- Hardcover: 447 pages
- Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1 edition (10 June 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1559706287
- ISBN-13: 978-1559706285
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
A Season With Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Characters Hardcover – Import, 10 Jun 2002
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Parks, a gifted essayist who has examined his status as a British expatriate in Italy and the nature of Italian childhood in previous works, here turns his attention to the Italian national pastime, soccer. Parks spent a year traveling with the Hellas Verona football club, which has recently enjoyed a promotion into the elite Series A division, and the resulting essays manage to touch on every facet of Italian life. Parks takes the reader into an unforgettable world, replete with capricious referees, bloodthirsty fans, devoted Web masters of fan sites, and the players themselves, who are alternately heroic and human. As the season progresses, the club's exhausting schedule yields agonizing results when players are pushed to their physical limits in their quest to prove themselves. Parks' keen attention to detail brings the game to life, alive even to the most casual observer, all the while offering perceptive commentary on Italian culture, politics, and social dynamics. With great wit and insight, Parks has written a highly enjoyable book that will appeal particularly to readers of Joe McGinnis' similar The Miracle of Castel di Sangro (1999). Brendan Dowling
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Englishman, Tim Parks, spent a season following his beloved Verona team all over Italy to watch them play in the Serie A football league. His chronicles of his travels and the games make Italians and Italian soccer fans in particular sound like lunatics.
Parks and the Hellas Verona die-hard soccer fans are the principal characters of the book and they were a hard bunch for me to like or relate to. They spend a large portion of their fandom drunk or high. They waste much of their emotion on trying to antagonize opposing fans or their own players. They seem to love playing the part of the "victim" after they have been detained by the police or their team has been beaten on the pitch.
Parks spends a good portion of time making observations on how soccer fits into Italian society, makes interesting observations, and tells humorous stories. I think most soccer fans would enjoy this book and travelers who have spent some time in Italy might enjoy it as well. I can't heartily recommend "A Season With Verona," though.
After I read Chuck Culpepper's "Bloody Confused" I was ready to hop on the trains and follow English Premier League teams all over Britain. After reading Tim Parks' "A Season With Verona" I'm not sure I ever want to set foot in Italy.