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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple thing well done., 12 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Wrench (Abacus Books) (Paperback)
A previous reviewer claimed "there is no heroism in the mundane." Perhaps. Yet, despite Bernard Levin's cover note, heroism was never the subject of this book. Levi saw too much of the fallibility of humans to divide them into "heroes" and "mortals".
A better divsion would be lovers of life and whatever their antithesis may be. Read his poem, "Some other Monday" for an insight into the simple pleasures of life that Levi held so dear. From the depths of his suffering at the end of the war, Levi absurdly imagines the voice of the tannoy announcer at Turin Station bellowing out "I'll tell you who's going to heaven/hell", the former being those who innocently love life, the latter, the cynics and smart-arses.
The Wrench it is a reflection of Levi's other life, the one before and after his encounter with the extraordinary. The simple, unheroic one in which he found peace, contentment, fulfilment and the odd mundane adventure in his day-to-day business. The original Italian title, a much more subtle play on words than "The Wrench" perhaps suggests something of Levi's simple philosophy: "La Chiave a Stelle" - "The Key with Stars", the Italian term for a Monkey wrench, but maybe also the key TO the stars?
Faussonne is an ordinary man, performing an ordinary job, but in this book he transcends the ordinary in his love and devotion for his everyday tasks. Maybe there is no heroism in this, but the satisfaction of a simple thing, done to the best of one's ability is, in Levi's experience the key to happiness.
A beautiful, simple and profoundly unheroic book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life as it really is, 9 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Wrench (Abacus Books) (Paperback)
This is a fairly short book. The narrator is a an industrial chemist who is stuck somewhere in Russia with a rigger ,also from Italy. The bulk of the book concerns stories related by the rigger , who has worked in various far flung places.
One would not have thought that the technical detail would be interesting. However,as the book progresses the rigger talks more and more about the people he encounters, including his two aunts, who are always trying to fix him up with girlfriends.
Some parts of the book are very funny, and the rigger's observations of humanity are full of insight and have certainly made me think.
By the time I'd finished it I realised that this was a remarkable book. Primo Levi wrote in Italian, so they're all translations, but like all great writers, the translated version is excellent. I shall read more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifull book, smart,sly,funny; my favourate Primo Levi book, a coherent and gradual tour de force., 7 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Wrench (Paperback)
A bit of a slow starter but if you are into Primo Levis work- this is a book worth foregoing all your other Christmas presents for.
.A series of stories related by narator and theme that builds into an experence in itself. It is, as usual, beautifully written, totally engaging, funny and slyly subversive. Fantastic.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chasing Waterfalls, 8 July 2012
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This review is from: The Wrench (Abacus Books) (Paperback)
There is always something sad in Primo Levi's works. The Wrench is a sad book. On the surface a collection of hilarious tales about building cranes told under Levi's supreme style, but scratch the surface and it's a tale of migrant Labour and the dispossessed.
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6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a mix of mundane and profound, 30 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wrench (Abacus Books) (Paperback)
a book that mixes construction with greek mythology. a book that remains with you and is not easily forgotten
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The Wrench (Abacus Books)
The Wrench (Abacus Books) by Primo Levi (Paperback - 1 Mar. 1988)
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