The cities and the days

An era in which the worst deadly sins – pride, greed and envy – has been elevated to indispensable professional qualities.

Two brothers who grew up in the same family environment, with equal amounts of love received and the possibility of realizing their dreams, decide to embark on two opposite personal and professional lives. The first, Maurizio, a successful architect of international fame residing in Paris with his wife and daughter, until he decides to please his father and return to Milan, where a large urban regeneration project awaits him. The second, Emanuele, engaged in the third world with various non-governmental associations, in which he will have to clash with the hypocrisies of the world, and with those who go to Africa to perpetuate further crimes disguised as respectability against women and children.

The text is well written, a prose and a breadth of vocabulary that spreads inside the reader’s head like an aroma of ancient flavours. As regards the story told, at times, the analysis of the political and social context in which the protagonists move invades the space that should have been dedicated to a greater internal analysis of the characters.

As unexpected as it may seem, in some passages of the book we have found the same aftertaste savored in Andrea De Carlo’s texts, in the ability to lay bare some landscape and moral (or presumed such) peculiarities of Milan, in its role as an avant-garde of non you know what, with lumps of hypocrisy torn from the advertisements on the city walls.

The chapters are only presented in alternating form, each dedicated to one of the two brothers, with a time gap that explains the title, while they face betrayals and difficult moments from which there apparently seems to be no way out, haunted by past mistakes.

Lastly, although at the end of the story the author had to specify that the themes and the story narrated are the fruit of his imagination, without any reference to real facts or people, we can testify from stories heard during various trips to different African countries that the topic of sexual abuse of the local population by employees of international or military institutions is not a story that far from reality.


Filippo D’Angelo, The cities and the days, Nottetempo, Milano, 2024

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