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A Season With Verona
 
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A Season With Verona [Format Kindle]

Tim Parks

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Descriptions du produit

Amazon.co.uk

For the last few months Anglo-Italian novelist Tim Parks has been writing of his devotion to Italian football club Hellas Verona in The Guardian. In A Season with Verona we get a chance to read the full and absorbing narrative that lay behind those short snippets.

In some ways the book is a standard travelogue. In following his lowly Series A team in their seasonal slog around Italy, Parks gets to visit all the famous sights and cities. What makes this journey so different and so interesting is that Parks is accompanied by vividly ordinary, honestly working-class, determinedly urban Italians and gets to share their Nick Hornbyish highs and lows. This in turn provides a credible, fresh and revealing insight into the Italian character. These fans do all the normal soccer-supporter things like fight, drink, despair, exult, rant and put each other in comas; but they also do more surprising things, like sing songs in praise of the murderous Liverpool fans of Heysel and give voice to racist feelings about their southern compatriots.

This may not sound like most people's image of southern loveliness. Indeed it isn't. But it is a much needed antidote to all that saccharine-sweet Under The Tuscan Sun stuff; and it also makes this book a splendid bedside companion to the Italian campaign in the next, or indeed any, World Cup. --Sean Thomas

From Publishers Weekly

arks (Italian Neighbors; Tongues of Flame) sets a daunting task of analyzing the life and mindset of a soccer fan in the wake of Nick Hornby's runaway hit, Fever Pitch, which is to many one of the finer books on soccer. He takes the reader on a tour of Italy, supporting his adopted home team of Hellas Verona through a season in Serie A. Parks in part sets out to examine the Italian national consciousness through the lens of Verona supporters. "The north-east of Italy, Verona in particular, is stigmatized as irretrievably racist. It is also considered bigoted, workaholic, uncultured, crude and gross." Hellas Verona have prided themselves on never having a black player on the pitch (until recently). Their fans shout monkey chants whenever an opposing black player touches the ball. It's a disgraceful part of soccer behavior that is well worth exploring, and this is when Parks is at his best. "I suggest... that the frequent talk about `defeating' racism on the terraces is a mistake. The word `defeat' only provokes the hardliners. They don't come to the stadium to think of themselves as defeated." When he applies his social criticism, he is able to engage on many levels, but when Parks gets caught up in play-by-play analysis he loses focus and his story. He travels with the team's fans in old creaky buses, singing songs and drinking beer. Parks's fanaticism toward lowly Hellas Verona is not unique, and the supporters are not the worst of Italy. Parks's prose often sings with the bravado of the terraces, but the result is at best a draw.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Soccer, Italian-style, is an obsession for many. Joe McGinniss documented his passion for the sport in his 1999 book The Miracle of Castel di Sangro. British author Parks (An Italian Education), a 20-year resident of Verona, is equally enthusiastic about the game (known as football outside the United States) but chooses to focus more on the fans than on the actual sport. This unexpectedly personal account describes his demented devotion to the Hellas Verona football club, which he followed around the country for a year, documenting every one of the 34 matches. While detailing his loyalty to the club, Parks also reveals his admiration for Italy, frequently discussing the character of its people, its national and local politics, and the inexplicable violence of soccer fans. Unfortunately, all but the diehard soccer fan will find this book a bit of a slog, somehow more exhausting than exhilarating. Recommended for libraries where there is an interest in soccer. Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Booklist

Parks, a gifted essayist who has examined his status as a British expatriate in Italy and the nature of Italian childhood in previous works, here turns his attention to the Italian national pastime, soccer. Parks spent a year traveling with the Hellas Verona football club, which has recently enjoyed a promotion into the elite Series A division, and the resulting essays manage to touch on every facet of Italian life. Parks takes the reader into an unforgettable world, replete with capricious referees, bloodthirsty fans, devoted Web masters of fan sites, and the players themselves, who are alternately heroic and human. As the season progresses, the club's exhausting schedule yields agonizing results when players are pushed to their physical limits in their quest to prove themselves. Parks' keen attention to detail brings the game to life, alive even to the most casual observer, all the while offering perceptive commentary on Italian culture, politics, and social dynamics. With great wit and insight, Parks has written a highly enjoyable book that will appeal particularly to readers of Joe McGinnis' similar The Miracle of Castel di Sangro (1999). Brendan Dowling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Revue de presse

"Addictive reading...each chapter is a short story, the whole book an epic" (Observer)

"Parks knows his football, and he knows Italy still better. His adopted country, in all its enduring and exasperating strengths and weaknesses, comes vividly to life" (Sunday Times)

"A fascinating emotional journey... His descriptions of Italian football are descriptions of Italy itself, its regional differences, its squabbles, its distinctive temper" (Daily Telegraph)

"An enthralling, insightful account of the real Italy" (Independent)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Is Italy a united country, or a loose affiliation of warring states? Is Italian football a sport, or an ill-disguised protraction of ancient enmities?



Tim Parks goes on the road to follow the fortunes of Hellas Verona football club, to pay a different kind of visit to some of the world's most beautiful cities. This is a highly personal account of one man's relationship with a country, its people and its national sport. A book that combines the pleasures of travel writing with a profound analysis of one country's mad, mad way of keeping itself entertained.

Book Description

After 20 years of living in Italy, Tim Parks, whom Joseph Brodsky, has called "the nest British author working today," spent a full year following the fortunes-and misfortunes-of the Verona football-oops! Soccer-club. Here is his rollicking report. Fro Udine to Catania, from San Siro to the Olimpico, traveling with the fans and the players from the tip to the toe of Italy, Tim Parks offers a highly personal account of his relationship with a country, its people, and its national sport. The fans, as always are accused of vulgarity, racism, and violence. The police are ambiguous, the journeys exhausting, the referees unforgivable, the anecdotes hilarious. In a world stripped of idealism and increasingly bereft of religion, Parks suggests that soccer offers a new and fiercely ironic way of engaging with the sacred.

From the Publisher

Travels around Italy, in search of illusion, national character and goals!

Quatrième de couverture

'Addictive reading...each chapter is a short story, the whole book an epic' Observer

Is Italy a united country, or a loose affiliation of warring states? Is Italian football a sport, or an ill-disguised protraction of ancient enmities?

After twenty years in the bel paese, Tim Parks goes on the road to follow the fortunes of Hellas Verona football club, to pay a different kind of visit to some of the world's most beautiful cities. From Udine to Catania, from the San Siro to the Olimpico, this is a highly personal account of one man's relationship with a country, its people and its national sport. A book that combines the tension of cliff-hanging narrative with the pleasures of travel writing, and the stimulation of a profound analysis of one country's mad, mad way of keeping itself entertained.

'Parks knows his football, and he knows Italy still better. His adopted country, in all its enduring and exasperating strengths and weaknesses, comes vividly to life' Sunday Times

'A fascinating emotional journey... His descriptions of Italian football are descriptions of Italy itself, its regional differences, its squabbles, its distinctive temper' Daily Telegraph

'An enthralling, insightful account of the real Italy' Independent

Biographie de l'auteur

Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, Cleaver and Teach Us to Sit Still. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys awards, and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lectures on literary translation in Milan, writes for publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and his many translations from the Italian include works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Tabucchi and Machiavelli.
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