What an amazing story! Who could resist a tale about Murder, Madness, Glamour & Greed?
This volume was not solely focused on the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Instead, it provided a sweeping view of the history of the House of Gucci, starting in 1921 when Guccio Gucci founded the original shop in Florence. Author Sara Gay Forden takes us through four generations, starting with Guccio, then his eldest son Aldo Gucci (a marketing genius,) onto Aldo’s nephew Maurizio Gucci (whose total lack of understanding about the value of money brought the company to its knees,) and finally the story of what happened after Maurizio’s murder when outsiders took control, and the various events that led to the House of Gucci becoming the global phenomenon it is today.
The beginning was both amusing and fascinating as we took in the magnificent characters that populated the Gucci family. But (and there is a but) this story was not handled as well as it could have been. Granted, it gave a perceptive and astute look at the various people who took charge of the company. But the prose was terrible, cluttered with an over-abundance of adjectives, unnecessary repetitions, and distracting descriptions (“he had piercing blue eyes” we are told of one minor character.) This was not helped by the monotone delivery of the narrator.
As the novel wound on, progressing from the Operatic drama of an Italian family business, to a story of corporate takeovers and hostile bids (not so interesting) the problems grew. Which is a great pity.
I give this volume 5 stars for a truly fascinating story and 1 star for terrible prose.