Sicilian Comedy

Ottavio Cappellani

“In Cappellani’s world full of oxymorons and word games everything becomes spontaneous and fun” La Stampa

“Extraordinary originality” Panorama

“Cappellani is a great writer… In Sicilian Comedi he is back with his irreverent irony” Il Giornale de Sicilia

“There is the method in his madness, as Shakespeare would say if reading the last hilarious novel by Ottavio Cappellani, Sicilian Comedi… the Bard would have loved the way he oscillates between seriousness and humour in this tragicomedy that derides the mafia and the establishment equally.” La Repubblica

‘Whenever Cappellani puts his hand to the saga of Lou Sciortino and other families of the Catania mafia, you get crazy laughs… a text that shines for themultitudeof inventions (not only in language)’ Il Mattino

Mix the following in equal parts: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Wire, Shakespeare and Peter Sellers. Shake vigorously and serve with a side salad of the Baroque, and you have Ottavio Cappellani’s SICILIAN COMEDI.

Lou Sciortino, the heir of an Italian-American dynasty who has been recycling Mafia money in Hollywood, is forced to retire to Sicily. A war between various families and his grandfather broke out in Los Angeles, which resulted in Lou being seen as “a good person”, a label he can’t live with. With him there is Leonard Trent, the director, screenwriter and producer of Starship Movies, whose films are increasingly delirious (“My films do not have to make money, they are used to recycle money, which – if you think about it – is the only Way to make True Art, my dear”).

Observing Lou and Leo there is Peppino, a silent type with two great loves: the knife and literature.

In Catania, the three come into contact with a varied, humorous human fauna: designers and gangsters, metrosexuals in search of identity, dialect actors and killers, distressed politicians, fashionable writers, even more fashionable architects, very feminine females and a good number of bosses with different interests: from petroleum to the big business of ‘fun’. But also with Tino Cagnotto, a gay, neorealist and avant-garde theatre director obsessed with Shakespeare and the Sicilian language. And above all they come into contact with Turrisi and Perrotta, the two mafia heads who perpetuate war between their families. At this time, however, their endless antipathy is suspended: “The tragic and ludicrous event, the natural disaster,” as Perrotta calls his daughter Betty (“forty pounds of little tits and sandals”) seems to have sorted her head out – or so it seems – and has just married Turrisi.

To counterbalance the unforgettable Betty is Mindy, a beauty of ‘water and soap’ with a passion for the rosary, nephew of Sal Scali, a second-tier Mafioso specializing in “haircuts and style.” These leading ladies are on a collision course and, with the complicity of the epic Wanda and the unstoppable Countess, they create a stormy atmosphere in wild yet powerful Pyrotechnic Catania. Where, in the secret and sensual shadows of Baroque palaces, the ghost of Guglielmo Scrollalanza, known as William Shakespeare, roams.


  • SEM Editrice Italy

Material: finished copies, PDF, sample chapter in English (312pp)