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About the Author: Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri (born september 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) is an Italian writer. He is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of both 20th and 21st centuries.

Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. Around this time he joined the Italian Communist Party.

From 1948 to 1950 Camilleri studied stage and film direction at the Silvio D'Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts, and began to take on work as a director and screenwriter, directing especially plays by Pirandello and Beckett. As a matter of fact, his parents knew Pirandello and were even distant friends, as he tells in his essay on Pirandello "Biography of the changed son". His most famous works, the Montalbano series show many pirandellian elements: for example, the wild olive tree that helps Montalbano think, is on stage in his late work "The giants of the mountain"

With RAI, Camilleri worked on several TV productions, such as Inspector Maigret with Gino Cervi. In 1977 he returned to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, holding the chair of Movie Direction, and occupying it for 20 years.

In 1978 Camilleri wrote his first novel Il Corso Delle Cose ("The Way Things Go"). This was followed by Un Filo di Fumo ("A Thread of Smoke") in 1980. Neither of these works enjoyed any significant amount of popularity.

In 1992, after a long pause of 12 years, Camilleri once more took up novel-writing. A new book, La Stagione della Caccia ("The Hunting Season") turned out to be a best-seller.

In 1994 Camilleri published the first in a long series of novels: La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water) featured the character of Inspector Montalbano, a fractious Sicilian detective in the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar. The name Montalbano is an homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are remarkable. Both writers make great play of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences.

This feature provides an interesting quirk which has become something of a fad among his readership even in mainland Italy. The TV adaptation of Montalbano's adventures, starring the perfectly-cast Luca Zingaretti, further increased Camilleri's popularity to such a point that in 2003 Camilleri's home town, Porto Empedocle - on which Vigàta is modelled - took the extraordinary step of changing its official denomination to that of Porto Empedocle Vigàta, no doubt with an eye to capitalising on the tourism possibilities thrown up by the author's work.

In 1998 Camilleri won the Nino Martoglio International Book Award.

Camilleri now lives in Rome where he works as a TV and theatre director. About 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date, and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and North America.

In addition to the degree of popularity brought him by the novels, in recent months Andrea Camilleri has become even more of a media icon thanks to the parodies aired on an RAI radio show, where popular comedian, TV-host and impression artist Fiorello presents him as a raspy voiced, caustic character, madly in love with cigarettes and smoking (Camilleri is well-known for his love of tobacco).

He received an honorary degree from University of Pisa in 2005.


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Goodreads rating: 3.97

Paperback, by Salamandra

ISBN10: 8498382149 | ISBN13: 9788498382143

Page count: 256

Un calor asfixiante arrasa Sicilia como una llamarada; durante el dia el aire se vuelve irrespirable las piedras queman y ni siquiera un bano en el mar ofrece algo mas que alivio momentaneo. Con la ciudad sumida en un letargo incandescente Salvo aguarda la llegada de Livia que viene con unos amigos a pasar las vacaciones en una solitaria casita frente a la playa. Pero el idilico plan se tuerce cuando oculto en los sotanos de la casa aparece un baul con un cadaver dentro. El macabro hallazgo desata los instintos investigadores del comisario que muy pronto se ve envuelto en una marana criminal de multiples facetas que involucra a politicos banqueros y empresarios todos bajo la omnipresente tutela de la mafia. Y como si la canicula no fuera suficiente para causar estragos en el comportamiento de los personajes la presencia casi magica de una bellisima veinteanera hace flaquear la proverbial lucidez del propio Montalbano hasta el punto de tentarlo a dar ese paso trascendental que habia evitado hasta el momento. Decima aventura de Salvo Montalbano en la que el inimitable comisario sigue haciendo gala de ese vitalismo socarron y melancolico mientras se asoma a los abismos mas profundos del anima humana.

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