This story makes one think on a number of different levels
By Derryll White
Camilleri, Andrea (2005). The Paper Moon.
Stephen Sartarelli’s translation and notes helps immeasurably with this work. He catches the nuances and rhythms of Camilleri’s musings and makes them appealing. The normal North American reader would be lost in the intricacies of Inspector Montalbano’s musings were it not for Sartarelli’s explanations of how the Italian Mind and body politics works. Camilleri’s biting commentary of President Silvio Berlusconi’s actions would be lost.
Much clearer, however, is Montalbano’s attempts to understand the workings of the female mind and soul. He is lost at every turn. But he does puzzle through the labyrinthine network of Italian politics and organized crime.
As do all of Camilleri’s books, ‘The Paper Moon’ offers insight into the province of Sicily and the country of Italy. It gives the reader a sense of deep tradition and rich cultural inheritance. It also wonderfully portrays the lust of an ageing man for a life that may now be beyond his reach, or not. Light reading, perhaps, but a story that makes one think on a number of different levels.
– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them. When not reading he writes history for the web at www.basininstitute.org