Synopses & Reviews
After years of working on a string of sitcoms, Phil Doran found himself on the outside looking in. Just as he and his peers had replaced the older guys when he was coming up the ranks, it was now happening to him. And it was freaking him out. He came home every night angry, burned- out, and exhausted. After twenty-five years of losing her husband to Hollywood, Doran’s wife decided it was finally time for a change—so on one of her many solo trips to Italy she surprised her husband by purchasing a broken-down 300-year-old farmhouse for them to restore. The Reluctant Tuscan
is about the author’s transition from being a successful but overworked writer-producer in Hollywood to rediscovering himself and his wife while in Italy, and finding happiness in the last place he expected.
In the witty tone that made him a success as a writer in Hollywood, The Reluctant Tuscan captivates those who simply love a good travel narrative as well as anyone who loves the quirky humor of Bill Bryson, Dave Barry, and Jerry Seinfeld.
"Readers of Doran's amusing memoir about relocating from Los Angeles to the tiny Tuscan town of Cambione must first suspend their disbelief that a person in his right mind would actively resist such an opportunity. But resist Doran does and when his sculptor wife buys a ramshackle, 300-year-old house there on a whim, she must drag him kicking and screaming out of his high-stress, low-reward life as a Hollywood writer and producer (among his hits: Who's the Boss? and The Wonder Years). What follows is rather predictable: the house turns out to be in even worse shape than anyone imagined, and the construction crew has no 'discernable pattern' when it comes to showing up for work. Lines like 'Things happen in Italy that don't happen anywhere else on earth. A magical friendliness is spread all over the place like pixie dust' don't do much to distinguish Doran's story from other books of its ilk, but the author's grudging optimism and dead-on ear for dialogue certainly do. Doran's brutally funny accounts of tangles with everyone (including the mayor, the police, an inefficient landlord and Doran's long-suffering wife) are enough to keep readers hooked until the last page. It may not be a surprise that he lives happily ever after, but how he gets there is certainly worth the ride. Agent, Betsy Amster. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Praise for The Reluctant Tuscan:
“Doran’s brutally funny accounts . . . are enough to keep readers hooked until the last page.”
“ . . . disarmingly funny.”
—The Arizona Republic
“A truly funny book that reveals Italy as never before.”
—The Grand Rapids Press
About the Author
A TV producer for more than twenty-five years, Phil Doran worked as a writer-producer for such successful shows as Sanford and Son, Too Close for Comfort, Who’s the Boss?, and The Wonder Years, as well as writing episodes of The Bob Newhart Show and writing for such variety-show stars as Tim Conway, the Smothers Brothers, and Tony Orlando. He received an Emmy nomination, a Humanitas Award, and the Population Institute Award for his work on All in the Family. He has also written a screenplay for Tri-Star, two stage plays that were produced in Los Angeles, and travel articles for the Los Angeles Times. He and his wife divide their time between Tuscany and their home in California.