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4.7 out of 5 stars88
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 15 September 1997
The book is the first in a series that introduces, in a series of vignettes, the characters that populate a small village in the Poe Valley of Italy after WWII. The parish priest is the arch-enemy of the communist population, the mayor is his best friend and a staunch communist (so also his constant foil), and for advice, Don Camillo talks to and is answered by Christ on the Cross.
The stories are memorable, and applicable to any time or place. The simplicity and yet subtleties of the relationships are profound. One of the best books I have ever read, and re-read.
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on 22 March 2001
This is a wonderful book; one of my desert island selection. Written with a deceptive simplicity and a love of the subjects depicted the Don Camillo books are some of the finest books I have read. I have for many years been mystified as to why more of the titles are not in print.
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on 26 January 1999
This book is about the friendly(sometimes) fueding between Don Camillo, the catholic parish priest and Peppone, the communist mayor. In every confrontation, they insult eachother,but never give the other more than a well deserved kick in the seat of the pants. This book will have you laughing the whole way through! Definately five crowns.
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on 2 January 2011
I've got this in 2nd (English) edition and it never fails to put me in a good mood. All reviews at 5 stars - that just shows how good this book is!

Every other review has highlighted the joy and the lightness of touch employed by the author but what is really wonderful about this book is that it leaves you feeling so good in spite of the darkness at the heart of the book - the transition from war to peace, the political tensions, the availability of weapons and murder. The Communist mayor, Peppone, has easy access to tommy guns (two of which are stolen by Don Camillo during the course of the book), he at one point threatens the church with a 75mm anti-tank gun, to which our beloved parish priest counters that he will fire back with an 82mm mortar. We never learn the truth about the cannon but it would seem that Don Camillo really does have the mortar.

The book ends strangely without any real resolution to the Fear which is the subject of the two preceding chapters but you get the unstated feeling that somehow this ox and ass will work things out. In any ordinary book the final chapter would be a penultimate chapter leading to a resolution, but this is no ordinary book and the very fact that things are left in limbo is part of its strength.

I love the little cartoon drawings that accompany each chapter, with Don Camillo portrayed as an angel (though as like as not with some weapon in his hands) and Peppone as a devil (even though the book certainly lets you have sympathy with the devil!). Occasionally these cartoons are replaced by some simple landscape sketches.

I've never read any of the other books, so I think perhaps it is time I looked them up!
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on 9 May 2011
I first borrowed this series of books from the library when I was a teenager and I loved them! I've re-read them at intervals and still loved them! There is a lovely simplicity about the stories, with underlying morals about the nature of friendship and honesty which are not pushed in your face but are nevertheless important. Don't be misled into thinking that this book is propaganda for either Christianity and Communism, I have no interest in either, but I think it concentrates rather on that aspect of daily life which is most necessary to us - relationships with others.

Please, please, please can we get them onto Kindle because I love being able to carry all my favourite books around in such a compact way. This book, like Heidi and What Katie Did, reminds me of when and why I first fell in love with reading - a love which I have been able to pass on to my son and have finally triggered in my husband! I will never be able to give up collecting 'real' books, but having my favourites on Kindle allows me to store the originals away for my future grandchildren and relieve the strain on my groaning bookshelves!
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on 27 January 2011
I can add nothing new to the reviews already given, but only to confirm 'The Little World of Don Camillo' and the others in the series, are beautiful, charming, delightful, and funny. I discovered these books in the early 60's, and rediscovering them now, after all those years, is to stir the very best memories of my youth. I wish these books would be printed on archival paper and bound in leather - and be damned the price. They are truly priceless.
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on 10 May 2005
I fell in love with these books whilst at secondary school. The feuds between D.C. and Peppone had me in fits of laughter. Camillo's conversations (often one sided) with Christ on the cross had marvellous insights and coloured my views on life. So good to re-find these books and enjoy them all over again.
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on 24 March 2004
I picked up a second hand copy after it was recommended by a friend, and I absolutely loved this for its simplicity. It is beautiful, light reading, told in short chapters. Guareschi really evokes the setting of the PO valley, and the characters are wonderful. Not a terribly deep book, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. It will lift your spirits.
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on 30 October 2002
Guareschi is amongst the finest of the italian authors. The little world of the Po valley envelopes you in a comic blanket and leaves you gagging for more. The original penguin editions are near impossible to find these days but well worth looking for. The conversations of Don Camillo with JC are hilarious and hold tight despite being written so long ago. I was frequently in tears of laughter - if only i could find more...
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on 19 October 2010
This is such a brilliant book, with amazing sense of humour. Although it tells mostly stories of this Catholic priest and a communist mayor, you don't have to be either a priest or a mayor to enjoy it (haha).

A very pleasant read, although divided in bite-size chapters - very difficult to put down.

This is one of my all-time favourites. In fact, this one was bought as a gift for a friend because when you've found a book like that, you just want to share it.
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