Gianrico Carofiglio
Il bordo vertiginoso delle cose (The Vertiginous Edge of Things)
A novel, Rizzoli, October 2013, 320 pages

“There is the coming-of-age story, the education to love and violence, and the passion for ideas and words.”
la Repubblica

The Vertiginous Edge of Things can be read in many ways: a coming of age novel, an initiation into life and violence, a tale about the passion for ideas and words, a love story, a relentless reflection on the fleeting nature of success and failure. But all these readings lead back to a single point, a sort of geometric locus in the soul where sweetness and brutality, desire and fear, loss and the unexpected opportunity to start over, all come together. 

A coffee bar, a crime story in the newspaper, a name resurfacing from the past. Enrico Vallesi is a man betrayed by the success of his first novel, trapped in a paradoxical fate, which has the bitter taste of missed opportunities. But the day comes when he can no longer elude his memory. So Enrico decides to get on a train and go back to the city, in the South of Italy, where he grew up, from which he escaped many years ago. Thus he begins a compelling journey of rediscovery through the memories of a troubled adolescence, wavering between anger and tenderness. It’s a fragile time, moving and violent, marked by his love for Celeste, the young and brilliant philosophy teacher, and his dangerous attraction to Salvatore, a classmate who is already an adult and experienced in life – even its most ferocious aspects.
With a smooth, sharp prose and a pace that won’t let you go, Gianrico Carofiglio guides us between the stories and the characters’ psychology, investigating the cracks of existence and evoking the banality of everyday life, “the sense of alienation that takes hold of us when we travel to distant and unknown lands”.
“The water in front of the pier was – and still is – dark and deep. That it was dark and murky was obvious; that it was deep you knew because those kids who would dive off it always came back up to the surface after each plunge.
“You didn’t know how to swim, then. You watched those demons lean over on the edge of the pier, then let themselves drop and disappear into the shouts and splashes of the turbid, menacing water, and you thought you’d never been able to do something like that.”

Gianrico Carofiglio

Gianrico Carofiglio was born in Bari and has worked for many years as a prosecutor specializing in organized crime. He was appointed advisor of the anti-Mafia committee in the Italian Parliament in 2007 and served as a senator from 2008 to 2013. He is the author of the novels featuring the character of the defense lawyer Guido Guerrieri: Testimone inconsapevole (Involuntary Witness, 2002), Ad occhi chiusi (A Walk in the Dark, 2003, Best International Noir of the year 2007 in Germany), Ragionevoli dubbi (Reasonable Doubts, 2006), Le perfezioni provvisorie (Temporary Perfections, 2010, Premio Selezione Campiello), La regola dell’equilibrio (A Fine Line, 2014), La misura del tempo (The Measure of Time, 2019, Premio Strega 2020 finalist). Officer of the Carabinieri Pietro Fenoglio is the protagonist of another series of novels: Una mutevole verità (A Shifting Truth, 2014, Premio Scerbanenco), L’estate fredda (The Cold Summer, 2016), La versione di Fenoglio (Fenoglio’s Version, 2019).
Among his fiction works: Il passato è una terra straniera (The Past is a Foreign Land, 2004, Premio Bancarella 2005), adapted into an internationally awarded film, Né qui né altrove (Neither Here Nor Elsewhere. A Night in Bari, 2009), Non esiste saggezza (There is No Wisdom, 2010, 2020), Il silenzio dell’onda (The Silence of the Wave, 2011, finalist for Premio Strega 2012), Il bordo vertiginoso delle cose (The Vertiginous Edge of Things, 2013), La casa nel bosco (The House in the Woods, 2014), written with his brother Francesco, Passeggeri notturni (Night Passengers, 2016), Le tre del mattino (Three O’Clock in the Morning, 2017), La disciplina di Penelope (Penelope’s Discipline, 2021) and Rancore (Resentment, 2022). Among his non-fiction books: La manomissione delle parole (Manumitting Words, 2010), Con parole precise (With exact words, 2015), Con i piedi nel fango (Feet in the Mud, 2018), Della gentilezza e del coraggio (On Kindness and Courage, 2020), La nuova manomissione delle parole (2021) and L’ora del caffè (Coffe Time, 2022). Many titles are also audiobooks, read by the author. In 2020 was released L’avvocato Guerrieri, Gianrico Carofiglio’s first audio-series. He has a podcast with his daughter Giorgia, called Coffee for Two. Gianrico Carofiglio’s multi-award winner and best selling books are translated into 27 languages worldwide.

Download here Gianrico Carofiglio rights catalogue.


Guido Guerrieri novels

Pietro Fenoglio novels

Penelope Spada novels


Short stories collections


“There is the coming-of-age story, the education to love and violence, and the passion for ideas and words.”
la Repubblica

Foreign rights sold in
Germany: Goldmann
Poland: Wab Foksal
Spain: La Esfera de los Libros

Italian and international editions

Foreign publishers of Gianrico Carofiglio’s works
Albania: Fjala
Argentina: El Ateneo
Australia and New Zealand: Text Publishing
Austria: Folio Verlag
Bosnia: Buybook
Brazil: Editora Jaboticaba
Czech Republic: Host
Denmark: HR Ferdinand
Ethiopia: Soomaalyia
Finland: Kustannus Moreeni
France: Payot e Rivages, Seuil, Slatkine
Germany: Goldmann, Folio Verlag, Scoventa
Greece: Alexandria, Modern Times
Israel: Achuzat Bayit Books
Japan: Bungei ShunJu
Kenya: Soomaalyia
Lithuania: Homo liber
Mexico: Urano
The Netherlands: Prometheus
Poland: W.A.B. Foksal
Portugal: Porto Editora
Romania: Leda
Russia: Inostranka
Serbia: Clio Publishing
Somalia: Soomaalyia
Spain (Castilian): Urano, La Esfera de los Libros, Anagrama
Spain (Catalan): Edicions 62
Sweden: Schibsted, Forum
Switzerland (French): Slatkine
Tanzania: Soomaalyia
Turkey: Neden Kitap
Uganda: Soomaalyia
UK: Bitter Lemon Press, Old Street Publishing
US: Thomas Dunne, Rizzoli International
Vietnam: Nhã Nam

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