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A Season with Verona: A Soccer Fan Follows His Team Around Italy in Search of Dreams, National Character, And... Goals! (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 13. November 2012


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Tim Parks, essayist, noted translator of Italian authors, and critic, is the author of eleven novels. He lives in Italy.

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Perhaps not for everyone 2. Oktober 2013
Von R. Sheppard - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Let me say first off that I am enamored with Italy/Sicily and the Italian culture having traveled extensively throughout the country, mingling with the natives. I had read another book by Tim Parks having to deal with Italian trains and their history along with his witticisms describing his commutes from his home in Verona to his employment in Milan. I found him specific at times but often hilarious as you can see the warm collision of Parks, an Englishman, trying to understand the sometimes incomparable logic of the Italians. I also gained an understanding of the foreign soccer fans; their importance to the sport as well as their passion for the game. Neither book was a page turner, rather an interesting book you could go back and pick up easily while following the continuity of the story line. I never considered not completing either book but often read something else in between. I plan to look for other books by this author as I think he mysteriously has me hooked.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
$.99 on Kindle - go for it! 27. August 2012
Von las cosas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Tim Parks has written several books examining his over 20 years living in Verona. Best known as a novelist, his essays on the NYRB blog are always interesting and thoughtful. So I pounced on this book when I saw that for some reason the Kindle version was selling for less than a dollar. And I loved almost every page of it, despite a lifetime boredom with watching organized sports.

The book is ostensibly a chronological description of the 2001 football season of the Verona Hellas team, precariously hoovering near the bottom of the Series A and perennially needing to beat other small town Italian teams in order to avoid relegation to Series B. We are given poetic though hugely idiosyncratic descriptions of each game after each of the 34 weekly matches. But the more interesting part of the book is Parks as essayist, examining seemingly endless aspects of Italian culture and politics, and his sometimes precarious relationship to his adopted home. He has a sharp eye and ear for the local dialect and the peculiarities of Veronese life. "`Dio boia!' the boy next to me suddenly shouts. `Executioner God', it means, a strictly local blasphemy. For some reason Italians find the expression particularly foul, perhaps because of the way the boia is pronounced. You begin with an explosive `b', popping your lips as if you were a big fish, then you swallow the `oi' in a long, slow adenoidal sound, lingering on a sort of `y' deep in the tonsils, before snapping the word shut with an axe-blow, `a!!'"

Parks is English, and his observations and perspective are that of the other, the outsider who is allowed to partake of the football fanatic rituals,but who never forgets that they are assumed rituals, worn lightly though fanatically. "Even a grumpy misanthrope like myself can feel the lift of communal delirium." And delirium, balanced precariously with English self-consciousness, is the general tenor of the book. "In the football crowd one moves constantly in and out of the spell, in and out of the group, in and out of the law. Singing together you are all-powerful, singing alone you are a fool. People are aware of this. And however stupid they may be, at least the songs are not addressed to God. They are not that stupid."

While riffing on endless tangentially related subjects he inevitably swerves back to the game and the insanity of desperately caring that his team both wins and plays with elegance, which they rarely do. "You try to get close to the action, hoping for some revelation, but there is none to be had, just guys kicking the ball, businessmen spending money." He yearns for a beautiful, indeed a sacred, experience in the various stadiums he visits the length of Italy, yet is often, usually, disappointed. "I know we're going to lose in Turin today, and I believe we're going to win."

The author is dismissive of watching football on television. Several times he lyrically describes stadiums where away games are played, marveling at their diversity from mammoth brutalist edifices to poetically diminutive chapels of Renaissance elegance. Each with a different sensuality, each with a home crowd equally distinctive. None of this can be transmitted through television, and by reducing the game to a camera chasing the ball the very soul of the game disappears. A magnificent and all-encompassing experience is reduced to a mere game.
5 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Sickening Hellish Verona 3. August 2013
Von Cynthia Hernandez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Seldom has a book made me so angry. It is the narration of Tim Parks's being embedded, as we say now, with the fans of the Italian soccer team Hellas Verona during the 2000-2001 season. The book starts with recounting the bus trip of Parks and friends to the first away game, a trip during which many of them get drunk, high on cocaine, purposely harass and distract the driver with vile, unprovoked insults (thus potentially endangering themselves and others on the road), get in a fight for which the cops have to be called and arrive late for the game. And Parks wanted to take his teenage son on this trip, but didn't because the boy had to study his Latin. The behavior of the fans is an orgy of hatred toward whoever is different, particularly blacks and Southern Italians, but also the disabled ("mongolo!") and Jews. But what is truly sickening is the author's attempt to rationalize this behavior by ascribing any criticism to political correctness. This represents a degree of intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice that I have rarely encountered. His book is punctuated by the cherry-picked tale of one Luis Marsiglia, a Jewish teacher who lies about being attacked by right-wingers in Verona. Yes, women (to provide an analogy) have lied about being the victim of violence and even rape- this does not preclude that violence against women is truly endemic. And so it is with anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of exclusion. What Parks did conveniently forget was the unbelievably appalling episode in 1996 when his beloved team brought into the stadium an effigy of a black man being hanged, with a sign saying "Negro go away." Nor does he bring out that banners are often written in characters that are meant to be like "Celtic" runes- an allusion to the neo-Fascist use of the Celtic cross and accompanying muddled racist folklore. Hellas Verona continues to this day with its revolting ways, stoking the fires of the present difficult situation in Italy with immigration.
Another great book by Tim Parks 19. Juni 2014
Von R. L. Whittington - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
If you like Italy and football, buy this book. A great one about Serie A. A really good book. Really
Nothing else like it! 13. August 2013
Von JOSEPH P SEGRE - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Unique. An insider's glimpse into the world of Italian soccer fans; there is nothing like it in English. His books are a more accurate description of Italian life than almost anything in either language. He manages to be both an insider and an outsider at the same time..not an easy feat!
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