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I Gomorrah, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, Roberto Saviano revealed a true, devastating portrait of Naples, Italy under the rule of the Camorra, a crime organization more powerful and violent than the Mafia. In The Piranhas, the international bestselling author returns to his home city with a novel of gang warfare and a young man’s dark desire to rise to the top of Naples’s underworld.

In Naples, there is a new kind of gang ruling the streets: the paranze, or the children’s gangs, groups of teenage boys who divide their time between counting Facebook likes, playing Call of Duty on their PlayStations, and patrolling the streets armed with pistols and AK-47s, terrorizing local residents in order to mark out their Mafia bosses’ territory.

Roberto Saviano’s The Piranhas tells the story of the rise of one such gang and its leader, Nicolas—known to his friends and enemies as the Maharajah. Nicolas’s ambitions reach far beyond doing other men’s bidding: he wants to be the one giving the orders, calling the shots, and ruling the city. But the violence he is accustomed to wielding and witnessing soon spirals beyond his control—with tragic consequences.

ROBERTO SAVIANO was born in 1979 and studied philosophy at the University of Naples. Gomorrah, his first book, has won many awards, including the prestigious 2006 Viareggio Literary Award.


Facts have been modified and connected to others in order to make a violent and complex world more comprehensible.  The names of the protagonists have been changed because the story involves minors.  Those who survived, after having served time in prison, deserve a second chance.

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