An unsentimental depiction of the poverty and chaos of life in the slums of 1950s postwar Rome, this novel follows Ricetto, an Italian youth, and his gang who survive by their wits, their cruelty, and their instincts for survival. Their lives are shaped by hunger, theft, betrayal, and prostitution, and they celebrate their triumphs with brutal abandon and die bleak deaths. This harsh world is portrayed with an understanding that humanity and even humor can exist amidst a hard and amoral society. A novel that caused a scandal upon its first publication more than 50 years ago, this new translation eloquently captures the gritty Roman slang of the Italian original and tells a story that still resonates powerfully to this day.
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