Snow,Dog,Foot by Claudio Morandini

Snow, Dog, Foot by Claudio Morandini

Italian fiction

Original title – Neve, cane, piede

Translator – J Ockenden

It is hard to believe this is the tenth year of Peirene Press they been around as long as I have been blogging and I have reviewed most of the previous books. This year’s theme is called a” closed universe” and this is the first of this year’s three books around that theme it was the sixth novel published by Italian writer Claudio Morandini he was a teacher of Latin and literature and has written novels and short stories. This won the Procida Isola di Arturo – Elisa Morante prize in the fiction section. The book was translated by the last Peirene stevens prize translator winner for 2019. The translator says in their note that there is certain words we have just one for like valley were as there is three Italian words for this describe different types.

Adelmo Farandola makes his way back up, confused and despondent. He dosen’t remember – he doesn’t remember having forgotten. From time to time a nagging feeling of having been the butt of a joke between the idotic old man and the lady in the shop, “They sit there, waiting for me to come down, just so they can make a fool of me, These village types , ” he says, and spits on the broung he says it the same way that people from the village say “These city types”, spitting on the ground in the same way.

His world has shrank but he is also feeling a odd paranoia that you can’t put your finger on till the end!!

This is one of those novels that when I started seemed to be one thing. It centers on one character Adekmo Farandola he is a hermit that has lived most of his life in the high Alps by himself. He only heads down occasionally to the local village and over the years he is going less and less this adds to a sense that something is odd about Adelmo. He loves the village band but is more hesitant than the previous visit this time as he gets closer to the village. He returns home but still feels the new mountain ranger is watching him at a distance. There is a sense of Paranoia then we meet the other character in this book and that is Ademlo dog this old dog is like a comic sidekick he is as one would imagine a lazt=y cantankerous old dog in what he says this is the start of Adelmo as his worlds seems to bee shrinking and at the same time coming to the end as the winter nears its end and the snow goes nearby it reveals a severed human foot that has been frozen. Where is it from how did it get there who is it and what does Adelmo know why is he here alone and what made him come here to this remote place in the first place.

The dog’s tongue drips like a leaky rap and his drool creates a spreading puddle on the floor

At the second wine-soaked morsel, he begins to swallow mouthful of air.

“Can I try a bit?” he asks the man at last.”NO” says Adelmo Farandola, who is just getting started on his third piece.

“Just a little bit,” says the dog. “Please. Just a teeny little bit”?

“No”

“Just to see what it’s like. How do I know you’re telling the truth unless I taste it?”

“You take it on trust”
“I’D rather try for myself”

Adelmo and his dog argue of the crumbs of food he has to eat the dog not believing it is what his master said it was this has a touch of comedy to it I found.

 

This is one for those that love a book that isn’t what it first seems it is like a Chinese puzzle box you think it is one thing a story of a hermit, then the story of a lonely man going mad.  then a tale of a man and his dog, then a mystery. Then something else completely until the box is fully open. It shows how the mind plays tricks when you are alone is the dog real? of just a figment of Adelmo imagination? why are things starting to talk to him. This is an interesting view of dementia or even just what one would call cabin fever the result of years of being alone and then when the foot appears it almost is like the madeleine in Proust as it opens a whole back story in the book that is an interesting and different direction. He also captures that wintery world so well the sense of high mountains and small villages this is one man’s closed world that sees as the border of that universe draws in closer from the start at the edge of the village now. This does exactly what Peirene claims to by the TLS and a two-hour book to be devoured in a single sitting: literary cinema for those fatigued by the film. This would make a great film as well it has a wonderfully surprising story that would do well in a film.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Hill
    Feb 03, 2020 @ 02:36:42

    This sounds like my kind of book:)
    It’s available here in Australia in a month or so…

    Reply

  2. 1streading
    Feb 03, 2020 @ 19:58:29

    I enjoyed this too. I always like to review Peirene books – helped by the fact there are only ever three a year!

    Reply

  3. TravellinPenguin
    Feb 03, 2020 @ 23:06:56

    This sounds good. I do enjoy these type of tales.

    Reply

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