Long Reads: Mafia, coke, prison and the female orgasm

Rich Jackson finds a through-line around mafia, drugs and crime in this week’s Long Reads, while PB throws a curveball with a piece about a woman’s first orgasm…


Roberto Saviano: My life under armed guard – Robert Saviano (The Guardian)

In light of the tragic events in Paris, much has been made about free speech, which of course is one of the issues at the centre of the story. This is an article by Robert Saviano, a journalist who pointed the finger at the Naples mafia family, the Camorra, exposing their dirty laundry, and in the process removing the fear surrounding them. He talks about his work, the mafia, and, in what I found the most interesting part, he discusses what free speech cost him, which was, in a way, his life and freedom as he is under armed guard 24/7 thanks to threats on his life.

The Belfast Operation – Brian Kevin (Down East)

Belfast, Maine 1984 there was a coke bust of epic proportions – the cartel had been smuggling it into the state via this little sleepy town using Susan and Norman, a young couple in love, making a small fortune from the operation. The author, Brian Kevin, has loaded this story with so much detail it is like it is bursting at the seams, and it makes the reader feel like they are a fly on the wall in every room, witnessing the young love, the money, the coke, the success, the police chase and the downfall. God, all this talk of coke makes me want a Pepsi.


What happens when we lock children in solitary confinement – Dana Liebelson (Mother Jones)

Using examples of children in the US justice system who have been subjected to this barbaric practice, the author discusses what happens when you put someone in solitary confinement for any lengthy period. Essentially, their minds unravel, they hear things, they become angry and frustrated, they become more violent against themselves and to others. They just fall apart and, unfortunately, you can’t put a mind back together.


Editor’s Pick from narrative.ly

My Mother’s First Climax – Jenny Jedeiken

I know you’ve all had that chat with your mother about the first time she had an orgasm, right? We all have…or maybe not #awks

Anyway…in this piece Jenny Jedeiken recounts a conversation with her octogenarian father where he blurted the story of his ex-wife’s first climax, something that on the surface sounds like one of those red-faced, potentially giggle-intense moments but leads into a moving moment for the author herself, her own sexuality, her own story – and how it fits with her father’s.

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