The break by Pietro Grossi

break-grossi2

The break by Pietro Grossi

Italian fiction

Original title – L’Acchito

Translator – Howard Curtis

Source – Personnel copy

I’ve been meaning to try Pietro Grossi ,after a couple of years ago Rob of Rob around books raved about his previous book Fists  .I also knew its would be a winner when I mentioned on twitter I was reading it for Pushkin press fortnight and two people from over publishers tweeted their love of this book .Pietro Grossi is an Italian writer ,he was born in Florence is a huge fan of Hemingway and J D Salinger ,started writing age eight ,he has won a number of prize in Italy and has written five books so far .Pushkin have translated two his previous book the short story collection Fists made the Independent foreign fiction prize short list in 2010 .

When Dino got home ,Sofia was at the far end of the living room ,making soup in the kitchenette ,surrounded by steam and sliced vegtables .

“Hi” Dino said .

Sofia turned with soiled hands ,a look of suprise on her face “Oh” she said. “You’re early “

“Yes it wasn’t my night ,” Dino said

“Weren’t you winning ?” Sofia asked ,turning away again ,and although she had her back to Dino ,he knew there was ironic smile hoovering on her lips .

Great interaction of the couple .

The break is the story of Dino a stonemason and huge billiards fan .His life is steady ,he lives in a small town and does dream of travel and others things with his wife .But isn’t really going anywhere ,then his wife tells him she is pregnant .This cause Dino to maybe face up to his life and future more than he has done before ,he also enjoys a huge success via an old mentor in a billiards competition .Add to this secrets of bribes in the local area and Dino needs to pull himself together and start facing his life ,wife and future .

They had a big notebook with a thick  coloured cover ,where they wrote down  everything in preparation for when they left .They had called it The travel book ,which wasn’t much of a name when you thought about it ,and yet every time they mentioned it or took it in their hands there seemed to be something great about it

Dreams can be great ,like Dino Amanda and I have many we need to start living .

I connected with Dino ,I am not a billiards player of talent ,but have played snooker and pool in my time so that part of the book I could connect with but the billiards is also used as a metaphor because Dino suddenly discovers clarity at the game but also maybe discovers clarity in his own  life  at the same time .I also connected with Dino as a person I myself find my life at this point as rather like Dino’s at a point of treading water ,I like dino have maybe settled for a simple easy life and have let life pass me by at times .I enjoyed Grossi vision in this Dino is a character that anyone in mid-life can connect with the book is about those huge turning points in people’s life ,in Dino’s it is a baby on the way and the responsibility that will bring  and wanting to live out some of his dreams .I like Dino need to finds some drive in my own life and maybe stop treading water on my life .The book is a small part of the modern world ,his trade a stone mason dying out but also overlooked due to corruption ,coping with a new baby ,getting on in the world these are all questions that face all of us in some ways in the modern world .

Have you ever really connected with a character in a book like I did with Dino ?

 

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaskella
    Feb 11, 2014 @ 17:55:15

    I enjoyed Fists too. I have this one somewhere – glad you liked Dino – he does sound a great character.

    Reply

  2. Col
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 18:46:36

    I can’t say I’ve ever connected with a character in the way you describe here. However I sometimes find I connect with their circumstances, especially if they are awful, not in seeing similarities but in wanting to rescue them. I always connected with Tess of D’Urbervilles as I wanted to save her! It’s the old alpha-male instinct I guess!

    Reply

  3. acommonreaderuk
    Feb 13, 2014 @ 20:06:38

    Very good review Stu. Whatever happened to billiards? It used to be such a popular game. I think pool must have killed it off. I used to play bar billiards when I was young which was great fun.

    Reply

    • winstonsdad
      Feb 13, 2014 @ 20:08:59

      Yes pool is easy to follow like so many bar sports even pool is dying out a lot great fun my favourite games in pub were kicker table football and a game in a German pub that involves trying to get a nail in a stump as far as possible in a single swing

      Reply

  4. Trackback: That was the month that was February 2014 | Winstonsdad's Blog

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