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venerdì, aprile 28, 2017

Letters to Strabo by David Smith

What a wonderful book is Letters to Strabo by David Smith published by Matador.

Beautifully written with an amazing researched, absorbing english, it seemed the transposition of a Woody Allen's movie in literature. There are in fact all the elements dear to the famous director.

When I asked at Matador to read this book I thought that it was a travel book. It's much more and what a joy!

Like it happened centuries ago, when nobles traveled across Europe experiencing what it meant visiting the best part of our corner of the world for pleasure, the same does Finn, Adam Finnegan Black, American of 28 years  starting in 1977 and fascinated, and that's the part I love the most by Strabo and its Geography and by Mark Twain and it's Innocents Abroad's book.
Finn will try to find portions of Strabo's works in many European's cities he will stop by like also Twain and Einsten's anecdotes and whoever possibly influenced this world through history or literature. .
His erudition will include James Joyce. Finn will follow the steps of this great writer as well as Hemingway.

Why, am I fascinated by this travel book? Because it's....Unusual and truly beautiful what Finn did because he is young.

It's unusual that a young erudite man wants to follow the past, in particular thanks to some old authors, for discovering the present and looking at the same monuments, roads, streets, panoramas, sunlight as did someone else lived some centuries ago.

For Americans traveling across Europe is a joke, because in comparison to the USA Europe is very small. True, plenty of monuments, culture, a different lifestyle but more reachable and accessible.

This book is a jewel.

Thanks to Finn, the protagonist we discover that not only culture and erudition is possible but I can tell you that it is truly fun and never boring if you do that in motion, with some gossip and following Finn! with his lot of sexy adventures, girls, encounters, food, sometimes a homicide when someone wanted to abuse of a girl, mixing up all with James Joyce, Shakespeare and Company, Peggy Guggenheim, art, Tintoretto, museums, galleries.

Every place is described meticulously, under every aspect and nothing is left at the imagination of the reader.

I wasn't pretty satisfied of the description of Rome. A place of passage. It would have been possible to write this world and the other of this city but I know that Americans don't fall particularly in love for Rome.

But...Thanks to these old thinkers, Strabo and Mark Twain the explorations of these lands more complete, more culturally elevated, and please, don't think I am snob because I am not, I don't travel from a life! just I love to seeing the best of this world, and I think that each of us should search for it and should look at places searching for the best and not just stopping by in touristic sites visited by everyone.

The fascination of the narration is more intense if you think that this man in love for a girl called Eve, a name I guess chosen for a precise reason. With this girl he will start a long-term correspondence.
Postcards, letters, phone calls, meetings somewhere in Europe when it was possible with also other sexual intercourse in particular with a girl called Francoise, pretty weird and rich.

The end is bitter-sweet like life is, but it will present to Finn the greatest gift he could have received from life and an existential choice pretty defined.

Highly suggested.


I thank Matador for this book review copy.


Anna Maria Polidori

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