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The Road to London Paperback – November 18, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The stepping-stone motif of the ocean is used movingly and with great effect. I have never read better writing about sex which, when dealing with romance and love, is touching and heart-felt without the need to be prurient or explicit; when dealing with casual sex, the writing is direct, soulless and to the point. Very effective.
His own ending (you are invited to consider your own) is truly poignant and beautiful. Ade Bulla is a poet.
Ode? Aria. It’s the self-filleting (as opposed to self-fellating) agony of a romantic (in the best sense), poignant and delirious, elegiac and priapic in about equal measure, one moment a love letter, the next a suicide note.
Devastating. Lightning strikes can be so illuminating. The boy’s life flashes with hallucinogenic intensity, and the journey becomes about the (slightly) mad and intoxicated/intoxicating gush of language. This is a profoundly original work, though of course other voices echo, notably Genet and Miller (Henry, not Arthur) and Salinger, improbably harmonized, lightly flowing one moment, dark and sad the next. Quite an experience.
For the purpose of introduction the author offers the synopsis/concept: ` When time and place play tricks with your birth, what can you do apart from creating your own imaginary world, then run away from your own creation, to a new life? A boy is born, some time in the recent past, in Milan, Italy, yet backwards when concerned with 'different' sexualities, and Fate wants this boy not only to be of an intellectually and socially dominant nature, but of a sexually and emotionally gay and submissive disposition. Unable to explain himself to himself, unable to relate to the world, this soul creates his own world, through dreams, drugs, alcohol and lies, while from a distant place, a club in London, and maybe from his future, if he ever learns to fly, letters to his beloved My Dear look back at his life in Italy with parallels in a romance yet to be. He tries to be 'normal' and have relationships with girls, he tries to be honest, and open himself up to his love and friend, but life has decided only pain, rejection and suffering should come of it, for the time being at least. But little glimpses into another, maybe possible life, sparkle here and there through his life, his dreams and into his heart....'
Yes, this is a story or a memoir, but also is the matrix on which Adriano builds some of the most exquisite writing of our time. His ability to cross time barriers, enter psyches, create people whom we know well by book's end and yet who still retain that magical sense of questioning identities is an achievement that will be difficult to emulate by others. His movement from Milan to London is not unlike that journey from prepubescent sexual identity through longing for definition to embracing lust and love that Adriano traces as sensual Italy to cerebral England. And while sharing this little miracle of a book he pauses with moments such as `A snow flake fell in front of me and fell to the ground, making no noise. I couldn't hear the music. I couldn't hear my heart. The fire had gone out; all that was left were ashes.' And he interweaves poetry into the discourse:
Few writers (except perhaps James Joyce, Italo Calvino, Jamie O'Neill) have been able to find that tenuous thread of re-creation of the coming of age sexually with the skill Adriano Bulla finds so easily. This unique work is at once fascinating in structure and profoundly moving in its afterburn. Adriano Bulla is light and air and talent. Grady Harp, April 15
Adriano Bulla is one of those writers who seems to find an insightful way of painting everyday experiences in a way that catches the attention for its freshness, who moves from dreamy lyricism to down-to-earth revelation in a sentence. In this way of writing there are moments which remind of the fantasy/reality structure of Italo Calvino’s "Cosmicomics", which in its faux-science proclaimed “Know thyself,” and in its own way "The Road to London" is a voyage of similar discovery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This seemingly simple quote is a very significant message in this uniquely raw coming-of-age novel.Read more
Alex has lived his life as a lie; one after the next.Read more