Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the international bestseller Silk
riveting, lyrical love story" Alan Cheuse, NPR) and
the acclaimed Ocean Sea
erotic" Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
) comes an
entirely new species of fiction: a panoramic Cartesian
comic book of a novel with superheroes, boxers,
cowboys, and one bed-wetting prodigy expected to win the Nobel Prize.
Bariccos wildly inventive story, set in the United States, describes the
improbable relationship between two untethered souls: Gould, a
thirteen-year-old genius, and Shatzy Shell, his thirtysomething governess.
Except for each other, they abide beyond human connection, each in a
private world of serial imagination: in Shatzys case, the violent Wild West
show she has been improvising into a tape recorder since the age of six; in
Goulds, the mock-heroic tale of an underdog boxer, which the boy tells to
his imaginary friends, a giant and a mute. With the narrative logic of a comic
strip, Citys quicksilver prose flows unpredictably between the whimsy of
childhood conjuring and the serpentine realm of metaphysics, cunningly
reminding us how the imaginings of children can harbor the stuff of tragedy,
while the grandest ideas of adults are often strictly for kids.
By turns hilarious and deeply sad, City is an American original, penned by
a brilliant Italian.
"City will be savoured by those who have retained a delight in well-turned tales." Joseph Farrell, Times Literary Supplement
From the author of the international best-seller Silk comes a ravishing and wildly inventive novel that suggests both The 1001 Nights and the masterpieces of Italo Calvino.
Somewhere in America lives Gould, a lonely boy-genius groomed for the Nobel Prize, his only friends an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably, he becomes the charge of a young woman named Shatzy Shell, whose life has been equally lacking in human connection. They also have in common their heretofore private stories. With these stories, Gould and Shatzy forge a relationship that is at once hilarious, tragic, and deeply redemptive.
The author of the international bestseller Silk
now delivers a ravishing and wildly inventive novel about friendship, genius and its discontents, and the redemptive power of narrative. Somewhere in America lives a brilliant boy named Gould, an intellectual guided missile aimed at the Nobel Prize. His only companions are an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably—and yet with impeccable logic--he falls into the care of Shatzy Shell, a young woman whose life up till that point has been equally devoid of human connection .
Theirs is a relationship of stories and of stories within stories: of Goulds evolving saga of an underdog boxer and the violent Western that Shatzy has been dictating into a tape recorder since the age of six. Out of these stories, Alessandro Baricco creates a masterpiece of metaphysical pulp fiction that recalls both Scheherazade and Italo Calvino. By turns exhilarating and deeply moving, City is irresistible.
About the Author
Alessandro Baricco was born in Turin in 1958. The author of three
previous novels, he has won the Prix Médicis étranger in France and the
Selezione Campiello, Viareggio, and Palazzo del Bosco prizes in Italy. His
third novel, Silk, became an immediate best-seller in Italy and has been
translated into twenty-seven languages. It is the basis of a forthcoming
opera by André Previn and a film to be produced by Miramax.