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3.7 out of 5 stars
Ciao, America!: An Italian Discovers the U.S.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
on July 31, 2002
The author, an excellent journalist, didn't knock himself out writing this book--back in 1994. The stuff is old and the apparoach very offhand. He goes to Washington, D.C. for a year with his family and presumes to describe America. But he never goes past the Beltway, and we all know not to trust the opinions of people who do that. The things he's amazed at--email, supermarkets, casusal clothing--are all now part and parcel not only of life in America, but of life in Italy, too. He tells of Newt Gingrich being the new hot power in D.C., Clinton jogging, smoking sections in airplanes, the exciting dotcom , cellphones not being very popular in the US--you can see how ten years ago this is. Plus, this is a book written for an Italian audience that was then translated into English for a British audience--just sort of sloughed off on us Americans. So the translation--besides being stiff and ponderous--is full of Britishisms. There are a few good observations, but all in all it's a snooze. And it's hard to believe ANYONE could think Spam (the meat spread) was actually one of America's most beloved foods and that poems about Spam (a la the Spam Haiku website) are serious! A major disappointment.
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on April 27, 2004
As usual some italians never miss a chance to complain and bash about things they either don't have or don't understand. Clearly the author has been living in the stone age far too long. What does he mean with "How many people have actually ever bought an airline ticket over the internet?". Probably every single person I know! Or "How many people have actually ever sent data over the internet?". Practically the entire US population! His observations are not only shallow and over analyzed, most of them are just not accurate. Further, he fails to capture the true underlying issues embedded in the American way of life. The social and cultural issues that are ripping this country apart. A very poor analysis of non-issues that are, for the most part, just a result of his ignorance. His arrogance. Money NOT well spent I must say. P.S. I am an Italian living in the US.
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on September 8, 2002
and oh, so 90's. The author's trenchant observations are on the level of: <Americans are fat. Black people say "ax" instead of "ask." And who is going to use this wacky new invention "the internet" anyway?> I give the book one star for the discussion of air conditioning; my European friend got a massive head cold this August from the alternating blazing DC sun and the freezing DC interiors. A book for supercilious expats, leave the rest of us alone.
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on November 13, 2003
I thought this was going to be a fun look at American life, and some of it was, but the vast generalizations of Americas were supposed to be humorous but I found them inaccurate and insulting.
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