XXIV edition
9/14 December 2014


A country that never changes

"It was strange to be reading a book and realize, at one point, that it was about you…"

The surprise of Piero Colaprico, writer and journalist and protagonist, if unawares, of
Carlo Lucarelli’s latest novel, Albergo Italia, is evident, as is a degree of nervousness: as we all know, characters in thrillers tend to meet bad ends. The latter, known mainly for the television program Blu Notte and his novel Almost Blue (which became a film by Alex Infascelli), could not deny that he enjoys making frequent meta-linguistic incursions from literary make-believe into reality: "For some time now," Lucarelli admits, "I’ve realized that I get a kick out of finding inspiration in real-life characters, and it’s useful too. For this book I needed a police captain who was also a good investigator, and Colaprico is not only a thriller writer but an expert in criminal investigations. He was a natural for the part! If I’m stealing from reality, I need to be totally open to it; in fact, my eyes and ears are always open to catch what’s going on around me."

After all, Lucarelli even calls himself "the biggest
cosplay in the world", a reference to his having been "recycled as a comic book character" that detective Cornelio the author was cast as in the comic strip of the same name a few years go, published by Star Comics. What really jives with reality about Albergo Italia
, in any case, is the unusual similarity between what went on in colonial Italy in the late 19th century and Italy today: "The novel has much in common with our present-day world, like cuts in spending, officials addicted to power, money laundering by the mafia or by the secret services, and so on. It was a surprise to learn that in over a century Italy has hardly changed at all, in so many different ways."