This is one of those books that makes you wish you could read faster. It is also a fascinating tale that works well on many levels. It is primarily a business and family biography – the rise and fall and rise of the Gucci luxury fashion house and merchandise company. This story begins in 1904 in Florence, Italy and carries us forward to the cruel 1995 killing of the founder’s grandson.
It is also a true-crime story as we find out who wanted Maurizio Gucci murdered and why. Author Sara Guy Forden seems to have access to every family event, fact, rumor and relationship. This is not a drive-by biography, instead it is one in which the reader feels like he/she is reliving the events at close distance… Waiting in the weeds.
Forden also does a fine job of including just the right amount of information on Italian culture and traditions. This may be a key reason this company tale seems so much more interesting than those detailing the rise and fall of American family-run corporations.
Finally, Forden reminds us of the foibles and terrors of human nature, which include intra-family rivalries, jealousies, and deadly grudges. In the end, this is very much – as promised – a sensational story of murder, madness, glamour, and greed.
Note: This book was purchased by the reviewer.