x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Memory of the Abyss: fact and myth blend to reveal Sardinian bandit

Marcello Fois retells the story of a young soldier who becomes one of Sardinia's most feared bandits after being drawn into a personal vendetta.

Memory of the Abyss
Marcello Fois (translated 
by Patrick Creagh)
Maclehose Press
Dh63
Memory of the Abyss Marcello Fois (translated by Patrick Creagh) Maclehose Press Dh63

As far as legends go, the tale of Samuele Stocchino is one that is likely to make the blood run cold. Hailed as a military hero at the tender age of 16, the shepherd's son goes on to become one of Sardinia's most feared bandits.

Marcello Fois' retelling of his story blends fact and myth, relying on the pathos of the island's untamed paradise ruled by the prophetic cycles of the moon as a backdrop for the frenzied violence wrought by Stocchino's blade.

Born with a heart the shape of a wolf's head, young Samuele is both admired and feared by the villagers of Arzana. He lives a life fuelled by the frenetic fire within him, slaughtering Libyan rebels as a teen soldier stationed in Tripoli and then returning home to be drawn into a personal vendetta against the richest clan in the region. Before long, his notoriety spreads to mainland Italy, where there is no place for an outlaw in Mussolini's regime.

Bold and deft, it is quite clear that the awards lavished on Fois' work are well-deserved. Memory of the Abyss will ensure Stocchino's legacy will survive for some time to come.