Let me say from the outset that when I found myself turning the page and realizing that there isn't any next page left, I was glad. I was so happy that I finally finished Sicilian Tragedee. Because really, this book was a waste of my time. And let me tell you why.
First, let me talk about the characters. Well, there's plenty of them. There's Alfio Turrisi, who drives this right-hand-drive Aston Martin in Sicily, but is a mafioso. He happens to be in love with Betty Pirrotta, who unfortunately is the daughter of the rival mafia. Sounds Romeo and Juliet, right? Well, it is, to some degree.
There is a second couple, theatre director Tino Cagnotto, who perhaps is the most pathetic character in the book. He is in love with Bobo, a young muscular beefcake of an actor. Cagnotto is a neo-realist; he is known for reinterpreting works of Shakespeare. And yes, the play that he directs in the book is none other than Romeo and Juliet. And as part of the neo-realist re-interpretation, he decides that instead of Romeo falling for Juliet, Romeo should fall for Mercutio instead.
Add to that a thousand other characters that span the whole Sicilian society: fan-wielding baronesses and countesses, police chiefs and lieutenants, radio and newspaper reporters, mayors and town councils, and so forth. All of these with long Italian names that for the average English reader, is hard to distinguish one from another. What results in that? Total chaos.
I should say I wasn't a big fan of the writing style either. The novel is split into three sections. For the first two sections, the chapters are arranged such that multiple storylines are told by alternating chapters. Say, the first chapter would talk about Cagnotto the director and his boyfriend, followed by the second chapter which narrates Turrisi and his everyday events. The third chapter picks up Cagnotto again, but by the time I finished the second chapter, I was so lost in the structure that I forgot who Cagnotto was in the first place.