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Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona Paperback – 3 May 2001
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"A clever, entertaining book...charged with a sense of purpose" (Sunday Times)
"Gradually he comes to accept what the locals take for granted: everybody likes the Pope, racism thrives, the barber is a faith healer, the bank manager asks what interest rate you want to pay and the devoted church-going pharmacist upholds Catholicism on a Sunday but shows commercial flair the rest of the week by selling cut-price condoms... A rich treat from start to finish" (Sunday Express)
"Tough, funny and sceptical" (Tatler)
'I recommend his book to all those who are fed up with accounts of roughing it agreeably in Tuscany and similar junk that scarcely scratches the surface of the real Italy' - Daily TelegraphSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Things have changed a bit, though, as the book was written some 15 years ago and we changed a lot in politics and way of living, even if the typical characters are still there (my aunt is obsessed with cleaning the house and keeping it perfect, some people I know are "car worshippers" and so on). Some of the differences may be due to the fact that I live in Piedmont and not in Veneto and there is a big difference, not as big as between the North and the South, but still sensible. I guess this is one of the reasons that made me so curious about the book. I started reading it and couldn't stop, I finished it in 2 days!
It is really a good insight in Italian provincial life and a good read for anyone with an interest in this country.
He is so part of Italy that, again as an Italian, I do not take offence when he makes fun of us! Because he is accurate, perceptive, and he loves the country. He tells it how it is, this is indeed how we live in Italy, beyond the stereotypes, with our bureaucracy, our immigrants (things have gotten more complicated since he wrote this book), our big and little manias...
The book was writen quite a few years ago, I read it in 1998, but as i re read it today I feel it is not out of date at all! So buy it by all means and get a good look deep into our country! Or at least Verona and the Venetia region, one of the richest and most advanced of all. It would, of course, have been a very different book had he lived in Rome or in the South!
I was upset at his callous indifference to the sufferings of the chained-up dog whose night-long agonies when ultimately poisoned were cheerfully rejoiced about about Parks and his wife.
Having since read the lengthy account of his own physical sufferings in "Teach us to Sit Still", I hope that he has now learnt some compassion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this -read 'Italian Education' by the same author and then came back to this. Thoroughly recommended if you're remotely interested in Italy and the Italian way of life.Published 3 months ago by flower 77
I hadn't read any of Tim Parks's books before, and was delighted to stumble across this gem. He writes wonderfully, and his character-based approach really makes one fell as though... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sean
Great read. Loved it Buy it and then go and live it. Very entertaining. If you don't enjoy this you're not rightPublished 12 months ago by Nick Wright
Tim Parks has managed to convey what life is like living in Verona, and indeed Italy, and showed that despite the incredible bureaucracy, one can live there and just accept things... Read morePublished 13 months ago by ed.scot
Well written. Good relaxing read. Would be a great holiday bookPublished 17 months ago by Dr A MacGill
This provides an excellent description of the peculiarities of Italian life as seen from the viewpoint of a Brit who has recently emigrated there.Published 17 months ago by R. I. Gilliver
Read some good things about this, but it has a very off-putting style, making it pretty much unreadable; ploughed through the first 100 pages but found myself dreading picking it... Read morePublished 18 months ago by liam murray