Norman Lewis arrived in Naples in 1944 as an Intelligence Officer attached to the American 5th Army. The local populace were starving and desperate. They had devoured all the tropical fish in the aquarium, respectable women had been driven to prostitution and the black market was king, but still they retained an unquenchable zest for life.
Lewis became disenchanted with his fellow soldiers and drew comfort from the Neapolitans that he encountered and came to befriend. He even goes so far as to note that 'were I given the chance to be born again, Italy would be the country of my choice'.
Lewis, one of the greatest 20th century travel writers, effortlessly brings the tempestuous city and its inhabitants to life in this lyrical, detached account of life here at the end of the war.
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