Parks begins as any traveler might: "A train is a train is a train, isn’t it?" But soon he turns his novelist’s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians—conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants—Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.
Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians’ sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, "To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?"
How can a leader be strong and decisive, yet still inspire loyalty in his followers? How do you keep your enemies in check? Is it better to be feared than loved? When is it necessary to break the rules? This shrewd handbook on how power really works answers all these questions by examining regimes and their rulers around the world and throughout history, from Roman emperors to renaissance Popes, from the savagely cruel Hannibal to the utterly devious Cesare di Borgia.
Tim Parks's gripping contemporary translation delivers Machiavelli's no-nonsense original straight, making it as alarming and enlightening as when it was first written.
Why should you stop what you're doing and read a book?
People have always needed stories. We need literature - novels, poetry - because we need to make sense of our lives, test our depths, understand our joys and discover what humans are capable of. Great books can provide companionship when we are lonely or peacefulness in the midst of an overcrowded daily life. Reading provides a unique kind of pleasure and no-one should live without it.
In the ten essays in this book some of our finest authors and passionate advocates from the worlds of science, publishing, technology and social enterprise tell us about the experience of reading, why access to books should never be taken forgranted, how reading transforms our brains, and how literature can save lives. In any 24 hours there are so many demands on your time and attention - make books one of them.
Carmen Callil Tim Parks
Nicholas Carr Michael Rosen
Jane Davis Zadie Smith
Mark Haddon Jeanette Winterson
Blake Morrison Dr Maryanne Wolf & Dr Mirit Barzillai
Thomas and Mary have been married for thirty years. They have two children, a dog, a house in the suburbs. But after years of drifting apart, things – finally – come to a head.
In this love story in reverse, Tim Parks recounts what happens when youthful devotion has long given way to dog walking, separate bed times, and tensions over who left the fridge door open.
Lurching from comedy to tragedy, via dependence, cold re-examination, tenderness and betrayal, Thomas and Mary is a fiercely intimate chronicle of a marriage – capturing the offshoots of pain sent through an entire family, when the couple at its heart decide it’s all over.
This new and thoroughly revised edition introduces a system of 'back translation' that now makes Tim Parks' highly-praised book reader friendly even for those with little or no Italian. An entirely new final chapter considers the profound effects that globalization and the search for an immediate international readership is having on both literary translation and literature itself.
Morris Duckworth has a dark past. Having married and murdered his way into a wealthy Italian family, he has become a respected member of Veronese business life. But it’s not enough.
Never satisfied with being anything short of the best, Duckworth plans to put on the most exciting art exhibition of the decade, based on a subject close to his heart: killing. All the great slaughters of scripture and classical times will be on show, from Cain and Abel to Brutus and Caesar. But as Duckworth meets resistance from the director of Verona’s Castelvecchio museum, everything starts to unravel. His children are rebelling, his mistress is asking for more than he wants to give, his wife is increasingly attached to her aging confessor, and, worst of all, it’s getting harder to ignore the ghosts that swirl around. The shame of it is that Duckworth really did not want to have to kill again.
Tim Parks’ acclaimed Duckworth trilogy has been thirty years in the making. In Painting Death, he brings it and his serial-killer alter ego to a very fitting—and very funny—end.
“Duckworth is a worthy heir to a tradition of seductive, cultured literary monsters that include Humbert Humbert and Hannibal Lecter.” —The Sunday Times
“Neatly written, full of calamitous moments in which the comedy is suddenly elbowed aside by genuine emotion.” —Spectator
“Colorful, often amusing . . . Parks uses the museum intrigue to draw, as he has done in his more serious efforts, a vivid, impressionistic portrait of contemporary Italy.” —The New York Times
Winner of the Somerset Maugham and Betty Trask Awards.