Italian Neighbors

Italian Neighbors

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

In this deliciously seductive account of an Italian neighborhood with a statue of the Virgin at one end of the street, a derelict bottle factory at the other, and a wealth of exotic flora and fauna in between, acclaimed novelist Tim Parks celebrates ten years of living with his wife, Rita, in Verona, Italy. Via Colombre, the main street in a village just outside Verona, offers an exemplary hodgepodge of all that is new and old in the bel paese, a point of collision between invading suburbia and diehard peasant tradition in a sometimes madcap, sometimes romantic always mixed-up world of creeping vines, stuccoed walls, shotguns, security cameras, hypochondria, and expensive sports cars. Tim Parks is anything but a gentleman in Verona. With an Italian-born wife, an Italian made family, and a whole Italian condominium bubbling around him, he collects a gallery full of splendid characters who initiate us into all the foibles and delights of life in provincial Italy. More than a travel book, Italian Neighbors is a sparkling, witty, beautifully observed tale of how the most curious people and places gradually assume the familiarity of home. Italian Neighbors is a rare work that manages to be both a portrait and an invitation for everyone who has ever dreamed about Italy. **
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Italian Neighbours_An Englishman in Verona

Italian Neighbours_An Englishman in Verona

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

"Am I giving the impression that I don't like the Veneto? It's not true. I love it. But like any place that's become home I hate it too." How does an Englishman cope when he moves to Italy - not the tourist idyll but the real Italy? When Tim Parks first moved to Verona he found it irresistible and infuriating in equal measure; this book is the story of his love affair with it. Infused with an objective passion, he unpicks the idiosyncrasies and nuances of Italian culture with wit and affection. Italian Neighbours is travel writing at its best.
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Italian Neighbours

Italian Neighbours

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

"Am I giving the impression that I don't like the Veneto? It's not true. I love it. But like any place that's become home I hate it too."How does an Englishman cope when he moves to Italy - not the tourist idyll but the real Italy? When Tim Parks first moved to Verona he found it irresistible and infuriating in equal measure; this book is the story of his love affair with it. Infused with an objective passion, he unpicks the idiosyncrasies and nuances of Italian culture with wit and affection. Italian Neighbours is travel writing at its best.
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Goodness

Goodness

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

George Crawley has finally got his life running along satisfyingly straight lines. Having made a success of his career and saved his faltering marriage, he is secure in the belief that he is master of his own destiny. Then comes the tragic blow - fate presents him with an apparently insoluble problem. Except that the word 'insoluble' just isn't part of the man's vocabulary. George will stop at nothing, nothing, to get his life back on the rails again.
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Cara Massimina

Cara Massimina

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

The first Duckworth novel is "Better than Silence of the Lambs . . . Macabre fun orchestrated with immaculate precision. It's a killer" (Los Angeles Times)Morris Duckworth teaches English to the pampered rich of Verona, and Morris is not pleased. Living a meager existence in a squalid apartment, he regards his privileged students with envy and disdain, first wreaking revenge by petty theft, and then, like all good criminals, graduating to grander larceny. When one of those students, a beautiful but vapid heiress named Massimina, falls in love with him, Morris can almost smell upward mobility. However, after the girl's mother—much to his chagrin—unequivocally forbids her from seeing him, he hits upon a perfect scheme: he convinces the besotted girl to run off with him, then sends ransom notes to her family. Following a frightening logic, Morris's subversions become deeper and darker. Soon events are spiraling with eerie momentum into a nightmare of...
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Where I'm Reading From

Where I'm Reading From

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

Why do we need fiction? Why do books need to be printed on paper, copyrighted, read to the finish? Do we read to challenge our vision of the world or to confirm it? Has novel writing turned into a job like any other? In Where I'm Reading From, the novelist and critic Tim Parks ranges over decades of critical reading--from Leopardi, Dickens, and Chekhov, to Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Thomas Bernhard, and on to contemporary work by Peter Stamm, Alice Munro, and many others--to upend our assumptions about literature and its purpose. In thirty-seven interlocking essays, Where I'm Reading From examines the rise of the "international" novel and the disappearance of "national" literary styles; how market forces shape "serious" fiction; the unintended effects of translation; the growing stasis of literary criticism; and the problematic relationship between writers' lives and their work. Through dazzling close readings and probing ...
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In Extremis

In Extremis

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

Thomas needs to speak to his mother before she dies.But he's set to give a talk to a conference of physiotherapists in the Netherlands; if he leaves now will he get to her deathbed in time?Will he be able to say what he couldn't say before? He can't concentrate on what is happening now: his mind won't sit still. Should he try to solve his friend's marital crisis? Should he reconsider his separation from his own wife? And why does he need to pee again?In Extremis is Tim Parks's masterwork: a darkly hilarious and deadly serious novel about infidelity, mortality and the frailties of the human body.
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Europa

Europa

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

A finalist for the Booker Prize, this ferociously comic tale of love gone sour is the finest novel to date from the author of the national bestsellers, "An Italian Education" and "Italian Neighbors".Amazon.com ReviewJerry Marlow is on a coach hurtling from Milan to Strasbourg, even though he loathes coaches and everything they stand for: ...all the contemporary pieties of getting people together and moving them off in one direction or another to have fun together, or to edify themselves, or to show solidarity to some underprivileged minority and everybody, as I said, being of the same mind and of one intent, every individual possessed by the spirit of the group, which is the very spirit apparently of humanity, and indeed that of Europe, come to think of it, which this group is now hurtling off to appeal.Jerry, suffice to say, is not a team player--not even when it comes to saving his own job. Together with a group of colleagues and students from the University of Milan, he's off to the European Parliament to protest new Italian laws against hiring foreigners--a cause which he opposes, appealing to an institution he's not sure should exist.So why is Jerry on the coach in the first place? Because she is there--the same she for whom Jerry left his wife and daughter and who has since broken his heart. The unnamed she in question is a beautiful French woman (of course), a hellcat in bed (it goes without saying), and an intellect of notable refinement (naturellement). She was also unfaithful, and now they scarcely speak to one another. The rest of this dark and often savagely funny novel (shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize) consists of one great Joycean rant, a stream-of-consciousness harangue that circles obsessively around sex, the treachery of she, and Jerry's boundless misanthropy. In between we get glimpses of the bus and its motley cast of characters, including, most vividly, Vikram Griffiths, part Welsh, part Indian, with his nervous tics and his self-consciously Welsh accent and his shaggy mutt, Dafydd. As one might deduce from the title, the dream of the new, unified Europe looms behind this tale like--well, like a big, unwieldy metaphor, given expression in the form of Jerry's affair. As a meditation on the continent's future, the novel works surprisingly well, and though it initially takes some time to sort out the looping rhythms of Parks's prose, the reader's patience is repaid in spades. --Mary ParkFrom Publishers WeeklyThis darkly comic and inherently tragic novel by the versatile Parks (Tongues of Flame; Italian Neighbors) charts the emotional disintegration of a 45-year-old man mourning the end of an affair. In narrator Jeremiah Marlowe, Parks embodies the man of intellect in helpless thrall to his emotions. We meet Jerry on a bus traveling with a polyglot load of colleagues and nubile female students from the Milan university where he teaches to Strasbourg, where they will present a petition to the European Parliament protesting the Italian government's decision to limit the salaries and tenure of foreign professors. Although he doesn't care about his dead-end job, Jerry has come along because she will be there. His former mistress, never identified by name, is a Frenchwoman who casually betrayed Jerry after he had left his wife and teenage daughter for her. Jerry's pain, jealousy and sense of futility rise to the point of frenzy as he obsesses about his ex-mistress's cool repudiation of what he felt was the most meaningful relationship of his life. His headlong interior monologue, frantic with self-loathing and despair, is, for all its rambling rush, tightly controlled. While the book is essentially farcical, it is also profoundly sad to witness a man at the end of his tether willfully subjecting himself to the proximity of the woman who is the source of his anguish. Moreover, Jerry's agitated thoughts encapsule a brilliant meditation about the shallowness of popular culture at the end of the 20th century, made more vivid to Jerry by the bon mots of classical literature that spring to his mind at every turn of events. He mockingly compares the myths of a united Europe and of a perfect love against the realities of self-involved nations and individuals. One aspect of the dramatic denouement seems too pat, but Parks caps it with a fitting ending. Though being trapped in the head of a feverishly loquacious narrator may not be everybody's ideal of a bookish voyage, Parks's portrayal of a cerebral mind preyed upon by unbearable emotions makes a compelling story. (Oct.) FYI: Europa was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize.Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The Fighter

The Fighter

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

One of Britain's outstanding novelists, Tim Parks is also a provocative, entertaining and accomplished essayist. This new collection's title is drawn from D. H. Lawrence's fundamental belligerence, and how all the significant relationships in his life, including those with his readers and critics, were characterised by intense intimacy and ferocious conflict.Elsewhere there are literary essays on tension and conflict in the work of Beckett or Hardy, Bernhard and Dostoevsky, amongs others. Parks is also known for his acerbic chronicles of Italian life and here are essays on Mussolini, Machiavelli and the Medici.Besides discussing questions of history, politics and literature, The Fighter also takes on that most serious tussle: World Cup football.
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Painting Death

Painting Death

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

Morris Duckworth has a dark past. Having married and murdered his way into a wealthy Italian family, he has become a respected member of Veronese business life. But it's not enough.Never satisfied with being anything short of the best, he comes up with a plan to put on the most exciting art exhibition of the decade, based on a subject close to his heart: killing. All the great slaughters of scripture and classical times will be on show, from Cain and Abel, to Brutus and Caesar. But as Morris meets stiff resistance from the director of Verona's Castelvecchio museum, everything starts to unravel around him. His children are rebelling, his mistress is asking for more than he wants to give, his wife is increasingly attached to her aging confessor, and, worst of all, it's getting harder and harder to ignore the ghosts that swirl around him, and the skeletons rattling in every closet. The shame of it is that Morris Arthur Duckworth really did not want to have to kill again. Tim...
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Italian Ways

Italian Ways

Tim Parks

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Travel

'All Italy is here' Sunday TimesFrom the bestselling author of Italian Neighbours, An Italian Education and A Season with VeronaLonglisted for the Dolman Travel Book AwardIn 1981 Tim Parks moved from England to Italy and spent the next thirty years alongside hundreds of thousands of Italians on his adopted country's vast, various and ever-changing networks of trains.Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians - conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants - Tim Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive. He explores how trains helped build Italy and how the railways reflect Italians' sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond.
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