Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
10
4.7 out of 5 stars


on 8 July 2012
There is always something sad in Primo Levi's works. The Wrench is a sad book. On the surface a collection of hilarious tales about building cranes told under Levi's supreme style, but scratch the surface and it's a tale of migrant Labour and the dispossessed. It's not a classic but it makes do for a Sunday afternoon.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 February 2004
A previous reviewer claimed "there is no heroism in the mundane." Perhaps. Yet, despite Bernard Levin's cover note, heroism was never the subject of this book. Levi saw too much of the fallibility of humans to divide them into "heroes" and "mortals".
A better divsion would be lovers of life and whatever their antithesis may be. Read his poem, "Some other Monday" for an insight into the simple pleasures of life that Levi held so dear. From the depths of his suffering at the end of the war, Levi absurdly imagines the voice of the tannoy announcer at Turin Station bellowing out "I'll tell you who's going to heaven/hell", the former being those who innocently love life, the latter, the cynics and smart-arses.
The Wrench it is a reflection of Levi's other life, the one before and after his encounter with the extraordinary. The simple, unheroic one in which he found peace, contentment, fulfilment and the odd mundane adventure in his day-to-day business. The original Italian title, a much more subtle play on words than "The Wrench" perhaps suggests something of Levi's simple philosophy: "La Chiave a Stelle" - "The Key with Stars", the Italian term for a Monkey wrench, but maybe also the key TO the stars?
Faussonne is an ordinary man, performing an ordinary job, but in this book he transcends the ordinary in his love and devotion for his everyday tasks. Maybe there is no heroism in this, but the satisfaction of a simple thing, done to the best of one's ability is, in Levi's experience the key to happiness.
A beautiful, simple and profoundly unheroic book.
0Comment| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 November 2014
This is a fairly short book. The narrator is a an industrial chemist who is stuck somewhere in Russia with a rigger ,also from Italy. The bulk of the book concerns stories related by the rigger , who has worked in various far flung places.
One would not have thought that the technical detail would be interesting. However,as the book progresses the rigger talks more and more about the people he encounters, including his two aunts, who are always trying to fix him up with girlfriends.
Some parts of the book are very funny, and the rigger's observations of humanity are full of insight and have certainly made me think.
By the time I'd finished it I realised that this was a remarkable book. Primo Levi wrote in Italian, so they're all translations, but like all great writers, the translated version is excellent. I shall read more.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 July 2015
Primo Levy has been one of my great discoveries in the last 12 months, I started with the Periodic Table after seeing it referenced somewhere and have never looked back. Aside from being a great writer he was also a fascinating character: student, chemist, partisan, holocaust survivor, writer and a keen observer of humanity.
You can take The Wrench on many different levels, but at it's most basic level it is a charming well written, amusing narrative where the tales of the rigger are retold by the chemist. I'll leave the other levels for the prospective reader to discover.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 November 2015
This isn’t really a novel, more a series of short stories told by a ‘rigger’, a sort of engineer who works on cranes and oil rigs and such like, about the various jobs he’s worked on around the world and the different problems he encountered. It is obviously based on the author’s own experiences, as it shows a deep knowledge of industrial techniques. This doesn’t guarantee a thrilling read, of course, but in this case the stories are surprisingly readable and I found it all very interesting.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 October 2013
A bit of a slow starter but if you are into Primo Levis work- this is a book worth foregoing all your other Christmas presents for.
.A series of stories related by narator and theme that builds into an experence in itself. It is, as usual, beautifully written, totally engaging, funny and slyly subversive. Fantastic.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 September 2015
All books by Primo Levi should be read by people of all ages. Perhaps a must for high school level.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 November 2016
Love this writer
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 July 2015
Couldn't get on with the slow inconsequentialness of the narrative - there are gems of insight but the lack of plot and development lost my interest
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 November 1999
a book that mixes construction with greek mythology. a book that remains with you and is not easily forgotten
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse