Those “small fish” by Alessandro Robecchi. The tenth novel by Monterossi's father


By John

Writer, journalist, highly appreciated author for television (among other things, also of Maurizio Crozza's shows) and for the theatre, radio author (for Radio Popolare, of which he was director, and with the satirical strip “It's raining stones” he received the Viareggio Prize for political satire 2001), Alessandro Robecchi signs the new novel with his prolific and ingenious pen, the tenth of the series starring Carlo Monterossi, «Small fish» (Sellerio), a small masterpiece of harsh social denunciation, albeit with the ironic-sarcastic style that is congenial to the Milanese writer.

A beautiful story, that of “Small Fish”, with a new female character, for whom Rebecchi, as he said, cares a lot, the sweet Teresa, a cleaning lady who suddenly finds herself dreaming due to a series of circumstances in which Chance moves the threads of facts.

But what does it mean for Robecchi to be in the belly of a character like Monterossi? It means being in the shoes of those who today live between conflicts and moral compromises, of those who find themselves living with growing unease in their double, divided as they are between what is right and what is convenient. In fact, Monterossi, for those who don't know him, is a television author who has made money with tear-jerking gossip TV together with Flora De Pisis, the cynical presenter of “Crazy Love”, the shark show that grabs and swallows the lives of others to achieve record ratings.

But in his second, parallel life, Monterossi collaborates, almost to amend himself, with two detective friends, Oscar Falcone and Agatina Cirrielli, owners of Sistemi Integrati. So, while on the one hand Flora De Pisis sends him to Zelo Surrigone, not far from Milan, to bring out a scoop television episode with the case of a “miraculous” crucifix that starts to glitter in the community of a saint, the former priest Don Vincenzo together with his housekeeper, a former porn film actress, on the other hand Monterossi collaborates with Sistemi Integrati on a strange theft of documents and a USB stick reported to the investigative agency by the manager of the Italiana Grandi Opere, who deals with large constructions around the world.
Meanwhile, the policemen Ghezzi and Carella chase “small fish” with their stories of small survival crimes, aware that the “big fish” are on the high seas, and that “many losers are needed to fuel the myth of the winning city”, Milan rich and indifferent to many lives of ordinary desperation.

As Manzoni, quoted in the exergue of the novel, says, “it doesn't take much to make the poor appear like rascals”, and therefore Monterossi, the king of television fiction, looks at that world, attracted by the humanity of simple people like Teresa and melancholy when, at the conclusion of the two cases, the theft (also a fictional situation) and the fake miracle, he returns to his beautiful home while outside there are “people who are miserable, who are crawling, who cut themselves off to survive, who can end up on his knees at any moment and never get up again.”