An occasionally hilarious novel about the effect of an American father-and-daughter team on a tiny town in the NE of Italy....

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IL BOOM

An occasionally hilarious novel about the effect of an American father-and-daughter team on a tiny town in the NE of Italy. The father wants to study everything from the dreams to sex practices of the 500-odd inhabitants of Rimaldi; the daughter wants to teach the kids everything from the tarot and tie-dye to organic cooking (as well as have ""sexual experience"" with a local); and Dante Alighieri Sinopoli, son of the town capocantore (a kind of religious shaman), wants his wife Tutti to accept the traditional old-fashioned life as he makes hay with the young American blonde. In various literal and metaphoric ways the Americans spell the death of the village -- the silkworms (the economical base of the village) have a disastrous season, the townsfolk prefer accepting ""token payments"" for their interviews and Rorschach tests to picking mulberry leaves for the hungry worms -- and, finally, the anthropologist arranges for the town to be labeled a disaster area and thus the recipient of unlimited government modernization funds -- which pleases everyone but Dante and the girl who yearn for the past in their separate ways. The humor lies not only in the culture clash but hilarious parodies of pompous anthropological reports and the literal ""translation"" of the inverted and idiomatic Italian sentence structure into English.

Pub Date: May 16, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974