Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Alcuni libri molto interessanti

When I was in Italy (and mostly, when I was flying to and from Italy), I read a lot of books. My first book was 'La luna di carta' (the two women), by Andrea Camilleri. I read this one in Italian, obviously.
It was my first Camilleri, and I decided I really really like him! He wrote a lot of books, and in all of them the protagonist is a policeman ( il commissario Montalbano, i.e. detective Montalbano). Anyway, the beauty of the book is that he pictures the characters in such a deep way. In the end you think il commissario is a friend of yours and you'd like to have one of his long and gorgeous lunches together. It's a mixture of humor, a bit of philosphy, suspence, and wonderful prose that makes the book a really nice reading, especially on a plane, during the summer. I'd strongly recommend it to everyone! We all need some wit and humor.
I found a review about Camilleri in English. I also found that you can find English translations of Camilleri's books (e.g. look here), and I read that the translation is very good. So, go for it!!!

The second book I read was an American one: 'Sights unseen', by a North Carolinean author, Kaye Gibbons. I got it because I was curious about reading something from a local author, and also, the story seemed to be intriguing. As a matter of fact, it is. It's a story about a family where the mother is manic-depressive. The novel portrays all the people in the family, but is written by the viewpoint of the younger doughter. All the characters are wonderfully described, and again, the prose is vivid and it's hard to stop reading the book. Moreover, it really really touched me. I think both people who have had personal experiences of mental illness and people who haven't could have some benefits by reading it. It really shows with delicacy what it can be. Also, it shows how people around the sick one love her, with all the difficulties bound to such a hard relation. It's a really good book. It was also nice to know some of the places that are mentioned, since it takes place in Raleigh.
Purtroppo non credo esistano traduzioni in Italiano di questo libro. Se qualcuno conosce l'inglese e vuole leggerlo, me lo faccia sapere. Ne posso prendere qualche copia per supportare la libreria locale e portarle in Italia.. O si possono ordinare sul solito Amazon...

The third book I read was by an American author, John Fante, but I read the book in Italian since it was a gift from my mom for my birthday. So the Italian title was 'Chiedi alla polvere', i.e. Ask the Dust. This was also a very interesting book. I think it may be inspired by Fante's life, since it is the story of a very young man, of Italian origin, who leaves his family who lives in Colorado to go to Los Angeles, California, and become a writer. It's the story of his dreams and of the poor reality of his life, a mixture of generosity and pettiness, poetry and crudity. It's sometimes a hard book to read. The character is very realistic, and it's interesting to see how one can identify in him or not depending on how he's behaving - sometimes with real generosity, sometimes so selfishly that one doesn't want to even think about recognizing himself in him. Also, it's a very interesting description of American society in the Fourties, its huge social gaps, and how hard it could be for immigrants to be really part of it.
So, it's a very good book, and I was happy to read a book by John Fante. But you need to be in the right mood to read it. Anyway, once you begin it, it's hard to stop reading it.
In Italiano, ho letto la traduzione di Maria Giulia Castagnone. Mi sembra molto ben fatta. E' pubblicato da Einaudi.

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