Review of The pace of breath by Herta Muller
Biography , Book reviews / May 24, 2016

A European book with a global perspective. There is only this way to define the book titled “ The pace of breath”, written by the Romanian author and Nobel Prize for Literature Herta Muller. I read the Italian version of the work, titled “ L’altalena del respiro”, translated from German by Margherita Carbonaro. This is an historical and biographical book at the same time, a poignant account about one the darkest times of human history. We are in January 1945, the war has not finished yet and Russians order the deportation of the German – Romanian minority to the labor camps in Ukraine. And here, it has also begun the story of seventeen year old Leopold Auberg, gone to the lager as naïve and unaware as a guy who looks forward to escaping the anguishing and annoying town life. In these labor camps, his awful experience lasted for five years. Five long years to struggle against starvation, cold, extreme fatigue and the daily death. To write this book, the author has collected the survivors’s memoirs and first of all, the one of German- Romanian poet Oskar Pastior. It had to be a work written along with him, that the author…

Review of Have beautiful dreams by Massimo Gramellini
Biography , Book reviews / May 4, 2016

This is a poignant and heartfelt memoir, in my view one of the best biographical books I ever read in my life. I am writing my opinion about an Italian book, written in Italian by an Italian author: Massimo Gramellini. Today, Massimo is a very famous journalist in Italy, but his past is very sad and dramatic, nearly tragic. Just for an awful tragedy happened during his childhood, the author decided to tell his story through a memoir, which has also become a masterpiece of the Italian literature. I read the book in one breath, during a couple of weeks and I found it extraordinary, lyric, poetic, despite all the pain the work conveys during reading. I can only tell you: imagine yourself at nine years old, one day of a normal morning where you, still a child, hear your father cry and scream and being carried away by two policemen and maybe a doctor. The book starts just with this heartbreaking scene and opens a deep and painful glimpse inside the life of a nine year old child called Massimo. Massimo’s father cried and nearly went crazy because his wife and the mother of his loved child died. But…

Review of Dead for Duty, the true story of Roberto Mancini
Biography , Book reviews / February 17, 2016

This book is a memorable biography about an Italian hero, a man, who donated his life to save his people, especially children, from the environmental pollution. This is the true story about policeman Roberto Mancini, who, between Naples and Caserta ( Southern Italy), in 1995, started an inquiry against traffic in toxic wastes headed by the Camorra. This criminal organization gained big earnings from this traffic. To prevent from being discovered, the toxic wastes were buried under the ground. Unfortunately, the ground was the one of farm lands of this Italian region, namely Campania. When all the lands were occupied with trash and toxic compounds coming from the wastes of North Italy and Europe, many toxic bins were burnt along the countryside streets. These fires developed nasty smells and the continuing inhalation of the toxic smoke caused many cancer cases in this territory. For this phenomena, this area was also called “The Land of Fires”. Said like this, it seems to discuss about another planet, but instead I am talking about a marvellous land turned into a hell by ruthless men. During the investigation to spot and arrest the guilty of this environmental crime, even Roberto Mancini and some members…

Review of Barefoot on the Earth by Folco Terzani
Biography , Book reviews / September 15, 2015

This time, I wanted to start this new review, by translating into English, the title of an Italian book. This book is, indeed, titled” A piedi nudi sulla terra”. That is a poignant memoir about the life of an Indian Sadhu, a sort of spiritual master who lives his life out of the ordinary existence. Folco Terzani told us about the biography of an Italian, namely Baba Cesare, an apparently normal man who during the 1970s decided to change his life forever. At the beginning of this story, Baba Cesare was a student in Turin, later, for a mistake, he was arrested, due this fact, Cesare was forced to go from a prison to another, until he was dazzled by the idea to go to India, going through Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey. The journey of Baba Cesare has been a deep and intense spiritual travel toward a path that none has never undertaken. In Italy, Cesare had a wife and children, but this normal life made him unhappy. In this book, writer Folco Terzani explains the deep dissatisfaction of Cesare during his life in Italy. Cesare felt he was not suitable to have a normal family or a normal…

Review of If this Is a Man by Primo Levi
Biography , Book reviews / August 31, 2015

With this book, I decided to open a new page on Advicesbooks: reviews about books written by unforgettable Italian authors. I decided to open this new stage of my website with a book I advise you read absolutely: If This Is a Man by Primo Levi. That is a biographical book written by an Italian deported by the Nazis in 1944. Primo Levi is one of the people survived to deportation. I have already reviewed other books like this, but never written by Italian authors. Primo Levi was born in Turin in 1919. He was a chemist and was only twenty four years old when he was arrested. The book is a touching and painful historical account of  the Nazi deportation endured by the same Levi. The book, is, hence, a memoir about one the most awful moments of the global history. In the introduction of the book, Levi specified that his is not an historical book and that his work does not add nothing in respect to other similar books. I think, instead, Primo Levi’s book is also among the most important essays about Nazism. I also believe this book must be read by everybody for its deep meaning,…

Review of Decision at Nagasaki: The mission that almost failed by Frederick J Olivi
Biography , Book reviews / June 23, 2015

When I decided to review this book, I did to remember one the most horrible events in the History of the world: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. A cruel history, really, a story that everyone wants to forget forever and that none should never forget. For this reason, I chose to review  Decision at Nagasaki: The mission that almost failed,  the biography written by Frederick J Olivi, simply known as Fred Olivi. The pilot was a member of the crew of the Bock’s Car, the US army air force B29 that on August, 9, 1945,  dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, just three days later the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Fred Olivi was born in Chigago in 1921. He was the son of Catholic Italian immigrants. Since his youth, he dreamed to work as a pilot and for this purpose he  enlisted in the US air force. Maybe Fred was not aware about what was about to happen during these horrible moments, maybe… In his biographical book, written only in 1995, when he was free to reveal the military secrets about the bombing in Japan, Olivi created an upsetting account of the…

Review of Cose di Cosa Nostra by Giovanni Falcone and Marcelle Padovani
Biography , Book reviews / May 20, 2015

Cose di Cosa Nostra is a book that contains the interviews conducted by the French journalist Marcelle Padovani with Italian prosecutor Giovanni Falcone. This book is a detailed and a touching historical account about the history of the most awful Sicilian criminal organization: the mafia. I have decided to review this book on occasion of the 23rd anniversary of Giovanni Falcone’s death occurred on May 23, 1992. The prosecutor was killed during an attack ordered by the mafia boss Salvatore Riina.   Albeit many years have passed since that horrible event, the death of Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo and the bodyguards Vito Schifani, Antonio Montinaro and Rocco Dicillo is still being remembered by all of Italians. In the book, Giovanni Falcone explains what is the Mafia and how it works. The book is an earnest and sharp explanation about how the Mafia took the control of many economic Italian sectors, beginning from politic to public procurement, up to arrive in the core business of big companies and Italian and oversea trades. The biggest Mafia business has always been the drug trade, but also money laundering managed thanks to secret agreements with banks and financial power. “Cose di Cosa…

Review of L’apocalisse e’ un lieto fine by Ermanno Olmi
Biography , Book reviews , Italian books / March 20, 2015

This is a book written from the heart. This is the history of a country that is going through a deep moral and economic decline. This country is Italy and the book is “L’apocalisse è un lieto fine”. At the moment there is no version in English of this book, but we have decided to review it because, as said, this is a book not only written from words, but also from the heart. Ermanno Olmi is a famous Italian director and this book was written when he celebrated his birthday, in July 2012. That month and that year, Ermanno Olmi was a brilliant and wise 81 year old man who decided to write his first book, a biography, the history of his life. Ermanno Olmi was born in Bergamo in 1931. He comes from a family of peasants. The history of Ermanno Olmi is that of an entire life spent within the vicissitudes of Italy, the second world war, poverty, economic crisis and escape from countries to the cities. Olmi also tells the economic rise of the Italian postwar, the economic boom and the arrival of wellness and consumerism. The history of Olmi is also that of a hard…

Review of Falling Out of Time by David Grossman
Biography , Book reviews / February 3, 2015

This is one the most touching books written by the famous Israeli writer David Grossman. We are speaking about “Falling Out of Time”, (buy here) a book that is also an intimate work born just to explore the inner world of a man struggling with loss. In this book, loss is the one of a son, the same son of the author. David Grossman, indeed, lost his son during the second Lebanon war. The grief for the death of a son is always endless and perhaps just writing can prevent that a father gets crazy for this. Falling out of Time is right the narration about this death. The book opens with a scene of a father that a day stands up and say to his wife he must go there! The woman doesn’t understand where his husband is going. “There“, for the author, is a not place, a hideout for his severely injured soul. The wife, who is also the mother of the dead son, is struggling with the deepest and unspeakable mourning of life, too, but she doesn’t want to go there because she doesn’t know “There”. What the author calls “there” is a journey across unknown streets,…