COMRADE DON CAMILLO by Giovanni Guareschi


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Report repeated from 1960 when scheduled for publication as follows: This at one and the same time is less amusing and more satirical than any of its predecessors. Don Camillo has put up-first in his intimate conversations with his Lord, then with his bishop- a proposition which carries the weight of danger and risk. He wants to join- incognito- a commission selected to visit the Soviet with his friend and enemy, Peppone, one time Mayor, now newly made Senator. It is a thoroughly Camillo form of blackmail he uses to get on the selected list, and throughout the visit to the Soviet is a thorn in Peppone's flesh. But bit by bit he does what he sets out to do- always appearing to be just another member of the commission. He manages to cast doubt on the achievements of the Soviet, to uncover the real beliefs of many of his fellow travelers, to bring comfort to reluctant Communists, still believers in disguise, so to speak. He ascertains the ocation of some Italian graves and a hidden cross; and lights a votive candle; he gives communion in secret to some frightened and desolate Poles; he releases from the group several who really 'wanted out'; and in the grip of a storm at sea, he reveals his true self in communal worship and appeal to the God most of them thought they had deserted. Even Peppone, angry, frightened, shows the glimmer of his old self in their final reunion. A new angle for Guareschi.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1964
ISBN: 1849029814
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Co.