Italian version
La Repubblica

“La Scala Spezzata (The Broken
Ladder) is a precious novel. A
journey into the solitude
of man, into his soul and his
environment – the ground he
treads upon and the
infinite heavens that stretch over
him, which one man finally took it
upon himself to
challenge. That man was Charles
Augustus Lindbergh. The true
story of his very real
drama represents the narrative
thread of this novel, connecting
warped realities,
‘provincial’ ambitions, unexpected
catharses, and heroic acts
accomplished in silence.
A solid plot that supports the
element of “fiction” interwoven
into its pages. The
events are set in the America of
the early ’30s with its phobias and
earnest naiveté,
and are recounted with a
cultivated interest for detail that
testifies to passionate
and thorough research.
“This book maintains its pace with
crystal-clear narration and a lot of
first-rate journalism.
It is lucid, without prejudices, truly
reflecting the way Marco Bardazzi
been bringing America to us for
years. Appropriately, the curtain
opens to nervous
striking at the white metal-edged
keys of a black “Royal” typewriter,
a soundtrack
that is maintained throughout.
Each development of this
happening story is seen
through the wide-open eyes of a
crime reporter, used to adrenaline
and sleepless nights.
Here, the “truth” is almost never
as it seems, or as the cynicism of
the “trade”
would make it.”
Deputy editor-in-chief
TG5 (Italian national Tv network)

“It is as if, by dint of recounting
captivating stories from America
time and again,
Marco Bardazzi has locked into
the quintessence of a
journalistic account. In his
novel La Scala Spezzata (The
Broken Ladder), the great
transatlantic flight hero
Charles Lindbergh remains such,
even in his most difficult
moment: the abduction
of his son, and impending
tragedy. He faces life’s
difficulties without being
from the discovery of the
barbaric murder, right up to the
“Yet the story doesn’t read like
a historical account; the events
in Bardazzi’s book
are related with the excitement
of breaking news, lived out in
the present. There is
the heroic epic of the flight, but
there is also the profile of the
reporter’s profession.
The real protagonist of the
account is Sherwood Forbes,
nicknamed Chuck, the “shoveler”,
as he is called in the book, a
reporter who admits to being
something less
than a good-hearted man with
the talent of Hemmingway. He
lives in the legendary
world of pre-television
journalism, looked upon with a
bit of nostalgia from the present
day, with the accelerated
traveling speed of news via
Internet, 24-hour TV news
stations and text messaging. It
represents a dive in the world of
Oscar Wilde, with
that press room in the garage in
Hopewell, where it seems Jack
Lemmon and Walter
Matthau could pop out at any
“This book also contains the
metaphorical autobiography of
someone who, like Bardazzi,
has followed trials and
investigations, murders and
abductions in a profession
that remains forever the same,
regardless of technological
evolution. The task is to
recount the story of man in all
his complexity. At one point
Chuck runs into a Nobel
prizewinner for medicine, Alexis
Carrell, who is a friend of
Lindbergh in the novel.
This meeting leads him to the
conclusion that life requires a lot
of observation and
very little reasoning. This verdict
certainly indicates an
anthropological and existential
viewpoint which can be used to
interpret journalism as well as
“However, journalism and
aviation history are not the only
elements in this story.
There is also faith and ethics.
America of the twenties and
thirties is teeming with
both. And there are the odors
of New York, of Italian and
German immigrants; it
is the air of that overseas
promised land where Bardazzi
and his family have also
“This is a book worth reading,
where the reporter will discover
the tools of his trade
and any reader will be won over
by the events of the story as
they unravel, as well as
by the reflections on life.
Starting out is always difficult,
even for a writer, but Marco
“Chuck” Bardazzi is right on