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29 Reviews
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in an Italian town
I thoroughly enjoyed reading his book, it is always nice to know how foreigners see you! Tim Parks is a good observer and gives you plenty of details on his surprise at some of the Italian ways.
Things have changed a bit, though, as the book was written some 15 years ago and we changed a lot in politics and way of living, even if the typical characters are still...
Published on 25 Mar 2003 by Matiqua

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries to be realistic, but is sometimes just cynical
Tim Parks has a habit of writing on subjects I'm fascinated by - Italy, football, education - so it's a bit odd that I tend to find his books hard-going and uninspiring. A Season in Verona seemed to me the work of a man who had no real enthusiasm for football, and Italian Neighbours reads like the diatribe of a bitter foreigner against a Veneto suburb and its...
Published on 25 Aug 2008 by Romanista


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4.0 out of 5 stars Bellissimo! (or is it bellissima?), 23 Nov 2011
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
Tim Parks' account of an Englishman's life in the northern Italian city of Verona is an hilarious and affecting book. As a lover of all things Italian myself (from Giuseppe Verdi to Francesco Totti!), and having worked in Italy (OK, it was only Milan) for a number of years, I recognise the accuracy of many of Parks' observations of Italian characteristics. I do, of course, realise that working in a location does not equate to living there, but many of Parks' anecdotes coincide with those that my Italian friends have also related to me. I was also pleased to see (as I would have expected) comments from Italians (in other reviews) which have acknowledged the accuracy of much of Parks' account, without taking any offence at the more negative elements. In fact, quite frankly, if I were to consider the equivalent of life in Britain for such an account, I suspect I would have a struggle to paint a positive, rather than a negative, picture.

Parks makes many perceptive, and oftentimes hilarious, observations, including the Italian obsession with all things relating to children, the confusion in the roles of the various police forces (carabinieri, municipale, finanzaria, etc), and, of course, their love of football (even to the extent of Sunday churchgoers having their radio earphones plugged it to listen to the football commentary!).

Great stuff. Parks' other similar book Italian Education is also worth reading (though not quite as good as this one), as is his account of following Verona football club for a season (probably only if you have some interest in football, though).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Italian Neighbours, 7 Mar 2010
By 
Mrs. K. M. Walker (Oxfordshire England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
An Italian Education
ITALIAN NEIGHBOURS
This is the first book written by Tim Parks after going to live in Verona with his Italian wife. He paints a very detailed picture of their lives and their Italian neighbours. His picture is so clear that you feel that you have visited the flat or even lived there yourself.His relationship with the other flat dwellers and their excentricities give the book many laughable situations along with the vaguaries of the Italian tax system.If you are fascinated by all things Italian,like me, you will realy enjoy this book. If however you don't know much about Italy and its people this is a very good introduction. You will want to know more SO read "An Italian Education" next.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars living in Italy, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
I started off really liking this book but sadly came to the chapter which tells about the locals poisoning dogs, okay this might happen but the writer talks about this in a flippant way even suggesting he would poison a neighbours dog for barking. This was just not funny and after that it was difficult to enjoy the rest of the book, one doesnt feel an empathy who talks of this subject in a joking way. Sorry didnt finish the book.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not my cup of tea, 14 Dec 2009
By 
travel freak (Munich,Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
After reading all those grat reviews- I was really disappointed when I strated reading the book myself..I cant's say it's bad- I just dont like his style-nor the way he describes the Italian people- like some kind of freak show.
It makes them look so bad - quite contrary to my own experience of Italians..I really asked myself why does he live there at all- if everything is so bad/strange/caotic ???

This was a first book in a long while I did not bother finishing at all..but dont be put off - its a matter of taste- Parks is still a skilled writer....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly recommended, 22 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
Has the ability to take you right into the Italian mind set. Thoroughly recommended
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars L'Italiano vero?, 12 Jun 2013
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
This is a refreshing change from the usual tale of the well-heeled Englishman who finds an idyllic spot in a sunny clime, moves there and proceeds to lampoon the locals who are usually an odd bunch with funny foreign habits but deep down they are as loyal as a golden Labrador and love to be patted on the head by their English milord when they do something right.

For a start, Parks was married to an Italian woman and moved to a small town in the north, near Verona, where he worked as a teacher and translator.

He was to all intent and purposes a member of the community and certainly not rich.

Therefore, it is a book that is unlikely to appeal to fans of Peter Mayle and his kind.

Having said that, Parks cannot resist presenting the neighbors as foreigners with strange habits and mannerisms, as though the English were renowned for their lack of eccentricity.

I wonder what Italians living in England think of their English neighbors.

Still, he speaks the language, gets on with them and basically gives us a Year in North Italy that is a million times better than Peter Mayles' insufferable "Year in Provence".

On the other hand, Parks does not do much during this year (except become a father at the end) and his descriptions of life in Italy are a bit mundane.

He tackles subjects such as bureaucracy, tax evasion, the political stalemate, role of the Catholic Church, lousy television etc but so what?

I go along with much of what he says because I live in a similar culture with many of the same attitudes that drive a northern European crazy at times but other than that I found little of real interest in this rather insipid work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars worth reading at least twice, 28 Sep 2014
By 
C. J. Driver "Jonty" (East Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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Hilarious - and brilliantly written.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
This was bought as a gift, arrived quickly and in excellant condition so would certainly buy from this sellar again.
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6 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible book, 23 Sep 2006
This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
The book offers cruel portraits of the author's neighobours and friends.

It's not funny and the informative bits about Italian lifestyle and habits

are scattered among long tedious trivial chapters.
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Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona
Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona by Tim Parks (Paperback - 3 May 2001)
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