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Don't Move [Paperback]

Margaret Mazzantini
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Mar 2005

Timoteo: high-flying career as a surgeon, beautiful wife, luxurious apartment, villa by the sea - he seems the epitome of success and glamour. But then his daughter has an accident and is rushed to the hospital in a coma. A colleague operates on her, and while the agonised Timoteo awaits the outcome, he holds the reader in the vice-like grip of his confession. For, beneath the veneer of his apparently charmed life, there is a story of squalor, degradation, deceit and strange passion. The story of a doomed love affair with a woman who, from the moment Timoteo meets her, undermines everything he thought he knew about himself.

Mazzantini's chilling portrait of a supremely self-assured man losing control has taken readers by storm across the world. Highly atmospheric, subtly disturbing, this is a powerful and extraordinary novel.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (3 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099462036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099462033
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Enthralling, compelling and gripping' -- Mail on Sunday

Book Description

'Enthralling, compelling and gripping' Mail on Sunday

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I wasn't sure about this book to begin with, and ploughed through the first couple of chapters with little enthusiasm, but I'm so glad I persisted. It's been a long time since I've read a book so beautiful. Despite it's subject being somewhat disturbing, beautiful really is the best word I can find to describe it. To try to put into words the emotions this book stirred in me is almost impossible to describe.
As the reader, you are consistently torn between feeling disgust, hatred and pity for the main character, as his confession of an affair with a weak and destitute woman forms the plot of this book. Whilst his daughter lies on an operating table fighting for her life, he tells the story of his relationship with Italia, a relationship which is in turn beautiful and harrowing.
I'm aware that it has been made into a film, which in this country seems to have received largely poor reviews (although the film is in Italian with English subtitles which could have something to do with it) but, having read it, I'm somewhat surprised that they chose to make the film. While the plot is gripping, it is by no means action packed, and whilst I admit to being someone who is easily bored by books that are character driven rather than plot driven, I simply couldn't put this book down. The author describes scenes of childbirth and death in a way that I have never experienced before - with such intimacy and emotion that could never be conveyed in a movie theatre.
I finished it yesterday, dreamt about it last night, and can't stop thinking about it this morning.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't move from this book. 25 Dec 2003
A road accident in a rainy day in Rome. A father, head surgeon in the hospital where his daughter is being treated, releases hidden memories, hidden fears and guilts.
I received this book this Christmas (italian edition) and from the first page I was completely enchanted by the poetry released from simplicity and blunt, sudden truthfulness. I just couldn't lay the book down. A love, deep and intense, interwoven with cruelty and tenderness, courage and fear, lies and truths. A voyage in the mind of a man branded by a past he created with his own actions.
Since "Remains of the Day" I didn't read such an introspection, such a road to understanding oneself amongst the doubts of alternate paths. But this time the truth isn't slowly uncovered with gentleness, it's revealed with anger and sorrow.
A masterpiece, a book that cannot fail to play the strings of your feelings. It demands sensibility but gives you back unforgettable emotions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but beautiful 28 April 2005
I didn't know what to expect from this book, and admit to reading it purely because I want to see the film, and felt that I should read this first.
The opening chapters were gripping, and although I sat crying, I had to keep turning each page.
I found myself drawn to the character Italia, and Mazzantini describes her so perfectly that it is impossible not to feel her pain.
This is the kind of book that stays in your memory long after you have finished it, and leaves you feeling quite heavy with emotion.
Wouldn't recommend it as a light holiday read - more for a cosy winter's night, curled up by the fire.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High grade romantic realism 13 Sep 2009
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This novel is the story of Timoteo (short name: Timo), a rich, successful surgeon, living in an Italian city, never named but it feels like Milan or Turin, perhaps, though less likely to be Rome, with his wife Elsa and his daughter Angela. Angela has come off her moped at speed and has been brought to the hospital where Timo works. The narrative throughout is addressed to Angela by Timo, who waits to hear if she will live, while a fellow-surgeon, a friend of the family, conducts her brain surgery.

As Timo sits by his daughter's head his thoughts go over his past affair with Italia, a slum-life woman of no particular beauty, but with whom he one day falls drastically in love, irrevocably, madly and passionately. It is a love beyond reason and it consumes him. He had wanted to leave Elsa but as he is about to tell her she confesses she is pregnant (with, as it turns out later, his daughter Angela). Italia is also pregnant, but she has an illegal abortion, performed by a Gypsy woman who has camped with her entourage near the slum house where she lives.

We are given episodes from the time of his affair with Italia, and his life with Elsa and Angela, interspersed with the present day as he waits to hear if his daughter will survive and finally, the events that took Italia out of his life.
This is high-grade, romantic-realist and compulsively readable writing. Mazzantini's talent is displayed as she shows the contrast between Timo's rich, leisured life in the upper middle-classes and the snatched moments of sex and tenderness with Italia in her slum. It is beautifully done. Everything is mediated through Timo's passionate, self-indulgent consciousness, in a triumph of writerly skill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Move 15 July 2006
This book was passed to me by a friend and I packed it to read while I was on holiday recently. Although perhaps not a classic holiday novel, it was very refreshing to read such a superbly written book; moving, thought provoking, a book of substance. It was very difficult to move on to another book, which by comparison was so light weight. An absolutely fantastic read, I am an instant fan of Margaret Mazzantini.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Story about our inner self
Very Gripping story about one's search for the meaning of life and adulthood. What is amazing is the capacity of the author to impersonate a man and she does it quite well. Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2012 by M. Rostami
5.0 out of 5 stars I Didn't Move....
Loved this book. The characterisation was terrific, and I just couldn't put it down. I'm surprised that one of the other reviews says that the writing wasn't very good, as I felt... Read more
Published on 21 April 2012 by A. G. Young
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after reading other reviews
For a run down on the story read the reviews below. Although I read the whole book I would have given up about half way through if I had not had time on my hands. Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by Softtouch
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Wondering, as I read this, if I was reading a different book to other reviewers but fortunately most of my book club felt the same as I did. Read more
Published on 20 April 2009 by Maite
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing
Finishing this book left me feeling bereaved, such was the impact it had upon me. Gripping, seductive, thought-provoking and appalling - the story makes you think hard about love... Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2007 by E. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Move
Don't Move is set in Italy that tells the story of how Timoteo deals with his past when his only child Angela is knocked off her scooter. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2005 by Mrs. T. Murphy
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