Who Is Lou Sciortino

(Chi è Lou Sciortino?)

Ottavio Cappellani

Who Is Lou Sciortino

The superb fictional debut of a Sicilian Roddy Doyle. When a policeman is murdered in the little shop owned by “Uncle Mimmo” (in truth, no-one’s uncle at all), the finger is pointed at Nick, a “neo-melodic” musician, whose band, Tears and Saints, have cornered the market in marriages, barbeques and ex-slave conventions (but in his heart Nick is a tough, glamorous rock star).

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Lou Sciortino, grandson of the biggest and most envied boss of the Sicilian-American mafia in Los Angeles—who only wants Lou to be a really nice, decent person and concentrate on his job laundering the family money by producing the films of Leonard Trent (writer, director, actor and madman) – is about to find himself in a lot of trouble… When a bomb explodes in the offices of ‘Starship Movies’, Lou is sent back to safe Sicily to stay with family friends, because a really nice decent person doesn’t take part in mafia wars. But keeping his distance from his grandfather, the family, and all-out mafia war is as big a problem for Lou; as his love of gin. And then Lou is asked to investigate a strange musician named Nick and a murder in a small shop…

A novel in which your friends are not your friends, some killers are very glamorous in black Armani, grandfathers aren’t silly old men at all, hairstyles are explosions, nice decent people can still bring on the apocalypse, and the reader asks the question – can the inimitable Lou Sciortino negotiate countless party girls, coiffeurs, crazy actors, lunatic musicians, small shopkeepers, and Sicilian wives to solve the murder? This book is utterly unique: a beautifully written, witty, authentic and gripping novel that reveals how today’s mafia works.

‘Finally the post-modern and metropolitan Sicily of boys that look like bodyguards, dressed in striped suits, sunglasses and short hair, and of girls that look like disco dancers, has found it’s ideal chronicler… A completely exhilarating story.’ La Republica

‘BOOK OF THE WEEK – the Catania of this very funny mafia detective story is as rich as a millefeuille cake. Cappellani mixes Italian and Sicilian, he alternates gruesome killings and imaginary screenplays of tear-jerker movies… Lou Sciortino reminds you of Tony Soprano, Prozac in his pocket and the Godfather of Francis Ford Coppola in his heart.’ Panorama

‘A fun detective story that moves between the lights of via Etnea and small roads with dark shops. While a crossbow – the weapon for the first killing – is hidden under the counter, the director Leonard Trent, one of the many strange characters that live in the pages of this book, talks about the new ways for recycling money. Leonard talks to you in the same passionate tone that Fassbinder had when he spoke about Douglas Sirk… Brilliant dialogue. All the plot and rhythm of great cinema.’ Vanity Fair

‘Who is Lou Sciortino? is built as a movie and it has every possibility of becoming one. Cappellani’s Catania has the brutality of Quentin Tarantino and the trash of Pedro Almodovar… and it has the hybrid way of a post-modern Catania that Cappellani describes as an expert observer’. Corriere della Sera


  • Neri Pozza Italy
  • FSG US
  • Picador UK
  • Editions Metailie France
  • Dom Quixote Portugal
  • Forum Sweden
  • Cappelen Norway
  • Tammi Finland
  • Gyldendal Denmark
  • Pendo Verlag Germany
  • WDR German radio play
  • Yilin Press China
  • Querido NL
  • Salamandra Spain & Latin America
  • Bjartur Iceland
  • Muza Poland
  • Laguna Serbia
  • Nova Fronteira Brazil
  • Ucila Slovenia
  • Partvonal Hungary
  • Dulnyouk South Korea
  • Diigisi Greece
  • Inostranka Russia
  • Al Arabi Egypt

Material: Finished copies of Italian (222 pages) PDF of English available