The Little Wagons is a fictional novel that captures the turmoil of late nineteenth-century Sicily, when the reverse alchemy of greed and violence forever changed the emerging Cosa Nostra from benevolent gold into corrupted base-metal.
The horrors of slavery and oppression forged revolutions and rebels in equal measure, and within this cornucopia of nepotism and brutality, hostility and passion are pitted against endemic hegemony.
With protagonists as fiery as Mount Etna itself, and equally unpredictable, The Little Wagons shows how poverty and despair become the omnipotent catalysts of vengeful change.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
This an excellent story of the mafia in Sicily in the nineteenth century. Taking you from the sulfur mines, to prisons, and the life in the village and the men who control the jobs. There are celebrations, payoffs, back stabbing, knife fights, and prison breaks. There is also a love story but she does not want to marry the man her father picked for her so he sent him to prison. The daughter Gabriela is the cause for much turmoil, but the story really follows the life of young pick-man Tommaso. Through his life you follow his hardships, and defeats. Until a day that he is chosen to kill one of the hogs for the celebration in the village. Then after witnessing a knife fight he must not only defend his life but also Gabriela’s. Both of these happening on the same day you begin to see a change and that is also when his life turns, and the power of the Gabriela’s father has him sent to prison on a lie, not knowing this until after he is at the prison. A very good story and all of the questions you have at the beginning are answered at the end with a few surprises. The characters are well developed and overall this is a very good story with a lot of detail. ~ Pat Lorelli, NetGalley
"The Little Wagons: The Traumatic Birth of Sicily's Cosa Nostra" is a fictional novel in which author Crozier Green deftly captures the turmoil of late nineteenth-century Sicily, when the reverse alchemy of greed and violence forever changed the emerging Cosa Nostra from benevolent organization dedicated to protecting the popular from foreign invasion and oppression, into corrupted Mafia that enriched its members through extortion, murder, and all manner of crime. The horrors of slavery and oppression forged revolutions and rebels in equal measure, and within this cornucopia of nepotism and brutality, hostility and passion are pitted against endemic hegemony. With protagonists as fiery as Mount Etna itself, and equally unpredictable, "The Little Wagons" shows how poverty and despair become the omnipotent catalysts of vengeful change. With an impressive attention to historical accuracy in detail and background, "The Little Wagons" is a consistently compelling read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Little Wagons" is also available in a Kindle format. ~ Midwest Book Review
The Little Wagons is The Traumatic Birth of Sicily's Cosa Nostra in short, the Sicilian Mafia. Little wagons or carusi, mean the children that were sold by their parents to work in the sulphur mines. They collect and carry the sulphur back to the surface. They are the human rock-transporters.
[The Book] exhaustingly narrated how the what we now know as the infamous Italian mafia started -its very roots. It somehow made me understand the workings of the brotherhood as it was originally purported to be. Supposedly, it was created to promote equality and brotherhood. There is strength in brotherhood but alliances and loyalties could easily change. It is as volatile as burning sulphur. It could easily shift and turn just as fast as emptying a cup of beer. How to put equality in the picture, when you think about the mafia is a totally bizarre idea. This story will tell you what started as a very noble idea became twisted and equality was erased out of the equation. How the brotherhood catered and served only its elite members and how power was abused to its very core.
This is a very well-written story. It was written in a very convincing and authentic way. Crozier Green is a master story-teller. His words were not flowery or to flamboyant but they carry the weight of their meaning. There was no fear of misunderstanding them. I don't know how else to describe this book but I was taken in and resistance was futile. It took no prisoners.
~ Gurlay Garcia, I Am Not A Bookworm!
Here at last is a captivating novel set in the formative days of the Mafia, in nineteenth-century Sicily. Crozier Green zooms in on this volatile period of the historically embattled island: at the dawn of a unified Italy that was anything but. Green’s Sicily is a brutal landscape inhabited by characters of outsized passions, despite the double-bind of poverty and exploitation, in the manner of Émile Zola. It’s an alluring backdrop for the story’s love triangle, one rife with betrayals and complicated by the strictures of “brotherhood.”
The Little Wagons plays with the old legends of Mediterranean Secret Societies: exotic tales shrouded in decorum and notions of honour that mask the eternal struggle for power. Yet its rich narrative details—from the hell of working the sulphur mines to the trauma of surviving Palermo’s prison fortress—can only come from an author’s deep research. The reader is richer for Green’s nimble fusion of fact and fiction. ~ Carl Russo, author, The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide