Fascinating book

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Fascinating book

Post by la alma on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:22 am

I have finally got round to reading a book I've been intending to read and am half way through it, but couldn't wait to reccommend it. It is Italian Ways by Tim Parks, about the Italian Railways. That perhaps doesn't sound that exciting but the book is fascinating. Tim Parks is so informative and witty and observant. He is one of my favourite writers about Italy.

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Neil D on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:25 am

I'm currently reading his book 'A Season with Verona' which thus far (one third read) hasn't offered much in the way of political insights but has a lot to say about the tribalism of Italian football.
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by JulianaAlice on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:03 pm

I loved Tim Parks' early books when he tells of his arrival in Italy. I too read the book on football, and I got fed up with it not because of the subject, but because his story telling just did not live up to his earlier books.  As you said you are enjoying the "railway" book, I looked on my Kindle to see how much it is.  At about half the hard copy price, I thought it a bit expensive, (I like offers) but downloaded a free sample to have a brief read to see if it is worth the money.  In the free sample he is going on a lot about the various categories of rail ticket, and the thinking about the pricing strategy - interesting to start, but he went on and on for so long I got frustrated, and I was quite glad the free sample ended abruptly with an option to purchase the whole book. I am undecided - maybe I will reserve it from the library.

I really like the Annie Hawes books on Italy. I think she is worth every penny; I laughed the whole way through them all.
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Perlasca on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:11 pm

Agree about Annie Hawes - she doesn't patronise at all

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Neil D on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:25 pm

JulianaAlice wrote:I loved Tim Parks' early books when he tells of his arrival in Italy. I too read the book on football, and I got fed up with it not because of the subject, but because his story telling just did not live up to his earlier books.  As you said you are enjoying the "railway" book, I looked on my Kindle to see how much it is.  At about half the hard copy price, I thought it a bit expensive, (I like offers) but downloaded a free sample to have a brief read to see if it is worth the money.  In the free sample he is going on a lot about the various categories of rail ticket, and the thinking about the pricing strategy - interesting to start, but he went on and on for so long I got frustrated, and I was quite glad the free sample ended abruptly with an option to purchase the whole book. I am undecided - maybe I will reserve it from the library.I really like the Annie Hawes books on Italy. I think she is worth every penny; I laughed the whole way through them all.



According to this website, which must remain nameless, you are about to be joined in Lunigiana by some illustrious company:
http://www.italymagazine.com/news/george-clooney-reportedly-buys-villa-lunigiana
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by ghiro on Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:56 pm

Neil.  We've known in Lunigiana for almost 2 weeks: http://www.lanazione.it/massa_carrara/curiosita/2014/03/23/1042991-George-Clooney-casa-Lunigiana.shtml  Smile 

a) We've kept it quiet to avoid a stampede of competition
and
b) We've all been dieting like mad!
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:45 pm

ghiro wrote:Neil.  We've known in Lunigiana for almost 2 weeks: http://www.lanazione.it/massa_carrara/curiosita/2014/03/23/1042991-George-Clooney-casa-Lunigiana.shtml  Smile a) We've kept it quiet to avoid a stampede of competitionandb) We've all been dieting like mad!

Ghiro I'm shocked at your poor post and choice of link!  If I could take off reputation marks yours would be in tatters... This is the link of a well versed and up to date forumotion member xXx    Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by ghiro on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:21 pm

Well Steve.  The link provided by 'a well versed and up to date forumotion member' (who is of course very well respected) is unfortunately inaccurate.  Sad   Lunigiana is entirely within Toscana and not a 'secluded area between Liguria and Toscana'.

My reputation marks are of no consequence to me Steve.  In fact if GC cares to take me into his bed (oh joy of joys!) you can gladly have all of my 126 reputation (and more!!!).  Smile  Smile
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by la alma on Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:00 pm

Back to Tim Parks. I've finished Italian Ways now and was fascinated all the way through it. It is of course an observation of Italy and the way Italians think and a wonderful variety of Italian individuals that extends from the North of Italy to the extreme South. I can still reccommend it! 
By the way, I dont know if a bit of Lunigiana is in Liguria now, but it used to be, as some parts of the province of La Spezia used to belong to Massa Carrara. Wikipedia says it is but I dont know how accurate it is.

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Flip on Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:17 pm

Whatever happens Lunigiana is not Tuscany, we don't want those 'Looney' sorts with their evil Stella Worshipping traits associated with us nice Tuscan sorts; and Ghiro your Reputation is now 131 so your reputation precedes you.....
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Casa Monal on Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:07 pm

@la alma, thanks for the tip Smile 

*long time no speak Wink *
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Gala Placidia on Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:12 pm

I read this review on Debra Kolkka's blog and I am ordering it through Amazon. It sounds fascinating! Secret Florence
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:34 pm

Gala Placidia wrote:I read this review on Debra Kolkka's blog and I am ordering it through Amazon. It sounds fascinating! Secret Florence

Sorry Gala, but it says Florence! An old neighbour of ours went there long before we did and adored the place, her favourite of all time.... Well I'm afraid I would rather go to Blackpool on and American vacation than go back there. Be hopes the secret bit is a little better....  Smile

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Gala Placidia on Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:08 pm

Florence is a fascinating city if you know where to go and keep away from the tourist traps. Have you ever watched a sunset from Fiesole? Magic, Steve, pure magic.
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:17 pm

Gala Placidia wrote:Florence is a fascinating city if you know where to go and keep away from the tourist traps. Have you ever watched a sunset from Fiesole? Magic, Steve, pure magic.

Of course I bow to your knowledge of the place Gala, but places are a bit like people to me... They can convey with one word/expression the knowledge that they are not for me...  Exclamation

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Gala Placidia on Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:31 pm

First impressions can be deceiving...Also, everything is very subjective.  If you are not in the right mood, even the most beautiful things can become ugly and boring. At least, it has happened to me.
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:56 pm

Normally I would agree Gala, but Firenze is/was a bit like Pisa, only 10x worse - total OTT... Now Siena was a little more real, but I would rather never go back to the other 2... Well Pisa perhaps to use the airport.

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Gala Placidia on Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:52 pm

Steve, I am afraid that you haven't seen the real Pisa, which is not the Piazza dei Miracoli, although, inside the Duomo is wonderful. The Piazza dei Cavalieri is more representative of the real Pisa. PIazza dei Miracoli is a bit of a circus, so we generally walk through it as quickly as possible. Siena is beautiful, but again... get away from the crowds.
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Re: Fascinating book

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:20 am

Gala Placidia wrote:Steve, I am afraid that you haven't seen the real Pisa, which is not the Piazza dei Miracoli, although, inside the Duomo is wonderful. The Piazza dei Cavalieri is more representative of the real Pisa. PIazza dei Miracoli is a bit of a circus, so we generally walk through it as quickly as possible. Siena is beautiful, but again... get away from the crowds.

Each to their own Gala, but we  did stay in Pisa and looked around more than just the tourist bits, which we always try to avoid, to me it is devoid of any real character.

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Re: Fascinating book

Post by Admin on Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:20 am

I'm with Gala Steve. Florence is absolutely my favourite city in Italy but then I've never been to the Uffizzi etc. The outside of the buildings is very, very dull but there is a reason for that. But the insides - wow! I love wandering around the south bank amongst all the botteghe of the wood carvers and other artisans that have been there for generations. It really is like stepping back in time. Of course, you can cross the Ponte Vecchio and enter the world of the drunk young female American student swigging from bottles of wine and p**ing in the gutter! (of which there are literally hordes).
Like anything if you put a little effort to find out where to go and what to avoid you are fully rewarded.
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