Customer Review

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well padded out vacation book, 16 Feb. 2005
By 
This review is from: The Dark Heart of Italy: Travels Through Time and Space Across Italy (Paperback)
I was given this book by a colleague after spending a week in Italy with him on business so that I could better understand a lot of what I had failed to understand over that week!
That Tobias Jones is an amusing and entertaining writer is clear as one works through the chapters and this is in part due to many chapters being originally magazine articles and so have a self contained conciseness. The book is thus a great "toe dipper" in that one can read each chapter alone and overall get a good feel for modern Italy across a great variety of topics including Italian language, the Catholic Church, Football, the schism between Left and Right and the experience of Berloscuni's second rise to power and the subsequent "benevolent dictatorship" model that ensued. As a future or recent visitor to Italy this all makes for great background reading.
However, this is not a great book in being insightful or incisive as to why Italy is as it is, especially today under Berloscuni and so soon after the "Clean Hands" uprising that led to the quick and unforeseen collapse of the Second Republic. Many chapters are padded out with a synopsis type history of Italy that in a magazine article may work but in chapter after chapter in a book do not. The most extreme example is the chapter on the Sofri case which at 23 pages has only just over three pages on actually meeting with Sofri in prison which is the reason for the story.
Also one supects that Jones as one clearly in love with Italy may be too close and so lose some objectivity, as evidenced in his closing chapter on the Italian fascination with Death where the role of the Catholic Church in perpetuating (Jackie Kennedy's famous quote that the one thing the Catholic Church really understood was how to use death)is never mentioned.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.6 out of 5 stars (65 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Siriam
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: London United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 917