Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Italian Ways by Tim Parks

Paperback: 261 pages
Genre: Non- Fiction
Publisher:  Harvill Secker 2013

Source:  Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: A train is a train is a train, isn't it? 

Review Quote: "All Italy is here, its history, its character, its flaws, and some of the things that Parks loves about the place" (Anthony Sattin Sunday Times)
My Opinion
An amusing and  fascinating  portrait of Italy through railways.

When my husband and I were planning our dream sojourn to Italy, back at the beginning of the century Tim Parks was one of the authors that we read as part of our research. Italian Neighbours and Italian Education in particular, both of which are a must for Italophiles, although they may now be a little dated in some aspects. I had not realised until I picked  Italian Ways  up recently in the local library that this is his his first Italian travelogue in a decade. 

An amusing and  fascinating  portrait of Italy by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy and Sicily.  With thirty years experience of travelling of on Italian railways he has plenty to reveal in this latest book.  Through encounters on the trains with Conductors and Ticket Collectors, Priests and Prostitutes, Gipsies and Immigrants, Scholars and Lovers he captures so well the distinctive moods of Italy and Italians, much of which I was able to relate to. 

In conclusion 
Italian Ways is a mix of Memoir, Travel and Train History that should appeal to many Italophiles.

Author Profile

Born in Manchester, December 19, 1954. Timothy Harold 'Tim' Parks  grew up in London, then studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He moved to Italy in 1981 and has lived there ever since. He writes and publishes novels, non fiction and essays. Amongst the awards he has received are The Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys. He has also been short listed for The Booker Prize, in the past. He now lectures in Milan on literary translation and writes for publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. He has done many translations from Italian including works from Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Tabucchi and Machiavelli.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and his writing.

Amazon - Books by Tim Parks  Goodreads - Author Profile  Tim Parks - Wikipedia 

Author's Official Website.  Facebook Profile - Tim Parks - Author

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