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A Season with Verona: Travels around Italy in search of illusion, national character and goals


A Season with Verona: Travels around Italy in search of illusion, national character and goals

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    Available in PDF Format | A Season with Verona: Travels around Italy in search of illusion, national character and goals.pdf | English
    Tim Parks(Author)
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, and to get a fresh take on the conundrum that is national character. From Udine to Catania, from the San Siro to the Olimpico, travelling with the fans and the players, this is a highly personal account of one man's relationship with a country, its people and its national sport. The club are struggling, as always, to keep their heads above water in Serie A. The fans, as always, are accused of vulgarity, racism and violence. It's an election year and politics encroaches. The police are ambiguous, the journeys exhausting, the referees unforgivable, the anecdotes hilarious. Behind it all is the growing intuition that in a world stripped of idealism and bereft of religion, football offers a new and fiercely ironic way of forming community and engaging with the sacred.

For the last few months Anglo-Italian novelist Tim Parks has been writing of his devotion to Italian football club Hellas Verona in The Guardian. In A Season with Verona we get a chance to read the full and absorbing narrative that lay behind those short snippets.

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Book details

  • PDF | 447 pages
  • Tim Parks(Author)
  • Secker & Warburg; 1st edition (2002)
  • English
  • 4
  • Sports, Hobbies & Games
Read online or download a free book: A Season with Verona: Travels around Italy in search of illusion, national character and goals

Review Text

  • By Le Chat Noir on 11 March 2017

    I consider myself pretty well read in the world of football writing, and this for me is the pinnacle. A great story that anyone who lives their teams struggles (and I do as a Sunderland fan!) from week to week will identify with. You get a real feel for Hellas Verona's supporter culture both within and without the Curva, and more broadly, Italy and the place of calcio in the nations psyche. Must have read this four or five teams and always find it engaging. Highly recommended

  • By simon on 6 March 2017

    Great book, it explores more than just the football in Italy but the politics and people across this diverse and often disparate country - fascinating

  • By on 2 May 2002

    After reading Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' many years ago, I felt at the time that no one would ever produce a better novel of this type.Tim Parks has proved me wrong.Unlike Hornby, Parks does not have the luxury of relying on a lifetime of childhood memories or championship triumphs for material.Initially I asked myself, how can he write about Hellas Verona without having rheems of material on the club's scudetto (championship) winning season in 1985? Not an easy task, but one which Parks overcomes by going beyond the standard subjects addressed in the pulpable post Hornby contributions of the same genre.The irrationality of loyalty, local rivalries and the post modern condition associated with violence, constitute standard fare for this type of book, and accordingly Parks, unlike others who have followed the same path, does not disappoint. However, the book's real strength (Mr Hornby et al, please note) is the manner in which it identifies the intracies of Italian history and contemporary life in modern calcio. This is seen, for example, in the case of the Verona supporter who ignores the Italian national team, preferring to concentrate on the exploits of the Rumanian international midfielder (Mutu) who plays for the club. The manner in which Parks does this has as much to do with the strong residual feelings of pre-unification city-state parochialism and incomplete Italian national identity, than any perceived petty fanatacism. All this substance from just one paragraph in the book!Parks' least generous critics could argue that the book is aided by Hellas Verona's dramatic 2000-2001 season. This is not so, because these events without the analytical context provided by Parks would read like a long (and boring) chronological report. A chronology which this Reggina tiffoso, as evidenced by the book's last chapter, would not bother revisiting if there was not a broader and original tale to be told.

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