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Ciao Bella: Sex, Dante & how to find your father in Italy [NEW EDITION]: In Search of My Italian Father Paperback – 6 Aug 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gibson Square Books Ltd (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903933943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903933947
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Helena Frith Powell is a journalist and author who has written for, among others, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, Grazia, The Telegraph and Red Magazine.
She was educated at Durham University and has lived in the south of France since 2000.
It was her interest in the difference between French and English women that led to the best-selling book Two Lipsticks and a Lover, and her novel that is out now called Love in a Warm Climate.
She has also written a diet book, a book about how not to age badly, a memoir and a guide to moving to France.
She is married to the writer and journalist Rupert Wright and they have five children between them.

Product Description

Review

'Magical' Daily Mail --Daily Mail<br /><br />'A humorous and highly personal romp around Italy.' Daily Telegraph --Daily Telegraph<br /><br />'Richly comic.' Sunday Times --1

'A humorous and highly personal romp around Italy.' Daily Telegraph --Daily Telegraph

'Richly comic.' Sunday Times --Sunday Times

About the Author

Helena Frith Powell is a journalist who writes for The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail and regularly appears on TV. This is her third book. She previously published bestselling Two Lipsticks and a Lover and More France Please.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Scott on 11 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've read John Gray's 'Straw Dogs' and/or Francis Wheen's 'How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World', then you'll get a taste of this author's take. Anthony O' Hear is a philosopher who argues that modern culture is creating a world of sometimes empty ideas that are essentially meaningless when their implications are fully considered. Nobody ever looks at the world through unfiltered eyes. We see it edited by a definite set of customs, institutions, and ways of thinking things through. Culture is not a biologically transmitted complex we're born with. We edit it unconsciously and with some good evolutionary reasoning.

'All ideas are secondhand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources. We are constantly littering our literature with disconnected sentences borrowed from books at some unremembered time and now imagined to be our own,' wrote Mark Twain. A good author will help you forget Twain's suggestion. O'Hear's work achieves this providing a fresh element to the subject of understanding society and the individual.

I really enjoyed this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. I. Iles on 20 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
An amusing tale of a girl who loses contact with her Italian father and spends the early years in England growing up with her Swedish mother. The mother seems to collect a bad selection of boyfriends/new stepfather for her daughter, culminating in mother and daughter occaisionally having to flee the house.
Her Italian father is rich, handsome and famous,whilst her mother is beautiful, but cannot stand 'this italian'. The father recommends the daughter take lovers to acquire the skills needed in life (particularly an understanding of Dante, and multi linguistic skills)
Theres a lot of humour in this book as well as angst as the daughter seeks the love and respect she would want from a father. It's colourful insight into italian 'psyche' is amusing and sensitive.
Its factual content on the brief Italian 'grand tour' is full of great content
All in all an easy book to read that wont tax your mind too much
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rationalist101 on 2 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is well worth reading, addressing, as it does, a range of contemporary issues in the context of Plato's cave. Anybody interested in the "good life" and how to live it will find it stimulating and thought provoking.
In particular, it addresses some of the problems of "political correctness" and popular culture in pretending to offer easy solutions to all, when this is clearly, on reflection, impossible.
It invites the reader to consider whether he is happy staring at the shadows or perhaps wish to walk towards the light.
Once again, Plato thought of it first...
My one complaint is that the book has been badly proof-readen and has numerous typographical and punctuation errors.
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By Paul Cooper on 20 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a good read, and very atmospheric.

Jumps about a bit too much between young girl and mother-of-three for my liking, can be slightly difficult to figure out who's perspective we are reading from.
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By Liz on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
enjoyable, descriptive, really annoying there has to be more than 18 words for these reviews - sometimes there just isn't anything else to say!
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By Mrs. S. S. V. Appleby on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Transports you to Italy and you can almost taste and smell the food .Lovely story and entertaining highly recommended Enjoy
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I flagged in the middle, then read the rest backwards from the end. Fascinating charachters, brought to life really well in the text and the photos helped, Made me wish I had some Italian roots. Ciao Helena.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. K. Cameron on 15 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable book, combining a profound understanding of Italy and the Italian psyche, with a vivid and moving account of the author's eccentric and extraordinary father. Her mother is, to say the least, almost equally unconventional. As with all her books, the tale is told with a lightness of touch and an ever present sense of humour which shines through what must have been some dark and difficult times.

The descriptions of Florence, Venice, and Rome , based around the lives of family and friends, bring these wonderful cities to life and serve as a backdrop to the portrait of her father, surely one of the most outstanding depictions of a deeply complex and unusual human being.

Beautifully written,if you are interested in people in all their amazing diversity, you must buy this book.
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