Renato's Luck

Jeff Shapiro, Author HarperCollins $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-019418-5
It is the worst of times for Renato Tizzoni, waterworks man of the almost-too-charming Tuscan town of Sant' Angelo D'Asso and protagonist of Shapiro's engaging first novel. Tizzoni's surrogate father has just died, and his teenaged daughter, the petulant Petula, is wrapped up in her boyfriend, Daniele, of the ill-mannered Mangiavacchi family. Tizzoni seems to have lost his zest for life and, worst of all, the town he has lived all his days is slated to become a reservoir when the nearby river is dammed up to follow a government plan for irrigating local soil. By interpreting a series of vivid dreams featuring a floating hand that points him to treasure, Tizzoni decides that he must travel to Rome to shake hands with the pope while touching his behind with his other hand, thereby initiating a chain reaction leading to a stroke of luck, or ""stroke of ass"" (""colpo di culo"" in Italian slang). As he looks around him and sees the dissatisfaction of his fellow townspeople, he adds their names and dreams to a list he keeps in his back pocket and plans to touch during the fateful handshake. Word of his scheme spreads throughout the small community, and the locals band together to see him off on his venture to improve their collective future. Shapiro's penchant for describing the picturesque quaintness of the town and its inhabitants threatens to drown the story in the fond nostalgia of travelogues. But as the plot develops and the strong voices of interesting characters--including Duncan, Tizzoni's American friend, and Il Piccino, the midget who runs the newspaper stand--are introduced, the reader is drawn into the story and waits eagerly to discover how the fates of the townspeople will change with Tizzoni's ""stroke of ass."" (Apr.) FYI: Shapiro teaches English in Tuscany.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-06-093219-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.