An Autumn Story

Tommaso Landolfi, Author Eridanos Press $0 (145p) ISBN 978-0-941419-26-0
Set during WW II, this is the first novel to appear in English by the celebrated Italian author of Words in Commotion and Other Stories . The narrator, an outlaw, takes refuge in an odd mountain manor occupied by an elderly nobleman and his two ferocious wolfhounds. The renegade's curiosity is awakened when he sees a turn-of-the-century painting of an alluring woman, and hears ``faint breathing'' in his room at night and suspiciously light footsteps on a staircase. Ignoring the wishes of his host, he explores what he perceives to be a ghostly presence in the mansion. This riveting tale packs multiple surprises, with piercingly nightmarish imagery and intense, lonely characters tormented by private passions and obsessions. Landolfi (1908-79) masterfully evokes mood by engaging the senses: ``By now, it was the dead of night; a stiff, wet wind had risen, increasing the havoc that the dampness had wrought on me. . . . All around me, I heard the huge trees twisting and soughing furiously.'' (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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