An original Italian easy reader by Giovanni Galavotti
The 1970 political thriller on which this ‘easy reader’ is based was a massive success for director Elio Petri, winning many prizes, including that year’s Oscar for the Best Foreign Language movie.
The story takes place in Rome in the summer of 1969, at what would be the beginning of Italy’s ‘years of lead’. It reflects on the power of the apparatus of the state, and the roles played by those who worked within it or rebelled against it.
The unnamed protagonist, a senior police officer and head of the homicide squad, murders his lover but then immediately sets out to leave as many clues as possible…
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level and above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Mary Wilson (verified owner) –
I found this account the perfect accompaniment to the film. I am just beginning to supplement my language learning by watching some of the classic italian movies which I have to say I am really enjoying. However, when I watch a film there are always things (which often turn out to be key to the characters’ motivation or to the events in the film!) that pass me by. For me this is where the easy reader steps in. I read it really quickly before watching the film so I understand the context and get a general idea of events, and then again afterwards to confirm to myself that I have just understood a famous Italian film or in the case of this wonderful film, to give me permission to be confused, as I am meant to be, at the cliff hanger of an ending!
Hello Daniel. Unfortunately I have not yet read the book but when I do I will leave a ‘proper’ review. I have read other easy reader books and find they help in so many ways as the words repeat themselves so assist in remembering. ( I am in my seventies) Well done to all.
I pop in and out of your website and I really enjoy your emails! I’m also glad that your son has slowed down when reading easy italian news and I commend him on his vocabulary. Thank you for inspiring me again.
Kathy Lauder (verified owner) –
I agree with one of the other reviewers, in that the plot was rather strange and hard to follow at times. I found it very difficult to understand the motivation beind the actions of the main character, throughout the book, but it kind of made sense in the end.
As far as studying italian is concerned, the way it is broken up into chapters, each with their own glossary and questions at the end is very useful. I listened both before and whilst reading each chapter, and then re- read without listening. Since the chapters are short, it was not too onerous to do this several times, gradually increasing my understanding. I will probably read the book again after I have read some other easy readers.
Rita Seru-Gardner (verified owner) –
I recently read Indagine Su Un Cittadino Al Di Sopra Di Ogni Sospetto, a film summary of the classic thriller by Elio Petri.
This complex movie, developed through flashbacks, recounts the dramatic, psychological story of a top Roman police officer who may or may not be charged with the murder of his mistress despite many material clues and his signed confession.
Reading this B2 level e-book by Giovanni Galavotti allowed me to understand and appreciate the movie without English subtitles. It featured key vocabulary and descriptions of the most significant scenes while also reinforcing comprehension and grammar through helpful exercises.
Even though I am able to speak basic Italian, I still need to develop oral fluency. Reading and studying this excellent text prepared me to have a sustained conversation about a great film with my Italian teacher.
Ray L. (verified owner) –
Il mio primo Easy Reader! Mi ho piaciuto perché è stato non troppo difficile per capire m’anche non troppo facile per me. Anche, la storia è stata interessante. Inoltre, ascoltare la storia mi ha aiutato. (Spero che il mio italiano non troppo male!)
Helen (verified owner) –
I have read this book 3 times so far and manage to understand more with each reading. Much of the vocabulary I already know or can make a good guess at because of how the story is written. I have enjoyed all the easy readers I have bought so far whether they are the genre I usually read or not. I just love the satisfaction it gives me to know I have read a book in Italian.
Harold Wonham (verified owner) –
I don’t know the film, but from all accounts it must be as enigmatic as this concise summary. It’s a satire on expectations and the competence of the police, a black comedy; the tone is set by having the man character anonymous (l’Uomo) who murders (or possibly not) his lover and leaves all sorts of clues as to his identity, including a written confession, but fails to convince the police of his guilt. It ends like the film with a quotation from Kafka which is itself enigmatic (unless I am being very dense). Certainly the story makes you think and concentrate!
The story is in the usual 8 chapters, with helpful glossary and a short, varied exercise after each chapter. It is clearly read (though at one point, in order to show passion, is read far too quickly).
It seems to me that the level rating is spot on.
Here’s my take – the murdered woman is democracy, who mistakenly took fascism as a lover, then flirted with the left but, being weak, could never break up with her authority figure. She’s eventually killed by the anonymous protagonist, whose job is to protect the innocent, not abuse them.
But society (the police and witnesses) is too corrupt, self-interested or frightened to do anything to bring the guilty party to account, which the killer knows, and despairs of, from the start.
The interesting character in this story/film is NOT the anonymous police detective, the corrupted authority figure and killer, but ALL of the others!
Why did the woman (democracy) behave as she did? Why do the witnesses (politicians of both left and right, the journalist, the man in the street, the shop-keeper, the students, all of them) do nothing, though they know who must have killed her? Why do the killer’s colleagues cover up for him?
The killer both hopes to be caught (he will be proved wrong, all is not lost, ‘his’ side will reform) and fears it. But the situation is hopeless – the bombs of the left are as poor a solution as the authoritarianism of the right.
Could be that I completely misunderstood it, of course!
Elsa (verified owner) –
As always an enjoyable story. I personally thought the ending was amusing. My take on the plot was that the main character started out hoping for the obvious outcome of his actions, then changed his mind and finally after all his shenanigans tried to bring about the outcome his conscience needed.
I liked this book.
Rita (verified owner) –
My fault possibly, because it was an “easy” reader after all and possibly didn’t have the scope to do what I wanted from a detective-type novel but I was a little disappointed in the story; the characters and background lacked depth I thought – too simplistic.
The reading level was enjoyable and, especially with helpful vocabulary, nice for a quick, confidence-building read. I am spending more time trying to master my Italian Workout book and the news bulletins are really testing me so that this was more like reading a pleasant magazine at the end of the day.
I don’t normally reply to reviews, as reviewers are entitled to their opinions, whatever those may be. However, this ebook is not an orginal story and certainly not a ‘dective-type novel’. It’s a ‘Book of the Classic Italian Movie’, and one which was ground-breakingly political, satirical and Kafkaesque. I apologise if that wasn’t clear from the product description. The film on which the story is based won an Oscar, and the ebook is a simplified version of it for learners. As with ‘La dolce vita’, another odd ebook, if you start from a weird film, then you get a weird ebook! That’s the point, really…
Christine (verified owner) –
For you Daniel, who gave me the guilts about not reviewing books I have read, three so far I think..
This one looked interesting and I thought it would be a little above my level, which it is. However, I have read it twice, and am in the process of now writing down all the words I don’t understand, a lot, and then learning them, however, I still have not worked out if L’Uomo really did it for real, or is it some sort of play, seemed a bit to ‘obvious’ a murder, for sure I will work it out once I have mastered the new words, thanks Daniel.
Candice Montero (verified owner) –
Very enjoyable. I was surprised I was able to uderstand most of the story. I like the way easy readers are presented in chapters with a glossary and exercises. My understanding of the written word is really improving reading these books, but now I need to listen to the stories more often. I do believe that reading is also improving my understanding of sentence structure. I would recommend this story to everyone, interessante!
prashant ng (verified owner) –
Haven’t yet read the book. But i watched the movie though.Just wanted to see the movie first so that it would be easier to understand the book. The movie is kind of funny. Can’t wait to read the book.
Catherine Denton-Clark (verified owner) –
Sorry, not had the time to read it yet. Do you have books higher than B2 standard please?
Yes, just one or two, though. If you browse the shop, or check the catalogue page, you should find them. Everything is in level order:
adecicco (verified owner) –
Perfect story for an intermediate learner of Italian… Nothing better than a mystery (giallo) to get your comfortable with Italian and this genre…
If only we could get Montalbano!
Eric Glover –
I haven’t had time to read it yet.
Velma Thomas (verified owner) –
I enjoyed this book and learnt lots of new words and expressions. I found the plot quite difficult to follow as the story is rather bizarre, so I’ll re-read it and hopefully see the film.
ojfrankel (verified owner) –
This was my first encounter with the Easy Reader Classic Italian Movies series.
I really liked the story, an adaptation of an award winning 1970 movie, which I am now intrigued to watch.
Congratulations to Giovanni, the scriptwriter of this short story adaptation. Giovanni was a teacher whom I encountered during my recent (and wonderful) 3 week stint learning Italian in Bologna. Sadly, I met him only on my last day in class.
The level (B2) of this book is probably a bit beyond me at the moment, but I persisted, took my time to re-read each chapter two or three times where necessary, until I finally understood everything (almost). Feels quite satisfying!