From Publishers Weekly
In Veronesi's absorbing second novel translated into English (after The Force of the Past), Italian television executive Pietro Paladini saves a woman from drowning at the exact moment his wife, Lara, suddenly dies. After the unexpected death, Pietro becomes enveloped in a strange calm, and he spends each day outside his daughter's school, observing the quiet rhythms of life. Meanwhile, his bosses visit him to share cryptic information about a messy corporate merger, and his co-workers, buckling under the strain of the merger, turn to him for advice and go a little crazy. Things get even messier when Pietro encounters the woman he rescued, Eleonora, a wealthy seductress whose life has also been upended by that pivotal moment. Veronesi finds some success in this courageous and difficult project, creating an unreliable narrator who feels an unusual manifestation of grief, though the subplots are so crudely satirical that it's unclear where the winking satire ends and the realist psychological drama begins. Moore's translation is commendable, especially considering the cacophony of voices and Pietro's racing, fractured narration as he dwells in that space between sorrow and madness. (Apr.)
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“Mr. Veronesi sustains the opening scene’s excitement as he stirs a psychological ferment….The overpowering sense of fragility that touches Pietro and Claudia is superbly conveyed by translator Michael F. Moore. Let’s hope more novels from Mr. Veronesi’s back catalog join ‘Quiet Chaos’ in translation.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Dazzling.... Like a literary Fellini, Veronesi brings to life the larger-than-life human comedy as only an Italian would dare, uproariously funny in the face of stark tragedy. It’s a reading experience not to be missed.” (Shelf Awareness)
“[An] absorbing second novel.” (Publishers Weekly)