Road to Perdition

USA, 1930s. Michael O’Sullivan is a good family man and leads an apparently secluded and devoted life. While Michael goes to work, as every day, one of his two beloved sons decides to hide himself in his father’s car and witnesses a brutal Mafia-style execution.
Thus he learns that his father is actually a notorious killer. Unfortunately, the boy is discovered and Mafia rules don’t let witnesses of paybacks live.
Father and son escape together but the rest of their unaware family is executed. That’s the beginning of a dark and exciting story of revenge and retaliation, with no holds barred, narrated in first-person by Michael O’Sullivan’s son. Their final destination: Perdition, the town where the two of them hope to find their salvation.

In Road to Perdition, novelist Max Allan Collins deals again with comics, and does this with rare incisiveness. He represents the world of US Mafia during Prohibition with precision and effectiveness, highlighting the importance of family and the strong bond with a certain Catholic concept of life that is common to the Irish and the Italians. The choice of a child’s point of view gives us a captivating narration, and makes it easy to side with his father.

Thanks to a syncopated rhythm, dry dialogues and piercing film jokes, Colling makes this long story of gangsters and education memorable. The illustrations by Richard Piers Rayner are priceless: he perfectly draws locations and characters and is able to make the atmosphere touchable, thanks to a skillful use of contrasts which pays attention to details.

The work inspired the overrated film “Road to Perdition” (directed by Sam Mendes), a typical Hollywood product, dull and mediocre, which betrays the immediacy of the story in favor of usually silly and slick tones.

Translation by Valentina Ornaghi (edited by Francesca Ceccarelli)

Previous articleF. Scott Fitzgerald – The Baby Party
Next articleFour times that night (1968)
Heiko H. Caimi
Author and screenwriter, he has been teaching Creative Writing since 1999. He collaborated with the Publisher Tranchida from 2007 to 2009 as a teacher at Forrester School, as a member of the management board and as an editor of the editorial board, as well as an author of the on-line magazines "Gluck59" and "Teneke". He has worked as a writer of short stories with Mondadori and GVE publishers and publishes short stories, articles, reviews and poems with various on-line magazines. He participated as a poet in the VII Annual Carovana dei Versi (Caravan of Verses) in 2012-2013, and some of his works have been be published in 2013 in an anthology by the publishing house Abrigliasciolta of Varese. He has taught courses on writing and screenwriting at the Egea Bookstore of Bocconi University in Milan, at I.I.S. A.Lunardi in Brescia in several libraries and associations in the district of Brescia and in some Swiss schools. A film for which he wrote the screenplay has been optioned twice. He worked as a writer in an international production ("Haiti Voodoo", 2011). A long time ago he played in several bands and collaborated on several short films. He currently lives and works in Brescia. Since 2002 he has been Chairman of Magnoliaitalia, and since 2013 he has been teacher and Conductor at the Writing Parlour in Brescia, a professional school for writers.