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Old 08-12-2017, 06:29 PM   #1
GlenBarrington
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Beneath a Scarlet Sky - Mark Sullivan

I read this through the Kindle Unlimited program, and this book has paid for this year's KU subscription all by itself. I have cross posted this review to the the book's Amazon's reviews pages.

This is the true story of Giuseppe "Pino" Lella, an overly romantic teen-ager who had lived a relatively privileged upper middle class childhood in Milan. It is a sort of coming of age story that covers the last two years of World War II. It was an odd time for Italy. It was at war with the Allies, but it was also sort of fighting a passive-aggressive war with Germany, who was increasingly becoming an occupying force and not an ally. Italy wanted to lose one war, and win the other, and they really wanted the Americans with whom they felt a kinship, to get to be the ones to liberate them first.

At age 18, all boys were drafted into the Italian Army to be used as cannon fodder for the Germans in Russia or Poland. His parents convince him to join the Organization Todt, which was a German run auxiliary army that pretty much did Germany's 'dirty work' in Italy. He reluctantly does so and inadvertently becomes General Leyers driver.

Leyers, an engineer by training, is Hitler's right hand man in Italy, and reports directly to Hitler. He is responsible for making sure Italy fully supports German war efforts. His methods included slavery, murder, torture, and of course, sending Jews to the concentration camps.

When Pino's uncle learns of this, the uncle reveals that he works for the Italian Resistance, and wants Pino to spy on Leyers.

I won't reveal any more, this true story has to be read to fully understand. It is very well written and very moving. I can't believe this won't be made into a movie at some point. Pino Lella's story is too fantastic, and too compelling for Hollywood to overlook.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 08-12-2017 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:33 PM   #2
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Thanks for the recommendation. I've read a lot of WWII books (mostly about the Holocaust ), but I'm not sure I've read anything from an Italian point of view.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:28 PM   #3
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I've read it and agree it's a great true story. I've also not read many WW2 books from the Italian perspective. I'll need to read more of them now.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
I can't believe this won't be made into a movie at some point. Pino Lella's story is too fantastic, and too compelling for Hollywood to overlook.
You convinced me, and Amazon.ca pushed me today too. It's $CDN 1.99 at Amazon.ca today, and quite possibly on sale elsewhere.
https://www.amazon.ca/Beneath-Scarle.../dp/B01L1CEZ6K

The Amazon blurb says:
"Soon to be a major motion picture from Pascal Pictures, starring Tom Holland."
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:25 AM   #5
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Another good recommendation Glen. Just bought it at Amazon.com for $1.99.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bfisher View Post
You convinced me, and Amazon.ca pushed me today too. It's $CDN 1.99 at Amazon.ca today, and quite possibly on sale elsewhere.
https://www.amazon.ca/Beneath-Scarle.../dp/B01L1CEZ6K

The Amazon blurb says:
"Soon to be a major motion picture from Pascal Pictures, starring Tom Holland."
You know . . . they always say "A Major Motion Picture", never "A MINOR Motion Picture", which most of them are. I'm hoping this film will be as good as the book, it's got a lot of good material to work with.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:27 PM   #7
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You know . . . they always say "A Major Motion Picture", never "A MINOR Motion Picture", which most of them are...
Too true.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:14 AM   #8
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A great book. One of my favorite reads in a while.
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:10 PM   #9
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Glen, thanks so much for this recommendation. I had just gotten KU and was wading through books trying to decide what to read when I read your post. I check it out and I must say I don't remember seeing so many high reviews from so many people.

I just got done reading it and I think it was one of the most powerful books I have ever read. Usually I just skim a preface so I can get on to the book itself but even the preface grabbed me. Mark Sullivan is a word artist. I felt like Alice, except that instead of falling down the rabbit hole I fell into my Kindle and became part of Pino Lella's world. Thanks again.

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