25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Accurate, Amusing and Perceptive,
This review is from: Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona (Paperback)
After years of despairing over writers who do zero research before setting a book in Italy, over authors that don't even bother to check the spelling of the words they put into their Italian characters' mouths (Mario Puzo is one hilarious example), I have finally come across this terrific book.
Tim Parks has truly lived here. He has had a good look around and understood what he has seen- I have never read such an accurate book on Italian society and mores as seen from a foreigner's point of view.
As the previous reviewer has noted, this is NOT a travel book: the author prefers to describe it as "an arrival book". It is a humourous and charming study of Italian culture by a writer who has chosen to make his home here.
Be warned though. Parks uses a LOT of Italian terms and phrases and this is probably unavoidable. His characters would sound stilted otherwise. The down side is that if you are not quite familiar with the Italian language this book could be a bit trying on your patience as a reader. To be fair though, one must add that it's nothing a good dictionary couldn't fix and that it's well worth persevering.