Magnificent novel about Italian contemporary History I loved a lot Gen Serov, and the reconstruction of Cary Grant The end is amazing, justice triumphs, and even if in tragedy, heroes become themselves for what they have lived, as succeds for Ettore Bergamini Further, this book is a declaration of love for people and the city of Bologna, which has been the only Italian city where partisans fought in its centre against fascists and nazists the Battle of Porta Lame , in which Ettore was an important protagonist, at the shout of Stella rossa vince.2 Non si pu apprezzare questo capolavoro, se non si conosce la storia contemporanea italiana 54 il contrario esatto di 1945, la fine della Seconda guerra mondiale, l anno della introduzione del televisore in Italia, che ha dato il via al boom economico, anche se, questa unica rivoluzione italiana non a caso in 54 si parla spesso della Resistenza come rivoluzione mancata ufficilamente databile al 1958 Inoltre, il ritorno della virulenza fascista ha visto sempre il 1954, come l anno del celerino per questo vedere interviste ad operai di Terni in Storie Orali , A Portelli, Donzelli editore Scelba, che mandava la polizia a caricare e ad ammazzare i dimostranti operai ed agricoltori italiani Inoltre, il 1954 stato anche l anno dell entrata nella Nato, in un paese con il pi grande partito comunista, dopo quello con sede a Mosca Serov, Cary Grant,e Luciano, Castro non sono messi a caso L Italia era ed stato probabilemte lo sar sempre e comunque , un paese al centro di intrighi internazionali Quindi, per scrivere questo romanzo, a parte che lo si capisce ovviamente dai titoli dei quotidiani dell epoca inseriti nello stesso, o si ama la storia e o la si conosce, oppure non si capir n lo si apprezzer Rischiando di capirci poco e niente.3 Ettore Bergamini, p 601 Stella rossa viiiiiinceeeeee I can t bring myself to give a rating to a book I never finished, but my god 200 pages in and I still don t give a shit This can t just be my fault. In Hollywood, Cary Grant Has Grown Weary Of Cinema S Constant Glamour, But Her Majesty S Secret Service Will Break His Malaise With A Bizarre Diplomatic Mission In Naples, Lucky Luciano Fixes Horse Races And Launches The Global Heroin Trade And In Bologna, A Bartender Searches For True Love And His Missing Communist FatherSet During The Height Of The Cold War With The World Divided Into East And West Features Italian Partisans, KGB Agents, Parisian Lowlifes, And Cameos By David Niven, Marshal Tito, And Grace Kelly Wu Ming Brings Us A Cinematic Romp That Is By Turns Edgy Social Satire And Modern Comic Send Up Great fun with multiple storylines that overlap against the backdrop of Cold War intrigue, pulp crime, and the political disillusionment of the Italian working class The scenes in the Bar Aurora are especially wonderful Frequent changes of location, perspective and the large cast of characters are a bit confusing initially, but don t let those deter you Other perks short chapters, which are nice for those who read on public transport And it s available free for download on the authors website A bold attempt to create a thriller by the collaborative effort of five anonymous writers They almost succeed, although I thought the book could have been condensed somewhat What also perplexed me is why they did not write under their own names and why they remained anonymous Are these already famous name literary authors trying to make a bit on the side by dabbling in genre fiction Perhaps their next story will be Who is Wu Ming I discovered the Wu Ming collective when I bought a copy of The New Old Thing ESP Disk Free Jazz Anthology Its liner notes were written by Wu Ming 1 one of the collective s five writers I like 54 s short chapter format usually four pages The numerous characters and their nicknames lost me from time to time, and there are frequent references to actual events, such as the murder of Wilma Montesi, whose purpose I never understood in the context of the story.Fans of historical fiction in the vein of Thomas Pynchon will probably like this book Shaun Whiteside s translation from Italian is good the book reads comfortably as if it was originally written in English. a fictional history of 1954 a good albeit long read, with interesting intersecting plots the writing is a bit dry this could be a problem of the English translation The story behind the writing of the book is possibly interesting than the book itself. That s 54 as in 1954, not the NY nightclub, and the name Wu Ming allegedly means no name in Mandarin In fact, Wu Ming isn t a Chinese writer at all, but a collective of four or five writers in Italy It s pretty fascinating you ve got the Cold War, Lucky Luciano, Italian postwar Commies, the KGB, Cary Grant on a mission for MI6, and a brilliantly named McGuffin Electric television set Rich detail, thoroughly engrossing, and definitely not recommended for anyone not prepared to see Commies portrayed as actual human beings Gets a big murky at the end, but it was well worth the trip. Spring, 1954 Stalin is dead, the cold war is starting to take the shape it would hold for a generation to come, Joe McCarthy is kicking commie ass and taking names, the French are in trouble in Indochina, and in the free territory of Trieste between Italy and Slovenia the big boys are trying to wrap up the last of the unresolved border disputes following WWII Of course, to do this, it helps if they have Tito on their side And so the MI6 call in Tito s favourite movie star to convince him yes, it s Cary Grant, secret agent Meanwhile, Lucky Luciano and his gang are setting up the world s heroin trade, a young Triestean is searching for his father who disappeared into Yugoslavia during the partisan years, a poor American TV set gets stolen and keeps changing owners, and a bunch of old Italians sit around at their local bar solving the world s problems over an espresso.If this all sounds both confusing and insane, that s because it is sorry, I meant to say, that s because it is the plot of a very ambitious 550 page novel condensed into a few sentences Wu Ming, AKA Luther Blissett, the collective pseudonym of no less than five Italian writers, have managed something quite impressive here it s a novel that almost manages to balance a I mean several political thriller plots with a wild sense of humour, an underlying metaphor of the beginning US domination of the Western world both in terms of military and culture if slightly hamfisted there s an American TV set full of heroin, ferchrissakes, talk about your Trojan horse , a lament for satire of the failure of democratic socialism in the post fascist age, an attempt to sketch the outlines of a post war half century which would start with 20 years of war in Vietnam and end in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus a just all around entertaining riff on spy and war novels Basically, they re trying to write V, The Odyssey, Casino Royale, Underworld, Pereira Declares and The Godfather all at once And have fun with all of them.And the thing is, they almost manage to keep it together, anchor it just enough in reality and history to make even the madcap parts believable Obviously, it sprawls With five writers working together, you have five people wanting their favourite bits in, so it gets overwritten and with a bunch of storylines stretching out from Mexico to Dien Bien Phu and from Hollywood to Dubrovnik, with literally dozens of protagonists, they end up working just a little too hard to tie them all together But damnit, it s flawed, but it works For one thing, because they keep coming back to their characters and building the plot from them rather than the other way around Even Cary Grant isn t in it as the movie star, he s in it as the struggling 50 year old soon to be has been who s never reconciled himself with the working class lad Archie Leach who wanted to be an actor, a living embodiment of both class, cultural and personal conflicts You laugh at them, yes, but you smile with them and wince for them too For another, it s so much fun that like political or philosophical ideals, it just makes you want to believe in it even when you know it s not practically feasible In the end, of course, nothing here changes history in any big way the last scene notwithstanding Most of the time, individuals even dozens of individuals working in separate storylines don t change the world at large Some of them die, some of them run away, some just stay at home and do their job, and the world marches on towards what we have today But damnit, it s entertaining It captures a world on the cusp of something, that wants to go in several different directions, but for reasons that become painfully clear end up going in a direction very few of them actually want to go Takes out the warmth, leaves in the fire. Are you sitting comfortably Then I ll begin.Vittorio Capponi sided with Tito s partisans during the war and remained in Yugoslavia afterwards, but spoke in favour of Tito s rivals.back in Italy, Pierre, his younger son works miserably in his brother s bar and lives for dancing and his affair with.Angela, whose doctor husband is a leading light in the Communist Party..Fefe, her brother is in a psychiatric hospital, under his brother in law s care.Lucky Luciano is kicking his heels in Italy, fixing horse races and controlling drug trafficking.Steve Zollo, his driver, fixes all his bosses enemies but wants to break free..MI5 want Tito to side with the West rather than the USSR..Cary Grant wants to return to films, but as a British agent, he is to meet Tito to make a film of his life.The KGB want Tito to side with the USSR not the West.The King of Vietnam likes gambling away US money at Casinos across Europe..Ettore misses the excitement of the war and smuggles cigarettes across borders in his lorry.There is a sentient television that just wants to show Tom and Jerry and make people happy..Kociss lives by nicking stuff from the docks..With it so far Now mix together in short chapters, which will switch from one character to another with no scene setting, and will switch between the first and third person within those chapters, leaving it to the reader to work out which character we are with now.Confused You probably will be.So, you can either decide to get frustrated as you try and work it all out, or you sit back and enjoy the ride, trusting it will all come together in the end Which it mainly does but not everybody gets to the end unscathed.Not as good and profound as Q, but I enjoyed it all the same I particularly liked the Hitchcock references yes he appears as well , naming the TV McGuffin in tribute But of course the real McGuffin is probably Grant himself.
that nom de plume, Wu Ming wrote the novel Q.Each member of the group also writes as an individual author Wu Ming 1
- 560 pages
- Wu Ming
- 13 May 2018 Wu Ming