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Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles [Kindle Edition]

Fabio Bartolomei , Antony Shugaar
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Paperback $14.32  
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Book Description

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. Things 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.

Editorial Reviews


“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 )

About the Author

Fabio Bartolomei works in advertising and lives in Rome. Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles is his first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (November 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AH6P8I6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good and so funny January 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is quite simply one of the funniest books I have ever read. Normal I don't read books that have been translated because often times things get lost in translation but not in this book. It was perfectly translated. It's an easy read and I didn't want to put it down. Absolutely loved the characters and the situations they find themselves in well probably wouldn't happen like that it's written so that its believable and funny. I laughed so hard at times I had tears in my eyes. Definitely recommend this book to anyone !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When three middle-aged losers independently and simultaneously show up to look at an old farmhouse for sale in the countryside of Campania, outside of Naples, each sees it for its potential as a Bed and Breakfast retreat. For each of these men, creating such a retreat would represent a whole new way of life, one far more satisfying than anything he has known to date. None of them can afford this dream, however, and the only way any of them can afford to participate in the B & B project is to pool their resources and buy it together. Within a month, this disparate group has signed the papers and received the keys to a farm that someone else once tried to restore but has abandoned. They do not recognize that there may have been good reasons that the previous owners gave up.

The three new owners have varied backgrounds--one is the failed owner of a family-owned market, one sells "Swiss" watches on late-night TV, and one is a car salesman - but all are lonely single men anxious to make a change in their lives, and each believes that he has some unique talents for restoring the old farmhouse: Claudio's father was a carpenter, Fausto's was a plumber, and Diego's was an electrician. None of them seem to realize that watching their fathers perform these tasks is different from doing it themselves.

Almost immediately, they are visited by Vito, an elderly, low-level representative of the Neapolitan Mafia (the Camorra). Fearful of what will happen if Vito tells his bosses that the newcomers will not meet the demands for protection money, the newcomers come up with a unique "solution," the same one that they use a few weeks later when two young thugs arrive on motorcycles to demand the same protection money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mirabile dictu, paisan November 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This intelligent adult piece of comedic fluff is brought to us from and Italian advertising executive and it shows. Fabio Bartolomei knows how to grab our attention and manipulate our emotions in a manner and style that will make his readers chuckle and not feel moronic about doing.

His three middle age losers who meet by chance and decide to become business partners in a quixotic venture (an Italian B & B) strike the right balance between comedic and realistic. What I find most satisfying about this book is that it never wallows in cheap sentimentality and makes the most implausible situation seem, well plausible, camorristi, illegal African immigrants etc.

No need for a synopsis, beause the first reviewer (Ms. Whipple N.E.) has done an admirable job. Why do I give it 5 stars? The simple reason is that it is written for thinking adults who want to laugh and not have their intelligence insulted, as other great comedians have done, i.e. Moliere, Kingsley Amis etc. To understand why Hollywood would ruin a movie adaptation, read the late John Simon's review of a "Walk in the Clouds" comparing it with Cesare Zavattini's "4 Steps in the Clouds."
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