Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A House in Naples

Peter Rabe
A House in Naples

Gold Medal, 1956

Charley and Joe are two American deserters that during World War II escaped from the army. They remained in Italy, have engaged in the transportation of goods from the black market and generally well settled there. Only Joe, though stupid one, made homself new documents, and Charley didn’t. So when the police stopped his truck, Charlie fled, but with a wound and the face now known to all carabinieri. Now, if he is caught, he will go staright to prison (or noose), and Charley urgently needs to get new documents.

Rabe with each novel increasingly shows his passion for travel. In his first novel, the action took place in the United States, in the second Italy flashed somewhere in the background, the half of the action of the third has been placed in Germany, and the fourth is purely Italian. The protagonist is always a crook, smart and savvy to a degree, but again, short-tempered and jealous. Rabe gave his character an unusual habit: he does not drink, but all the time sucks aspirin.

All elements of the previous work of the writer are again present, but A House in Naples is a more private story. This novel is a kind of rural noir, as Rabe understands it.


  1. I read this one years ago, based on its and Rabe's reputation, and because I'd read an enjoyed another of his books. A HOUSE IN NAPLES disappointed me, however, and I couldn't escape the feeling that in it the author was trying out a somewhat Hemingwayesque approach.

  2. The aspirin-sucking thing makes me think of THE SHINING.

    1. I don't remember it! I need to re-read The Shining.