Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. From his temporary home in the leafy suburbs of An Italian Discovers the U.S. by [Severgnini, Beppe] . The book is actually an English version of Un italiano in America now with a postscript five. : An Italian in America (): Beppe Severgnini: Books. Un Italiano in America (Italian Edition) Paperback. out of 5 stars 4. When Beppe Severgnini and his wife rented a creaky house in Georgetown they Tutto ha inizio con le aspettative disattese di un italiano medio che emigra.
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An Italian Discovers the U. In the wry but affectionate tradition of Bill Bryson, Ciao, America! When Beppe Severgnini and his wife rented a creaky house in Georgetown they were determined to see if they could adapt to a full four seasons in a country obsess In the wry but affectionate tradition of Bill Bryson, Ciao, America!
When Beppe Severgnini and his wife rented a creaky house in Georgetown they were determined to see if they could adapt to a full four seasons in a country obsessed with ice cubes, air-conditioning, recliner chairs, and, of all things, after-dinner cappuccinos. Succumbing to his surroundings day by day, he and his wife find themselves developing a taste for Klondike bars and Samuel Adams beer, and even that most peculiar of American institutions — the pancake house.
The realtor who waves a perfect bye-bye, the overzealous mattress salesman who bounces from bed to bed, and the plumber named Marx who deals in illegally powerful showerheads are just a few of the better-than-fiction characters the Severgninis encounter while foraging for clues to the real America. A trip to the computer store proves just as revealing as D. By the end of his visit, Severgnini has come to grips with life in these United States — and written a charming, laugh-out-loud tribute.
From the Hardcover edition. Paperbackpages. Published May 13th by Broadway Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Ciao, America! Lists with This Book. The book is light and episodic. Italians will find it funny that Americans keep their buildings as cold as a refrigerator in the summer, and that Italians like to complain about it.
Severgnini is fascinated with shopping in large grocery stores, American familiarity in manners, e-mail, and of course, fast food.
And I smiled when I got to the part in which Severgnini took friends to a 4th of July celebration in Washington DC—complete with a well-planned meal, a wicker basket, and summer white linen outfits—and wondered by um were getting stared at. But a lot of what Severgnini recounts in this book is peculiar to the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC inwhere and when he was a foreign correspondent. It often reads more like blog posts for the crowd back home than like a true probing of the American spirit.
The chapters are vignettes, now dated. Towards the end, he does try for a few pages seveggnini seriously assess what Americans are like, he comes up with five English words: But more telling, to me, was a quote near the beginning of the book: Allenati a trattare con quella italiana, ci sentiamo come un torero che deve affrontare una mucca.
Una faccenda deliziosamente rilassante. What makes us happy is combatting American bureaucracy.
Because, being used to the Italian kind, we feel like a bullfighter facing a milk cow. I hear you, Beppe. But for now, if wanting to fathom the basics of life in Italy makes me an American control freak, so be it.
Apr 22, Jennifer Moore rated it it was ok Shelves: After living in Naples for three years, the first couple of chapters of this book made me laugh out loud, read parts aloud to my husband, and then laugh again with him.
As Joe put it “It’s like the inverse of every conversation we had moving there. He comments that watching Americans stay in their lanes and drive the speed limit on the highway is “surr After living in Naples for three years, the first couple of chapters of this book made me laugh out loud, read parts aloud to my husband, and then laugh again with him.
He comments that watching Americans stay in their lanes and drive the speed limit on the highway is “surreal” – extra funny if you have risked your life on the autostrada.
Ciao, America!: An Italian Discovers the U.S.
Unfortunately, after the initial move-in essays, he really lost me. The book drags, it’s incredibly dated which isn’t exactly his fault. Writing a book in the nineties about technology-obsessed Americans is going to get dated quick. I didn’t finish it.
Jul 22, Anne rated it really liked it. I recommend this book for anyone who wants some insight into how someone from seveergnini culture views some aspects of our everyday life.
Buy for others
It is a very funny book. However, it is a bit dated, since it was written in Mar 05, Liz rated it it was ok Shelves: The concept of this book — an Italian and his wife move to America for italliano year to study the culture — is the reverse of the ever-popular situation in which the American goes to Italy and does the same thing, which is why it interested me. Italiiano was reminded of I’m A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson, which is an awesome book and provided lots of laughs and witty observations about American culture from an outsider.
Unfortunately, I think Bill Bryson did a far better job of it. This book started o The concept of this book — an Italian and his wife move to America for a year to study the culture — is the reverse of the ever-popular situation in which the American goes to Italy and does the same thing, which is why it interested me.
Un italiano in America : Beppe Severgnini :
This book started off having its funny moments, but after awhile the humor does become a bit one-note, and the second half felt like a slog. Though a lot of the author’s observations were spot-on, some of them left me going “Huh? I’ve never met anyone who does that! Maybe it’s because this book was written in the mids and is solely centered in Washington D.
He doesn’t really seemed to have explored anything outside the bubble of the upper-middle class city dwellers he was ensconced in while he was here, and there is so much more to our culture than that. In that sense, I don’t believe he really “discovered the U. For that reason, I would probably not recommend this book to anyone. For readers interested in a much better take on the subject, I would suggest the aforementioned Bill Bryson book, which on all counts blows this one away!
Un libro molto carino e divertente, adatto a tutti coloro che vorrebbero andare negli Stati Uniti e che sognano davanti ai loro telefilm. Sep 17, Callie S.
Apr 08, Amy rated it liked it Recommends it for: So fascinating to see America through the eyes of amreica foreigner living here. Having lived overseas, I thought I had a broader perspective on life in the States, but I’m still an American, so I apparently can’t totally remove myself from the picture. I think the author basically likes American culture, but sometimes it was a little hard to tell.
Excellent read, if you can handle having our great country’s lesser points highlighted at times. May 26, Becca Darling added it. After graduation my love affair with Italy continues. This is not the Italian version, as I don’t think I could make heads or tails But I’m loving it so far! Aug 10, Mickey rated it it was amazing. My process for selecting books to read has always been haphazard and arbitrary.
It generally involves wandering around the iin or if fortunes are flush, the used book store and waiting for books that present themselves to me. I figure that this is the way the literary gods speak, so I try my best to listen.
Ciao, America!: An Italian Discovers the U.S. by Beppe Severgnini
But through this loose method, I have read two books that have similar tales but opposing narratives. The first, As the Romans Do: This book Ciao, America!: This happy coincidence allows for some good compare and contrast.
Both agree about the state of jogging Americans being enthusiasts and Italians being puzzledthe differing nature and celebrations of Christmas, the habit of Americans being job and job title obsessed, the world-wide obsession with professional soccer with America being an exception. The one area in which they contradict each other is in the area of children. Both accuse the other culture of being too permissive and fawning over children, allowing them to run amok publicly.
This memoir is about an Italian family who lives in Georgetown for a year from spring to spring Looking over the reviews, there is the common complaint that living in Georgetown at any time would not give a foreigner an accurate picture of America. As big as the United States is, a family could spend a year traveling and still not visit every area of interest, and we would get a memoir of mostly gas stations, restaurants, and motels.
All of which, as the author says, are standardized in America to a degree that would be unthinkable in Europe. The traveling family would only meet tourists and then, only briefly.
I do not know if Severgnini has written about his other, previous trips to America, in which he stated that he made several lengthy tours around the country with various other family members, but I find nothing missing from this memoir.
The other book is also tagged with this. These are not travel books. Their intent is not to help you navigate through the streets or find a restaurant. Honestly, since they are from another time period, I find them more interesting, not less. But I cannot visit Washington D.
I have to read to experience that. Severgnini talks a lot about the culture of that time. For instance, the first conservative House of Representatives in recent history, the Grunge look, talk radio, newspapers.