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The Worst Intentions Paperback – Jul 1 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (July 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933372338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372334
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 12.7 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #656,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A fresh young weird voice -- artistic, comic and complex. I loved it. Sept. 19 2009
By Linda Linguvic - Published on
Format: Paperback
This 2005 first novel was a best seller in Italy. Now translated into English, it was the choice of my book discussion group at our local bookstore. I had never heard of it before and was delighted to experience this fresh new young and comic voice. It is quite outrageous in its way and, especially at the beginning, I laughed out loud at some of his character descriptions.

The book is set in modern Italy and tells the story of a Jewish-Italian family through the eyes of the narrator whose father is Jewish and whose mother is Catholic. Told in the first person, the narrator is a self-effacing academic who uses an excessive amount of complex words to create a family portrait. He's sadistically clever in probing the depths of human relationships, sparing nobody. There are times he is annoying and mean spirited but there are truths in what he says and he comes across as a very bright weirdo who uses his words well. He's always an outsider but I felt little sympathy for him mostly because he whines just a little too much.

I loved the characters, all of them. There's his Jewish grandfather who lived through WW2 and became a wealthy textile baron, only to lose his fortune because of bad decisions. There's his uncle, who defied the family and became an Israeli. There's his father, a globe trotting albino. A lot of the book deals with social class and the love of his life, a very rich young woman who treats him badly. His romantic life doesn't exist with the exception of his obsessive fetishism and we hear a lot about that too.

Basically, there is no defined plot. And even the ending can be thought of as open ended. The story is uneven and it doesn't flow evenly. However, despite all this, I loved the book, loved its weirdness and the artistic use of the words. I recommend it for the adventurous few who want to read something different and who might be curious as to the kind of book that has such tremendous popularity with young Italian audiences. This is not for everybody of course. But for those looking to expand their literary horizons, it is a real treat.
Worst in translation Oct. 2 2010
By Vining - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although the characters are of interest, the writing style left me numb. The run-on (and on and on) sentences and subordinate clauses were fatiguing. It was a struggle to continue and ultimately a struggle not rewarded. Have loved so many Europa publications I am surprised at this one.
amazing book July 5 2010
By selena - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book a lot, even though the plot isn't very transparent, it gets you involved in the minds of people so you can understand what drives them to act in the way they do. The story evolves around psychological issues of young people, who are spoiled with money yet very insecure and shows how these insecurities come out on the surface as snobbishness and cruelty towards others. The vantage point of the story itself is interesting, being an insider and outsider at the same time, the author describes multiple characters as well as his own personality and their issues. This book tells a story of struggling characters who fail to become what they struggle to be, possibly even without grabbing the meaning of the situation, but helps you see these people's motives very well. Definitely recommend reading it
outstanding first novel May 28 2008
By John Moran - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book authentically captures the atmosphere of a wealthy Jewish family in Rome after the war, struggling to come to terms with what it means to be Jewish. Piperno is an excellent writer who through telling details makes his story captivating and somehow universal.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
spastic June 3 2010
By Jessica Confessore - Published on
Format: Paperback
I could not get into this book at all. It's all over the place. I think this guy has ADD because it jumps subjects per paragraph. Maybe it's a bad translation, but it did not make sense to me at all. One good thing was that it did have an authentic Italian vibe. It reminded me of my childhood in the Italian section of Hartford, CT. One of those Italian men(my mother's boss) bit my cheek because I refused to kiss him. Ahh memories....