‘The starving population had devoured all the tropical fish in the aquarium, respectable women had been driven to prostitution and the black market was king . . .
Lewis arrived in war-torn Naples as an intelligence officer in 1944. He found little to admire in his fellow soldiers, but gained sustenance from the extraordinary vivacity of the Italians. There is the gynaecologist who “specialises in the restoration of lost virginity” and the widowed housewife who times her British lover against the clock. “Were I given the chance to be born again,” wrote Lewis, “Italy would be the country of my choice”.’ – Eland Books
‘One goes on reading page after page as if eating cherries.’ New York Review of Books