(The Blood of the Tyrant)
Agenzia X, 2011
Collection Inchiostro Rosso | Noir di rivolta n. 3
160 pp, euro 9,50
ISBN: 978-88-95029-48-1

Here he is again, the old dean La Sansa. Here he is again but even more ill and irascible, just when everyone hoped to be freed of him. Not all of the lecturers of the modest provincial university that he has brought to decline react very well to his return: Professor Calandrone, for example, is going ballistic. He has started setting all kinds of traps to ruin the old tyrant and is trying to involve his colleagues and students. His friend Professor Villani, on the other hand, has preferred to take refuge in a mannerism à la Don Juan. To complicate matters further, as many odd incidents are occurring in other Italian universities, La Sansa is discovered dying in his office one morning, his body injured by multiple stab wounds. And Calandrone is nowhere to be found.
In a grand building, ostentatious but already decrepit, we come by nervous academics dreaming of leaving the country, aggressive students, a puzzled inspector, a journalist without his badge and a dog that has learnt to like human blood. The Blood of the Tyrant is a brief, allusive and allegorical roman noir that, making its way through the irony and the grotesque, tells the story of the painful drifting of the institution that is university in times of senseless cultural vacuity – our times.

Claudio Baroni, Il Giornale di Brescia: “With this fake thriller, Claudio Morandini gives us an unmerciful description of the current situation of the Italian university; he places it in the theatrical dimension of the absurd but lifts the veil on a fragment of truth that should worry us.”
Fabio Ciriachi, in the magazine Il Grandevetro: “Nowhere in the book is there any mention of a place or event that would allow us to locate or date the story yet there is no doubt that it takes place here and now. The Blood of the Tyrant is precisely about that: here and now. And Morandini talks about the here and now with an irony that often borders sarcasm.”

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