At the turn of the last century, Salgari was stranded in Turin, former capital of Italy but hardly the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Trapped in a rather anonymous office job as a clerk, Salgari dreamed up exotic adventures and put them to paper.
Back when I was a kid I did not like Salgari very much – his were the sort of books that old aunts with fake smiles pushed on you saying “You will absolutely love this story!”, and making it clear that anything less than absolute love for Sandokan, or Jolanda, would cause no end of grief in the family.
So sue me, I did not love him that much – and yet no one was any worse for it. Continue reading