“So inviting you might find yourself tempted to give the experience a whirl and ride the Italian trains yourself, book in hand.”Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review
Tim Parks’s books on Italy have been hailed as "so vivid, so packed with delectable details, [they] serve as a more than decent substitute for the real thing" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.
Parks begins as any traveler might: "A train is a train is a train, isn’t it?" But soon he turns his novelist’s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italiansconductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrantsParks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians’ sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, "To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?"
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Tim Parks was born in Manchester, England, in 1954, grew up in London, and has lived in Italy since 1981. His novels include Europa, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and he is the author of several nonfiction accounts of life in Italy, including Italian Neighbors and An Italian Education. During his years in Italy, Parks has translated works by Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Alberto Moravia, and Machiavelli. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, for which he blogs.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Train of the Living Dead
Chapter 1 Verona-Milano 3
Chapter 2 Milano-Verona 42
Part 2 First Class, High Speed
Chapter 3 Verona-Milano 81
Chapter 4 Milano-Firenze 117
Part 3 To the End of the Land
Chapter 5 Milano-Roma-Palermo 147
Chapter 6 Crotone-Taranto-Lecce 194
Chapter 7 Lecce-Otranto 232
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tim Parks may be London-born, but for the past 30 years he's been Italian-adopted, living in Verona with his Italian wife and their children and commuting to his teaching chores at a Milan University via the nation's quirky railway system. Trains are the theme of this bright, engaging book, which tells the reader just why "Italy is not a country for beginners," and cheerfully demonstrating why the whole distance from Milan to Palermo.
I begin to feel more sympathy for the capotreno. Was there nothing this man liked? Why did he stay in Italy for 30 years if nothing suited him? A thoroughly discouraging book.
She walked in. "Sorry im late i got cght up with stuff at home."