Italian Neighbors

( 2 )

Overview


In this deliciously seductive account of an Italian neighborhood with a statue of the Virgin at one end of the street, a derelict bottle factory at the other, and a wealth of exotic flora and fauna in between, acclaimed novelist Tim Parks celebrates ten years of living with his wife, Rita, in Verona, Italy. Via Colombre, the main street in a village just outside Verona, offers an exemplary hodgepodge of all that is new and old in the bel paese, a point of collision between invading suburbia and diehard peasant ...
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Overview


In this deliciously seductive account of an Italian neighborhood with a statue of the Virgin at one end of the street, a derelict bottle factory at the other, and a wealth of exotic flora and fauna in between, acclaimed novelist Tim Parks celebrates ten years of living with his wife, Rita, in Verona, Italy. Via Colombre, the main street in a village just outside Verona, offers an exemplary hodgepodge of all that is new and old in the bel paese, a point of collision between invading suburbia and diehard peasant tradition in a sometimes madcap, sometimes romantic always mixed-up world of creeping vines, stuccoed walls, shotguns, security cameras, hypochondria, and expensive sports cars.

Tim Parks is anything but a gentleman in Verona. With an Italian-born wife, an Italian made family, and a whole Italian condominium bubbling around him, he collects a gallery full of splendid characters who initiate us into all the foibles and delights of life in provincial Italy.

More than a travel book, Italian Neighbors is a sparkling, witty, beautifully observed tale of how the most curious people and places gradually assume the familiarity of home. Italian Neighbors is a rare work that manages to be both a portrait and an invitation for everyone who has ever dreamed about Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A 10-year resident, with his Italian-born wife, of a village close to Verona, British-born novelist Parks Family Planning here celebrates the endearing and exasperating traits of his adoptive home and the ``magical duplicity'' of its people. The Parks' respect for tradition and local ways, aided by the birth of a boy, helped allay their neighbors' suspicions and win them acceptance and friendship. Along with delightful evocations of sights, sounds and smells and wryly amusing portraits of Italians including the national genius for circumventing regulations, the author records the rhythms and moods of the village and observes the increasing encroachment of industrialization and consumerism. However, not everything has changed. He notes that ``perhaps the moon has more influence in Italy than back home. This would explain so much.'' July
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802140340
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/10/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 184,944
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Italian Neighbors

    This is a great book if you want to get the feeling of life in another country. My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy with hopes of moving there in the future. This book has given me a feel for what it would be like to live there and the experiences that we would have to look forward to. Can't wait to go and meet the people and live the life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    A Great Insight

    Parks has really captured the flavor of Northern Italian life, without being overly sentimental or critical. Anyone who has spent time in Italy will recognize the situations and traits that he descibes. It is a revealing insider's look at modern Italy, and helps to dispel some of the romanticized notions about Italian life. At the same time, he cannot hide his true love for Italy. It is a delightful book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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