- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (October 4, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393247589
- ISBN-13: 978-0393247589
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dolce Vita Confidential: Fellini, Loren, Pucci, Paparazzi, and the Swinging High Life of 1950s Rome 1st Edition
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“"In a brisk, frothy narrative....Levy has a passion for mid-century Italian cinema and is at his best when writing about its giants."” (The Wall Street Journal)
“Dolce Vita Confidential is so much fun that after a few pages you’ll want to set it aside, tie on a chic little scarf, jump on a Vespa, and cry ''ciao'' as you buzz past corner cafes and flower stands.” (Portland Tribune)
“"Over 400 spirited and frothy pages, [Levy] carries us on a speedy Vespa ride....the book delights."” (Portland Mercury)
“This is an exciting account of a revolution in art and society.” (The Spectator)
“Levy's spirited history is nothing less than a love letter to Rome's luxurious, sensational past.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“"Levy’s research is deep and his details are revealing....[he] chronicles Fellini and Mastroianni’s collaboration with insight and affection."” (Newsday)
“An enjoyable and informative read about an exciting and colorful period in Roman history and the history of popular culture.” (Library Journal)
“An eclectic portrait of Rome’s rise out of the ashes of WWII into a metropolis….a fascinating look at decades of Italian cultural history.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Shawn Levy has composed an exuberant portrait of postwar Rome and the filmmakers, movie stars, fashion designers, journalists, and paparazzi whose supreme hunger, energy, and creativity transformed it into the most stylish city in the world. He brings an infectious and freewheeling enthusiasm to every page as he reintroduces us to the extravagant romanticism of fast cars, reckless hedonism, and beautiful people behind the resurrection of the Eternal City.” (Glenn Frankel, author of The Seachers: The Making of an American Legend)
About the Author
Shawn Levy is a former film critic for The Oregonian and the best-selling author of Rat Pack Confidential and Paul Newman: A Life. He reviews movies for KGW-TV and lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Top Customer Reviews
I just started, Ready, Steady Go and am amazed by the same evocation of a city in its special time and place - but with much more "chipper" tone. I lived in Swinging London in the Carnaby Street years and am reliving the excitement of being young and bursting with the energy of the new young who were turning the world on its head.
After this read, I will go on to Paul Neman: A Life. I know it will bring me once again the writing of a most gifted and insightful author. Mille grazie!
I expected to find good stories about the big film names of the period, placed in a larger cultural context, and that is exactly what Levy delivers. Once again, he burrows into areas I hadn’t cared much about ... I should have been warned when Pucci’s name appeared in the subtitle. But you can trust Levy to make that larger context something you want to learn about, and so I read more than I ever thought I would about post-war fashion, in Italy and in Europe as a whole. And it was indeed educational, since I knew so little about the fashion world. The book convinces us that the big fashion names were integral to the creation of Italian culture after World War II.
As for the dolce vita, it’s all here. Fellini and Loren make the subtitle, but Anita Ekberg deserves special mention. She comes across as much more interesting than her public image ... in fact, we learn that she was more than her image, which seems like a small point until you realize that image is pretty much all we ever knew, or cared about.
Levy devotes a lot of time to Fellini, and rightly so ... La Dolce Vita is his movie, after all. I don’t think I needed convincing about the importance of Fellini to Italian film and culture. I’m not his biggest fan, and I would have enjoyed a more detailed description of the making of Antonioni’s L’Avventura, my favorite Italian film of all time. But the truth is, Antonioni’s film speaks to a general malaise ... it isn’t specific to its time, which is why the story of upper-middle class people speaks to us, no matter our own class position. Fellini, though, in films like La Dolce Vita, managed to make movies that were intensely personal yet also very much of their moment. If you want to see a great film, L’Avventura is the choice. But if you want to see Rome in the 50s, filtered through the lens of Fellini the showman, La Dolce Vita is where you’d look. Which is why it’s a great place for Levy to spend time.
Levy’s writing is easy to read. You think you’re just taking in a history of the scandals. But when you finish the book, you realize you’ve actually gotten a clear vision of a specific time and place. By blending movies and fashion and celebrity and paparazzi, Levy makes all of the aspects of that life more interesting. Dolce Vita Confidential is another success for Shawn Levy.