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Another illuminating insight from an increasingly grumpy Tim Parks,
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This review is from: Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo (Kindle Edition)
I have read Tim Parks non-fiction (Italian Neighbours, An Italian Education, A Season with Verona) with great pleasure as he continues to find ways of explaining his adopted country to those of us who only visit. This is an immensely interesting book because Tim has changed but nowhere near as much as Italy and the railways turn out to be a perfect framework upon which he can hang his deeply insightful observations and explanations of the country and the people.
His narrative is as usual funny, endearing, irritating and often leaves you gasping at the apparent contradictions in Italian society. But my particular pleasure in this book is the revelations about Italy as a country and, the best part, the increasing unwillingness of Tim to 'put up with it' - his description of his set-to with the capotreno over an online ticket had me howling with laughter - not just the situation but Tim's reaction to it (by his own admission he doesn't come out of it well at all). But for the grace of god there go I is all I can say.
Still there is a thread of a deep love for Italy and the good bits - the perfectly executed cappuccino by a young man happy in his work in a cafe being a fine example.
If you haven't read this book - you should, if you haven't read the other books I recommend them highly. I can guarantee that if you visit Italy after reading Tim's books there will be a moment when you just get why something happens and you will smile.