A Season with Verona

A Season with Verona

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Is Italy a united country, or a loose affiliation of warring states? Is Italian football a sport, or an ill-disguised protraction of ancient enmities? Tim Parks goes on the road to follow the fortunes of Hellas Verona football club, to pay a different kind of visit to some of the world's most beautiful cities. This is a highly personal account of one man's relationship with a country, its people and its national sport. A book that combines the pleasures of travel writing with a profound analysis of one country's mad, mad way of keeping itself entertained.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 32mm | 381.02g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 30
  • 0099422670
  • 9780099422679
  • 58,591

Review Text

For some people football is just a game, for Tim Parks it is much more important than that. As an immigrant to Verona, his sense of belonging is inextricably linked to his vehement support for his local team. Even after living in Italy for 20 years, and after writing the bestsellers Italian Neighbours and An Italian Education, Parks strongly identifies his struggle to fit into the local community with the struggles of his adopted football club, Hellas Verona, a team who have to fight a constant battle to maintain their position in Serie A. For many years Parks has been a regular at the Bentegodi stadium, but for the 2000-2001 season he decided that for the first time he would go to every away match too. And that he would write a book about his experiences. The result is not just a travel book, but one that examines the way Italians in general, and Veronese in particular, relate to football, and is jam-packed with hilarious anecdotes and bizarre incidents witnessed by Parks during his year of football fanaticism. Verona might be a much smaller, and less wealthy, club than Juventus, Inter Milan, or Lazio, but their supporters are just as passionate about their team and none more so than Parks. As he journeys around the country Parks encounters the 'brigate' - infamous hardcore fans, uncooperative policemen and hostile opposition terraces. His match descriptions veer from joyous triumph to the depths of despair as Verona fight, amongst persistent rumours of match fixing, to avoid relegation to the despised Serie B. Even non-football fans cannot help but be attracted by the infectious enthusiasm with which he writes about those myopic referees, incompetent players, staunch comrades and incredible goals common to football matches the world over. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Tim Parks

Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, Cleaver and Teach Us to Sit Still. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys awards, and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lectures on literary translation in Milan, writes for publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and his many translations from the Italian include works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Tabucchi and Machiavelli.show more

Review quote

"Addictive reading...each chapter is a short story, the whole book an epic" Observer "Parks knows his football, and he knows Italy still better. His adopted country, in all its enduring and exasperating strengths and weaknesses, comes vividly to life" Sunday Times "A fascinating emotional journey... His descriptions of Italian football are descriptions of Italy itself, its regional differences, its squabbles, its distinctive temper" Daily Telegraph "An enthralling, insightful account of the real Italy" Independentshow more