Giangiacomo Feltrinelli's life reads like an intellectual thriller in which books and bombings collide, a life fuelled by money, passion and politics, where mansions and libraries are ransacked for clues. Feltrinelli was, according to his son, "a difficult man devoted to a certain type of risk, together with a surprising form of irreverance that speakers of Yiddish as "chutzpah". This was what made his every gesture inexplicably charismatic, even when it wasn't". He wore "stupendous ties", smoked cigarettes that give this book its title, and, even in the words of a conservative American enemy, "conditioned the history of a decade".
Gaby Wood, Observer
A fascinating memoir of this complicated, reckless man
Senior Service has the most sensational, complicated, strangest plot ... A family saga involving Mussolini, Fidel Castro, the last king of Italy, a one-eyed matriarch, Boris Pasternak and the revolutionary heir to a vast fortune ... it is Carlo's storytelling abilities which make it gripping