Everybody's Right

Overview

Born on the streets and born singing, Tony Pagoda has had his day. But what a day it was!
He had fame, money, women, and talent. He spent his golden years entertaining a flourishing and garishly happy Italy. His success stretched over borders and across the seas. But somewhere things began to go awry, the public's tastes in music first and foremost. His band is now a shadow of its former self and his life is fraught with mundane but infuriating complications. It's time to make a...

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Everybody's Right

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Overview

Born on the streets and born singing, Tony Pagoda has had his day. But what a day it was!
He had fame, money, women, and talent. He spent his golden years entertaining a flourishing and garishly happy Italy. His success stretched over borders and across the seas. But somewhere things began to go awry, the public's tastes in music first and foremost. His band is now a shadow of its former self and his life is fraught with mundane but infuriating complications. It's time to make a clean break with the past. Following a brief tour in Brazil, Tony decides to decamp and make a life for himself in South America. Here, his hyper- developed and very peculiar vision of the world, irreversibly shaped by those years in which he hobnobbed with Sinatra and enjoyed the adoration of audiences the world over, is under assault. Now that he has abandoned music the world strikes him as a barren place that is completely at odds with his understanding of it. Tony's story is the story of a worldwizened but yet strangely naive man forced to reconcile with life or lose himself entirely. Told in a breathless, irreverent first person voice that is as original as any in contemporary literature, Everybody's Right is the debut novel from one of Italy's most compelling and singular creative minds. Paolo Sorrentino, known principally as the director of movies considered to be among the finest examples of cinematic art by any Italian filmmaker in recent decades, here proves himself to be an equally formidable novelist.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Italian director Sorrentino’s debut novel is all about Tony Pagoda—world-renowned crooner, cokehead, and male chauvinist whose “favorite subject” is himself. In light of Tony’s egotism, every other character falls quickly by the wayside, allowing for very little conflict in the story. The narrative arc consists primarily of Tony wandering around New York, Italy, and Brazil, committing various offenses against others, getting away with them (and, more often than not, getting rewarded for said transgressions), and still somehow conjuring the gall to pity himself. The vignettes that showcase Tony’s moral ineptitude are decidedly entertaining, whereas his philosophical rants on youth, political economy, and, of course, love, are often oblique and long-winded. And when Tony (rarely) does engage in a genuine emotional interaction, Sorrentino breaks the first rule of Creative Writing 101: show, don’t tell. Perhaps, given his roots in film, we can forgive him, but “I’m crying like a little baby boy” does not inspire empathy. To Sorrentino’s credit, however, Tony is detestable, and making a character believable enough to hate is an accomplishment. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

Wine, women, song and drugs color the sprawling opinions of a world-famous Neapolitan crooner as narrated by an award-winning Italian film director.

Sorrentino, whose brilliant film Il Divo won the Jury Prize at Cannes, makes his fiction debut with the autobiography of lurid yet likable Tony Pagoda, "a screwy god of a man who can out-sing Sinatra," whom we first meet performing at Radio City Music Hall, followed by a session with three Times Square hookers. Tony's episodic account of his life is a nonstop onslaught of sex, profanity, high-rolling and low-dealing across decades. Highlights include the drugs shoot-out in which his dealer is killed and he is saved by Mr Heavy; his loss of innocence at the hands of imperious Baroness Fonseca; and his cockroach-ridden retirement in Brazil. Tony's garrulous voice regales us with character portraits and philosophy, carnality, grotesqueries, smells, flavors, fluids and above all judgments on Italy. He is as corrupt and charismatic as his homeland to which he returns on the eve of the new millennium, courtesy of a nouveau plutocrat. Although happy to be reunited with his old musical crew, there is much to disparage—Italy is full of Ikea furniture, foreigners and figo, or "cool."

A furious, ironic, idiosyncratic, unexpurgated torrent, capturing Italian modernity through the lens of a monstrous character. Not for the faint-hearted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609450526
  • Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,037,481
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Paolo Sorrentino's feature film directing debut came in 2001 with One Man Up, winner of the Nastro D'Argento for best young director. He achieved international recognition in 2004 for his stylish thriller, The Consequences of Love, nominated for the Palme D'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Sorrentino's most recent film is Il Divo (Prix du Jury at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival).

This Must Be the Place, the story of a wealthy middle-aged rock star, will mark Sorrentino's English-language feature debut and stars two-time academy award winner Sean Penn. It will be released in 2011.

Everybody's Right, nominated for Italy's most prestigious literary award, The Strega, is Sorrentino's first novel.

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