about mafia

This is a new book about mafia, namely an outstanding accounting about the Sicilian mafia you must absolutely read. In my new book review, indeed, I decided to discuss about A Dead Every Now and Then, a poignant accounting about the death threats and the assaults of the Mafia against a reporter in Sicily. As a Sicilian, I felt the duty to review this book on the mafia on my book site, in order to let you know not only a literary masterpiece, but also to better understanding the ominous network of trades of the Mafia in Sicily and its dangerous ties with the American Mafia.

The original title in Italian of the book is: Un Morto Ogni Tanto and the author is a Sicilian colleague of mine: Paolo Borrometi, a mafia reporter born in Ragusa, Sicily, in 1983, who, currently, lives between the beautiful baroque village of Modica and Rome. Just like me, Paolo Borrometi started his journalistic career working as a freelancer for the Giornale di Sicilia, unveiling, in his articles, the names and the crimes of the most dangerous mafia families in the so called invisible provinces of Sicily. Yes, because the mafia is not only the one in the notorious cities of the West of Sicily, namely Palermo and Trapani but a further powerful criminal organization who hides between the beautiful and unknown villages of Syracuse and Ragusa. For this reason, in these villages, the mafia is called invisible, while the above mentioned provinces are also called the stupid areas of Sicily or “province babbe” in Italian/ Sicilian. But in these two provinces, the Mafia is not stupid at all, rather, it is cunning as never it has been along its same history. It spoiled private and public organizations, tainting trades, public procurements and businesses, taking over the most crucial economical sectors of Sicily.

Maybe you don’t know that some delicious traditional food from Sicily is produced and controlled by mafia firms who work in the two provinces I just mentioned. No, you don’t know, because that is one of the upsetting truths contained in this shocking book about the invisible mafia. The subtitle of the book has just this name: “My battle against the invisible mafia”.

Un Morto Ogni Tanto is, indeed, a touching collection of the journalistic inquiries written by Paolo Borrometi as a mafia reporter. The title of this book about mafia, translated by me into “A Dead Every Now and Then”, comes from the eavesdropping collected by the Italian police after the death threats that Borrometi received during his job as a reporter against the mafia.

The most striking menace took place in 2014, when the author was beaten by two men with the heads covered by balaclavas. He was in the countryside of his town in Sicily and the fact happened amid the Sicilian lemons. I would like to say that it is a book about lemons and the mafia. Due to that assault, Paolo Borrometi endured a severe shoulder disability. Soon after, the author gathered all of his inner strength and, unlike others, denounced the awful death threats and the assault of the local mobsters annoyed by his investigative journalism.

Just think that the work as a freelance journalist in Sicily (and Italy) is shamefully underpaid! For every journalistic inquiry against the mafia, this author earned 3 euros per article! Suffering, sorrow, courage, loneliness, fear are all contained in this stunning new book about Mafia! A Dead Every Now and Then was released in January, 2019, by Solferino publisher. The story of Paolo Borrometi ran across Italy and the United States up to be mentioned in an article of the New York Times.

Un Morto Ogni Tanto is simultaneously the biography of an Italian mafia reporter and a testimony of freedom and justice against the mafia, not only Sicilian, Italian, American but against all of mobsters in the world. It is a scream of truth against the silence that surrounds the mafia mentality, where common people keep the mouth closed for the fear to denounce the illegal mafia trades.

I attended the public presentation of this book in my village in Sicily. Paolo Borrometi has been much acclaimed that day but, according to his words,

“we doesn’t need heroes, but citizens capable to do their duty. Legality is not an imaginary concept related to justice or morality. It is a pathway made of constant commitment”,

which, translated into a simpler way, means: “I am not brave, I simply did my duty”. The most of times, other citizens prefer to shut their mouth up instead of speaking against the injustice of the mafia. And at last, with their fear, they become conniving and accomplices.

Today, the author of this book on the mafia is very famous and has been hired by media publishers. Even Pope Francis praised his work. I only think about the one I read in the book: it is upsetting even for a Sicilian like me. I still hear the intercepted speeches of the mobsters against the author: “Every now and then, a small dead can be very helpful for us…”. Yes, they wanted to kill a reporter who dared put his nose in the businesses of the mafia and write pieces unveiling dirty and illegal trades.

It would have been fair that Paolo had been hired while he was unknown and low paid and not only after becoming famous for the mafia assaults against his life. Today, the author is under the protection of the Italian police and does his job escorted by bodyguards. I advise that you buy and read this new book about the mafia to support the valuable work of this young Sicilian reporter. The book is only in the Italian edition, currently, but if you buy the Kindle edition, you can easily translate the text into English. I tried to do that, and for a book like this, the translation by Kindle is very easy to understand.

Read the book and let me know your opinion! Your help and support will be greatly appreciated, because those who fight against the mafia must never remain alone! In my review, I can only add that it is not a book about the mafia, but the true book about Mafia. Even though it is still in Italian, you can translate it into your language through your Kindle. That is an international book on the mafia to read over and over again and not only every now and then! I bought and read it. For me, that has been an unforgettable reading…

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