PASQUALE'S NOSE: Idle Days in an Italian Town

Michael Rips, Author PASQUALE'S NOSE: Idle Days in an Italian Town

First-time author Rips, formerly a successful trial lawyer, ran off to the Etruscan village of Sutri with his painter wife and new baby. In Sutri, the likably neurotic author spent day after day in the cafe, reflecting on the notion that he "was unable to produce or even reflect on anything that I or anyone else would consider useful." Seemingly in the throes of a pre-midlife crisis, Rips presents his quirks at face value, sans psychospeak, with hilarious, moving or unsettling effect. In a small, ancient town, one might expect to find citizens repressed by long-standing social mores, an assumption both confirmed and disproved by the many eccentrics: the man who lights his cigarettes with a magnifying glass; an illiterate postman who leaves the villagers to sort their own mail; a blind bootmaker who claims he can make a perfectly sized boot just by looking at a person's foot (he can't, but still keeps his customers); and Pasquale, a terrifying brute with a penchant for smelling feet. Rips warms to Sutri, finding it "an archaic society... that had... forged a collective identity and story and that had a mystical attachment to both." The kindhearted, brutal and idiosyncratic Sutrinis' nonsensical ideas about causality and the author's peculiar, often bleak worldview complement each other perfectly. In tiny, glittering vignettes, Rips paints an extraordinary picture of interwoven sublimity and absurdity. (May 21)

Reviewed on: 04/16/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-4424-6
Ebook - 978-0-7595-2449-1
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-316-74864-3
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Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-7595-7244-7
Ebook - 978-0-316-02225-5
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