The Secret of Santa Vittoria

A Novel

Robert Crichton

Sarah Crichton Books

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In the last days of World War II, German forces are sent to occupy the Italian hill town, Santa Vittoria, and claim its great treasure: one million bottles of the Santa Vittoria wine that is its lifeblood. The clownish mayor, Bombolini, matches wits with the urbane German captain, Von Prum, as the town unites -- aristocrats and peasants, old enemies and young lovers -- to deceive the Germans and save its wine. Where the wine disappears to is the secret of Santa Vittoria that Robert Crichton brings to life with wit, heart, and suspense in his masterpiece of classic storytelling. First published in 1966, The Secret of Santa Vittoria was on the New York Times bestseller list for 50 weeks -- 18 weeks as #1 -- and became an international bestseller.

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Reviews

Praise for The Secret of Santa Vittoria

“This is an irresistibly engaging book. It bubbles with gaiety and wit, bursts with laughter, and throbs with the sheer joy of life.” The New York Times

 

“Crichton tells his story with grace, pace, warmth and a free-reeling wit that skips among the vineyards like an inebriated billy goat.”  Time Magazine

 

“For sheer exuberance and readability, The Secret of Santa Vittoria takes pride of place. The duel of wits between Bombolini and the Nazi Von Prum is the immemorial struggle between those who want to walk free and those who feel obliged to march.” Daily Telegraph

 

The Secret of Santa Vittoria has the kind of magic that sweeps the reader from page to page.” Saturday Review


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About the Author

Robert Crichton

Robert Crichton (1925-1993) was a novelist and magazine writer. Born in New Mexico, Crichton spent most of his life in New York after serving in the Army during World War II in the Battle of the Bulge and graduating from Harvard in 1951. Crichton’s first book, The Great Impostor (1960), told the true story of Fred Demara, an impostor who successfully assumed scores of guises including that of a Trappist monk, Texas prison warden and surgeon in the Royal Canadian Navy. The bestselling book was adapted into a 1961 movie starring Tony Curtis. A follow-up, The Rascal and the Road, was a memoir about Crichton’s adventures with Demara.

 

Crichton’s first novel was The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1966). Set in an Italian hilltown during World War II, The Secret of Santa Vittoria was the rollicking tale of the town’s attempts to hide a million bottles of wine from German occupiers. It occupied the New York Times bestseller list for 50 weeks, became an international bestseller, and was adapted into a Golden Globe-winning film starring Anthony Quinn. Crichton’s second novel, The Camerons, was published in 1972. This sweeping family saga, focusing on a 19th century Scottish family’s struggle to rise above the grinding poverty of the coal miner’s life, was based upon Robert Crichton’s own Scottish forebears. The Camerons was on the New York Times bestseller list for over five months, and became a BBC miniseries.

 

At the time of his death in 1993, Robert Crichton was at work on a memoir of his time in the army which he had tentatively, and with characteristic self-deprecation, entitled Memoirs of a Bad Soldier.

 

Robert Crichton’s father, Kyle Crichton, was a writer and editor at Collier's magazine and author of novels and biographies, including a biography of the Marx Brothers. Kyle Crichton also wrote a column for The New Masses, a Marxist weekly, under the name Robert Forsythe. Robert Crichton’s wife, Judy Crichton, was an Emmy Award-winning documentary writer, director and producer, and author of America 1900: The Turning Point.

Robert Crichton

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Secret of Santa Vittoria
A Novel
Robert Crichton

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sarah Crichton Books
August 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466851085
ISBN10: 1466851082
eBook Original447 pages
$7.99
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