The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian

The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian

by Phil Doran
4.6 16

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Overview

The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian by Phil Doran

After years of working on a string of sitcoms, Phil Doran found himself on the outside looking in. Just as he and his peers had replaced the older guys when he was coming up the ranks, it was now happening to him. And it was freaking him out. He came home every night angry, burned- out, and exhausted. After twenty-five years of losing her husband to Hollywood, Doran’s wife decided it was finally time for a change—so on one of her many solo trips to Italy she surprised her husband by purchasing a broken-down 300-year-old farmhouse for them to restore. The Reluctant Tuscan is about the author’s transition from being a successful but overworked writer-producer in Hollywood to rediscovering himself and his wife while in Italy, and finding happiness in the last place he expected.

In the witty tone that made him a success as a writer in Hollywood, The Reluctant Tuscan captivates those who simply love a good travel narrative as well as anyone who loves the quirky humor of Bill Bryson, Dave Barry, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592401895
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/23/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 408,288
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.95(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range: 18 - 14 Years

About the Author

A TV producer for more than twenty-five years, Phil Doran worked as a writer-producer for such successful shows as Sanford and Son, Too Close for Comfort, Who’s the Boss?, and The Wonder Years, as well as writing episodes of The Bob Newhart Show and writing for such variety-show stars as Tim Conway, the Smothers Brothers, and Tony Orlando. He received an Emmy nomination, a Humanitas Award, and the Population Institute Award for his work on All in the Family. He has also written a screenplay for Tri-Star, two stage plays that were produced in Los Angeles, and travel articles for the Los Angeles Times. He and his wife divide their time between Tuscany and their home in California.

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Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Am anxiously awaiting a sequel.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. The author writes with humor, and introduces you to many Italian characters throughout the book. It is about his real life adventure of moving to Italy and renovating a home, but I have to wonder if he took poetic license, because some of the chapters are just too funny. I've never been to Italy, and probably had a preconceived notion, and the author shows that it is not ALL romantic, but still a fabulous adventure that also transformed him into a different person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Haven't read anything this enjoyable in years. I can see this entire cast of characters! Wonderful!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the book very much, I had a hard time putting it down. It was as if I'd traveled and lived there myself. Just one more book on Italy that makes want to go and live there!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud when reading a book. I could see my Italian families in the book!! The characters were jumping right out at you! His descriptions were hilarous! I hated for the book to end. A sequel???? It would be great! Loved, Loved The Reluctant Tuscan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really takes you into the author's eyes with his struggles to renovate his house in Italy - with a good sense of humor! I really enjoyed how he emphasized the Italian culture - from grown men crying b/c they didn't call their mama, to everyone celebrating at a whim & helping them when in need. Having been to Italy, it I know it truly is like that. Reading this book has made me reminisce and want to return to Italy again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phil Doran's adventure in Tuscany is witty and honest. As someone who has traveled quite a bit overseas, I completely understood how Mr. Doran could love a place and dislike it at the same time. We take so many conveniences here in the US for granted yet I believe, as does Mr. Doran, that Italy has other things to offer in their place. He does an excellent job of presenting the heart of Tuscany despite the frustrations and he does it in such way that it is laugh-out-loud funny. The only problem I had was that the food he described sounded so delicious that I found myself constantly hungry and craving Italian. I hope we hear more from this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book shelves bulge with stories by those who have sought health and happiness in a foreign country. However, 'The Reluctant Tuscan' is a memoir of another stripe. Peter Mayle wrote of his frustrations in restoring a hotel in Provence with whimsy and affection. After reading the iconic 'Under the Tuscan Sun,' we dreamed of booking a flight on Alitalia. Few will want to join sitcom writer Phil Doran in his 300-year-old Italian farmhouse, as this is a man who not only went kicking and screaming to the hills of Tuscany but did a fair share of kvetching once he arrived. While still in California the once in demand Doran found himself viewed as a bit of a dinosaur as the younger writers were leaving him in the dust. He'd been married for a quarter of a century to Nancy, a sculptor, who frequently visited Italy for work and study. Perhaps her extended visits were for the best as their relationship was a bit rocky. Nancy had some thoughts about this and decided the remedy was for Phil to move to Italy. To that end she purchased an old farmhouse badly in need of repair - reconstruction might be more accurate. She is, in his description, somewhat of a 'nest builder,' someone who wants to make things beautiful. 'When she sees a house she wants to redo,' he writes, 'she gets a look on her face like a fifteen-year-old boy on a topless beach.' From the first, when he swelters in a closed plane on the runway because the ground crew can't open the doors, we know Phil won't find much to love in Italy. In his eyes, the house is worse than he could have imagined. It was such a heap that it didn't even have an address. It's one asset was its location - atop a hill. The problem was there wasn't any road leading to it, so Nancy put one in completely unaware that she was breaking a number of local laws. The house had been purchased from the Pingatore family who now want it back - want it so badly that a crone, Vesuvia Pingatore, fixed them with an evil eye, a malocchio. Her figure can be seen watching them from her window. With every setback in rebuilding their home, Phil is ready to return to California, completely frustrated by a country that seems to have millions of laws but no rules, and considers a two hour lunch a birthright. However, in time he wonders if he really wants to go back to the world of mega egos 'vainglorious self-promotion, and monumental insincerity.' After all, he's finally learning not to put Parmesan cheese on pasta with seafood and not to drink coffee until after a meal. Italophiles will enjoy this return to a fabled country, even when guided by a very, very reluctant Tuscan. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a fresh, enjoyable book. Mr. Doran is so honest & matter of fact about himself & his wife. I picked it up to glance through & found I could not nor did I want to put it down. My sides hurt from so much laughing.