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review 2018-04-10 04:06
A Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man (and his son)
The Italian Teacher - Tom Rachman

I am going to say some nice things about this book, but the thing that kept going through my mind -- for at least the first two-thirds -- was: haven't I read this before? There are a couple of Richard Russo books hidden here, one Matthew Norman -- and I want to say DeLillo, Tropper and Weiner, too, but I can't put my finger on which of those -- and probably a few others that I don't recall. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- we've all read plenty of books that are just variations on well-established themes. What I had to ask myself was: did Rachman have anything new to say with his take? Did he throw in some interesting twists to the mix? Was it a rewarding experience for the reader? I think my answers were: not really, sort of, and not particularly.

 

The novel revolves around Bear Bavinsky, a painter of renown, an iconoclast, a rock star in a pre-rock star age -- and a serial monogamist on his second marriage when we meet him. He's essentially a Jeff Bridges character. His son, Charles (nicknamed Pinch) idolizes him (many of his children do, but Charles doesn't get over it the way most do).  Bear is mercurial, irresponsible, unfaithful, arrogant, and incredibly charming. Really, the difference between Rachman's Bear Bavinsky and Russo's Donald "Sully" Sullivan is that Bear has money (that's just to help you understand him, not a commentary on the character). When he turns on the charm, he can get seemingly anyone -- detractor, fan, or something in between -- to feel important, to feel pivotal, captivating, and so on. Most people shake off this effect after a couple of days (although they seem to hold on to a little bit of it for decades) -- Charles never does. He spends his life striving for his father's attention, favor, affection -- anything. He shapes his life around those things which will hopefully get Bear's approval -- and when he fails (or at least, doesn't succeed as he hopes) in the endeavor, and/or doesn't get Bear's approval he has a moment of clarity, stumbles into something else and then eventually falls back into the search for his Father's approbation.

 

Ironically, compared to the rest of Bear's kids, Charles has that approval. He just doesn't realize it -- and maybe it's because the rest have given up and don't seek him out as much. We follow Charles' life from childhood, to adolescence (living with a divorced mother now), in college, early adulthood and then in his 50s. Striving for significance, striving for something beyond his reach -- and yearning for his father. It's a decent, if lonely, life -- and could've been something better if he hadn't allowed so much of it to be shaped by his father, what Charles things his father wants, and then listening to his father's input when he really shouldn't.

 

As the jacket copy says, "Until one day, Pinch begins an astonishing plan that’ll change art history forever..." It stops being a book that I've read before (mostly), takes on its own flavor -- and gets worse. But your results may vary.

 

I thought Bear was an interesting character -- but not one I wanted to spend a lot of time with. I felt too much pity for Charles to really get invested in him. No one else in the book was really worth the effort. The story was unimpressive and oddly paced. Which is not to say it's a bad novel, it's just not one I could appreciate that much. There were conversations, scenes, etc. that were just great. I kept waiting for there to be a moment (probably the "Until one day...") that this book turned for me -- like Rachman's last one did -- and it never came.

 

Maybe it was just my mood, maybe it's my utter incapability of appreciating visual art, maybe it's actually Rachman stumbling. I don't know -- this just didn't work for me. Am I glad I read it? I think so -- if only because I don't have to wonder what the new Rachman book is like. I'm still giving it 3 stars because of the skill Rachman displayed -- I just didn't enjoy what he did with it.

 

<a href="http://angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018-library-love-challenge-review-link-ups/" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter" style="border:none;height:auto;width:300px;" src="http://angelsguiltypleasures.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2018LibraryLoveChallenge07-400x400-angelsgp.jpg" alt="2018 Library Love Challenge" /></a>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/04/09/the-italian-teacher-by-rom-rachman
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url 2018-04-09 19:49
New Releases Today in Series
Circle of Ashes - Elise Kova,Lynn Larsh
Peachy Flippin' Keen - Molly Harper
The Italian's Marriage Bargain - Annie West

Per FictFact.com's Book Release Calendar.


Circle of Ashes - Elise Kova, Lynn Larsh   #2 in Wish Quartet
Peachy Flippin' Keen - Molly Harper   #3 in Southern Eclectic
The Italian's Marriage Bargain - Annie West   #7 in Hot Italian Nights

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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review 2018-04-06 21:28
Un piccolo libro, una grande lezione di vita.
La felicità delle piccole cose (Italian Edition) - Caroline Vermalle

Pensavo di dargli quattro stelle, ma nelle pagine finali è esploso con tutta la sua delicatezza.
Non pensavo di dargli il massimo forse perché mi sono sentita irrequieta durante la sua lettura: da un lato non vedevo l'ora di girare pagina ed arrivare al finale per scoprire come tutti quei dettagli andassero poi ad incastrarsi nel disegno generale; dall'altro mi sembrava una storia qualunque, anzi, forse anche un po' troppo tragica e ordinaria. Invece poi tutto si è dispiegato e la luce ha inondato tutta la trama..e niente, mi sono pure commossa.
Un piccolo libro, una grande lezione di vita.
Capitato nel momento giusto.

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text 2018-03-26 12:24
Food Boulevard- the best multi-cuisine restaurant in Gurgaon

 

It’s the truth that majority of people living in Delhi NCR are fond of multi-cuisine food. The concept of meeting friends and business partner over lunch at the multi-cuisine restaurant has become common in Gurgaon. There are many restaurants in Gurgaon which have high standards and multi-cuisine. But very few restaurants can serve the best cuisines. One of the popular and good restaurants in Gurgaon is Food Boulevard. This award-winning casual dining restaurant offers the variety of food like north Indian, Italian, Chinese, street food etc.

 

You will get the sense of luxurious ambiance when you enter the restaurant. Their menu has a variety of selected dishes from popular authentic meals to unusual street foods. Enjoy the best food with authentic flavors from our experienced chefs. It is famous as best Italian restaurants in Gurgaon. You can also book a table for private dining in advance or order food online for home delivery. This multi-cuisine restaurant serves continental, Indian, Oriental, Italian and many other cuisines. Some of its signature dishes are chicken tikka, pasta, and soup.

 

The interiors of restaurant suit the Cosmo Politian crowd of Gurgaon. Many people living in Gurgaon also prefer food court but best food quality can be served only at authentic restaurants like Food Boulevard. The price of food items is also not much high. It will cost you around 800 INR for two people. If you are searching for the best dining place with perfect ambiance, this restaurant is for you.

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review 2018-03-20 15:16
The Italian Party: A Novel - Christina Lynch

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch Starts out with Scottie and her new husband Michael as they are traveling through Italy towards their new house. They have relocated to Italy and Michael will sell tractors. He works at Ford but we also learn other hidden screts about him. Story also follows Scottie and her past life and her hidden secrets. Love descriptions of the landscape and people and history as they drive along. To arrive and have nothing there I don't know what I'd do myself. When the characters are talking in Italian there are Englsih translations so you are not lost. Robertino is employed by Michael to help him spy on his wife and others. He also takes Scottie around the town aclimating her to the locale. Lots of action, horses, adventure and mysteries. Just when you think the secrets are out there are more hidden. Sexual scenes and some swearing. Lots of different plots in this book, easy to keep track of them and I found it interesting to learn of things from so long ago. Resources quoted at the end. Recieved this review copy via Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.

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