Life is a Great Game is a work of historical fiction based on real people and events in history embedded in a heartwarming, inspiring, and powerful work of fantasy. The story is based on an actual event, a soccer match that occurred in Bolognetta, Palermo, Sicily in July 10th 1943, the same day when the Allied Forces invaded Sicily during World War II. The novel is adapted from the original short story by Salvatore Cottone, entitled, Una Passione a Prova di Bombe, (a Shellproof Passion), which was published on www.Siciliana.it, based on a story re-told by the only player still alive among the players of both teams. Salvatore Cottone, with co-author Susan Mannino, has developed a novel that weaves together reality and fantasy. Numerous captivating layers of politics, social and economic issues, and world history - including the ever-present topic of war and its consequences - are interspersed with timeless matters of sports, love, and camaraderie among soldiers and men. Salvatore Cottone has spent over a decade researching the details of this crucial time period in the history of Europe and America, and includes many factual details on subjects ranging from ancient mythology, art history, and literature to the sociological bases and consequences of emigration across many decades of the Sicilian experience.
Life is a Great Game is the literary culmination of the author’s research and interviews with the actual protagonist from the event that inspired this novel, and the creation of fictional characters and scenes by Mr. Cottone and Ms. Mannino. Real life and its complications are portrayed through a story rife with intrigue that is built around a soccer game in which the two teams on the field are not the only players. It is a depiction of the great Palermo Rosanero Team, representing Italy’s high society, and its opponents, the Villabate Disordinata, the underdogs of this match, who reflect the struggling population of Sicily’s ordinary citizens. The book’s portrayal of heroes and villains, many of whom are based on actual individuals, gives a true representation of the essential roles and positions played by all people in the game of life, itself.