Gianrico Carofiglio
Le tre del mattino (Three O'Clock in the Morning)
A novel, Einaudi Stile Libero, October 2017, 170 pages

“Poignant and moving… Antonio’s catalog of intimate experiences, whether painful, pleasurable, or bitter-sweet, make for an enchanting coming-of-age tale.” Publishers Weekly

“Enlightening . . . [an] absorbing novel of filial bonding.” Booklist

“Here those dark nights arrive with shimmering, unforced beauty, filling the pages with jagged moonlight like the finest neorealist film.” Kirkus Reviews

“Carofiglio is a master of voice and atmosphere, which gives this elegiac novel its satisfying and emotional punch.” Christopher Castellani

“A compelling, compact story…Gianrico Carofiglio’s Three O’Clock in the Morning is profound in its simple delivery.” New York Journal of Books

“Carofiglio is a champion of clarity in language, and his own prose, in both fiction and non-fiction, is direct, lim- pid, and unambiguous.” Howard Curtis, translator of Three O’Clock in the Morning

“Lucid and touching.” la Repubblica

“There is not a word to add, a word to take away. ” La Lettura – Corriere della Sera

“The rare, unusual, sometimes disconcerting relationship between a father and a son” L’Obs

“This book could have been three times as long and still not be boring for a second.” Stern


A father and son.
The story of an encounter that will change them forever.
A moving novel of discovery and coming of age.

Antonio is on the brink of adulthood, still figuring out who he is and who he wants to be. His father, once a brilliant mathematician, hasn’t figured much in his son’s life since his divorce from Antonio’s mother. But then a diagnosis of epilepsy and hope for a cure take father and son to Marseilles, a city that melds French old-world charm and modern-day bohemia. There, they find themselves in unexpected circumstances, spending two days and two nights together without sleep, walking the streets.

As strained conversation turns to late-night, caffeine-and alcohol-imbued adventures with new and fascinating men and women they meet, the cit — and their relationship — springs to life. Antonio and his father talk about talent, truth, illusions, love, sex, and death, and find themselves unwittingly growing closer than ever before.

A moving masterwork from one of Italy’s most beloved contemporary writers, Three O’Clock in the Morning is a spellbinding journey readers won’t soon forget.

Elegant, warm, and tender, Three O’Clock in the Morning is an unforgettable coming-of-age story about a father and son, dreams and regret, and, most of all, love.

“And Dad played a solo. I would never have admitted it to myself, but I was really proud of him and wished I could tell everyone near me that the tall, thin, elegant-looking man sitting at the piano, looking much younger than his fifty-one years, was my father.
When he finished, summing up the meaning of what he had played in two conclusive, melancholy scales, there was a burst of friendly applause. And I also applauded and kept doing so until I was sure he had seen me, because I was starting to realize that there are such things as misunder- standings and I didn’t want there to be any at that moment.”

Read an excerpt on Lit Hub here

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


“This is a wonderful book, there’s not much else to say.” Antonio D’Orrico, La Lettura

“A coming-of-age journey that is as rational as it is touching, and that builds up some crucial symbolisms (the mother and the father have no name, they only represent their objective function) in the reflections of a beautiful dryness.” Leonetta Bentivoglio, la Repubblica

“It’s not a crime story but the suspense is still there, in Gianrico Carofiglio’s coming-of-age novel.” Alberto Riva, il Venerdì di Repubblica

“Epilepsy has an unspeakable quality that Carofiglio manages to express sharply” Leonetta Bentivoglio, la Repubblica

“One of those novels for which you feel sorry in the last pages, when reading slows down to ward off the final word.” Il fatto quotidiano

“Lucid and touching.” la Repubblica

“There is not a word to add, a word to take away. ” La Lettura – Corriere della Sera

“The rare, unusual, sometimes disconcerting relationship between a father and a son” L’Obs

“This book could have been three times as long without and still not be boring for a second.” Stern


Amazon top reviews from the United States

“This is a deep, profound story of a young man coming of age and finding his father, at last. I didn’t want the book to end and know that I will read it again. Because I read it on my kindle, I will buy a hard copy for my husband as I am sure that he will love it. A truly beautiful book.”

“This is a delightful little book with a flavor all its own — nothing like Carofiglio’s legal thrillers, which I also love. The hardback edition is beautifully produced, and there’s an interesting Note from the Translator that pays homage to Carofiglio’s “clarity of language.” The serene charm of Carofiglio’s storytelling comes through even in English translation.”

“I love every book Giancarlo Carofiglio writes and await each new novel with high anticipation. This book was no exception. There is a rhythm to his writing and a deep understanding of human nature. I can’t wait for the next one!”

“The language of the short novel is beautiful–reminiscent of Hemingway or Fitzgerald. A terrific coming of age story that is highly affecting.”

“I am a big fan of Carofiglio’s Guido Guerrieri series and bought this to see what else he could do. I was absolutely blown away by this novel. It was short, very nicely written (as are all his novels), and very touching. I am not the sort of guy who gets emotional wrapped up in the plots of movies or books, but this was indeed touching. I will probably reread this book before passing it around to my literary friends. It was that good.”

“Very touching book, not at all what i was expecting a book that makes you good, sad and realize what life offers if we let it.”

“I don’t write reviews often. This short novel was a surprise. I loved the voice and rhythm.”

“I found this book compelling: I read it in a single day, following one chapter with the next to see how the story would unfold. I also found it moving: at end, my internal voice said ‘wow’ in response to the emotional journey the author had taken me on. I am actively recommending it to friends as the next book they should read.”


Foreign rights
USA and UK: HarperVia
Arabic language world rights: Al Arabi
Australia and New Zeland: Text Publishing
Germany, Austria and Switzerland: Folio Verlag
France, Switzerland and Belgium: Slatkine
Lithuania: Tyto Alba
Russia: Polyandria No Age
Spain and Latin America: Anagrama
Serbia: Clio Publishing
Turkey: Is Kultur


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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