Funny, dark, but ultimately weirdly heartwarming, this quirky novel defies pat description but is definitely worth a read!
Three, well…losers…all show up at a small Italian farmhouse that is for sale. They end up buying it together and opening an “agrotourism b and b”.
1) They know nothing about this business.
2) Their first visit is from a mobster who wants his “touch”.
3) Being basically hopeless, they bash him over the head and throw him in the basement
4) …and that’s just the beginning!
Diego is a forty-something car salesman with a talent for telling half-truths. Fausto sells watches over the phone. Claudio manages (barely) his family-owned neighborhood supermarket. The characteristic common to each of these three men is their abject mediocrity. Yet, mediocrity being the mother of outrageous invention, they embark on a project that would be too ambitious in scope for any single one of them, let alone all three together. They decide to flee the city and to open a rustic holiday farmhouse in the Italian countryside outside Naples.
Their misconceived endeavor would have been challenging enough for these three unlikely entrepreneurs, but when a local mobster arrives and demands they pay him protection money things go from bad to worse. Now their ordinary (if wrongheaded) attempt to run a small business in an area that organized crime syndicates consider their own becomes a quixotic act of defiance.
A “miraculous” Italian comedy that will have readers laughing out loud, Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles marks Fabio Bartolomei’s vivid debut.
About the Author
Fabio Bartolomei works in advertising and lives in Rome. Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles is his first novel.
Antony Shugaar's translations for Europa Editions include For Grace Recieved by Valeria Parrella, Everybody's Right by Paolo Sorrentino, Fabio Bartolomei's Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles, and Margherita Dolce Vita by Stefano Benni.
Praise for Alfa Romeo1300 and Other Miracles
"An entertaining and humorous debut." —La Repubblica
“A melancholy yet hopeful fable told with a smile.” —Internazionale
“Bartolomei’s style is swift and immensely readable.” —Flaneri
“Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles left the kind of smile on my face that doesn’t go unnoticed and which people often mistake for a kind of facial paralysis…Bortolomei is attentive to the proper rhythm of a story, the proper way to reveal plot, to what is and is not the right word in the right place, all of which produced exactly the right effect on this reader.” —Valentina Aversano, Setteperuno