L Magazine: "[The Fugitive] intrigues for its author's chrysallic but unmistakable persona."
Date: Apr 24 2007
Before his skeezy sagas of mobsters, mercenaries and Marxists positioned him at the forefront of Mediterranean noir, Massimo Carlotto was known in Italy as “the Carlotto case,” a Years of Lead-era student activist cleared of murder charges after 14 years and 11 trials, interrupted by a few years on the run. His first book, written in 1994, shortly after the conclusion of his legal odyssey, and just now translated into English, is a lightly novelized account of his years as a paranoid “accidental fugitive” among the exiles of Europe and Mexico City. Anecdotal, chronologically vague (an appended timeline reveals that Carlotto lived abroad from 1982 to 1985; the reader could be forgiven for assuming it was longer), and shorter on context than its frank tone would have you believe, The Fugitive still intrigues for its author’s chrysallic but unmistakable persona. Less narrator than sarcastic and slightly self-aggrandizing summarizer, pitiless armchair head-shrinker, ravenous amateur gourmand, and casual surveyor of social inequities, Carlotto emerged from his trials with the voice that would find its register as it sought out nastier business, already fully formed and hardened to flint.