Synopses & Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Margherita tries to break her family's new love of modern technology and high-tech excesses and go back to their simpler, more frugal ways.
"Margherita Dolce Vita, the eccentric 14-year-old heroine of Benni's Italian bestseller, has a 'fusilli farm' of blonde curls and lives at the 'colorless and necessary outskirts of town' with her quirky family. Like her collector-of-aged-junk father, Margherita prefers the magic and mystery of the past to the digital flash of contemporary youth. So when the Del Benes family suddenly arrives next door in a blaze of gaudy gadgets, it jars her sensibilities, especially after it seems as though Margherita's parents and older brother have blindly fallen for the Del Beneses' 'plasma megascreen' and other trappings. Resolving to break their spell, Margherita enlists her science-genius little brother, Heraclitus; her gentle and erratic grandfather Socrates; and her loyal, narcoleptic dog Sleepy, and wages war. That Margherita's is an allegorical war for modern, suburbanizing Italy's soul indeed for la dolce vita won't be lost on U.S. readers: Benni is sly and spiky in his satire (Margherita's faded-beauty mother smokes 'Virtuals') and gives Margherita a voice that is sophisticated and funny ('I embraced my teddy bear Pontius in an unobtrusively erotic manner'). Margherita carries one along through this winning romp with nary a false note." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The sickly 14-year-old heroine of this charming Italian novel prefers to call things not only by the names that are found in the dictionary but also by names found only in the fictitonary, names that I make up and choose. Thanks to Antony Shugaar, we have a renewed appreciation of the imaginations ability to free us from our increasingly mundane surroundings. New York Times Book Review
Stefano Benni's enormously popular and distinctive mix of the absurd and the satiri-cal has made him one of Italy's most important and best-loved novelists. This is his twelfth best-selling book of fiction.
Fourteen-year-old Margherita lives with her eccentric family on the outskirts of town, a semi-urban wilderness peopled by gypsies, illegal immigrants, and no end of bizarre characters: a reassuring and fertile playground for an imaginative little girl like Margherita. But one day, a gigantic, black cube shows up next door. Her new neighbors have arrived, and they're destined to ruin everything.
About the Author
Stefano Benni is widely considered Italy's foremost satirist and a dramaturge of considerable note. His many novels, collections of essays, poetry and short stories include: Bar Sport, The Company of Celestials, and The Cafe Beneath the Sea. He lives in Bologna.