Tuesday, May 03, 2016

"A Fine Line", a new English translation of a Gianrico Carofiglio novel

What a pleasure it was to find this book on Amazon.  It has been five years since there has been a new Carofiglio novel published here and it has led to a concern that his legal practice had overtaken his writing career.  Additionally, there have been a streak of non-fiction books read here, many excellent but the current one being read is a bit tedious.  To follow the story line of the one being read now, what could be a compelling read and may yet turn out to be one, knowing that a great aunt was in a hospital for the mentally ill or that a distant cousin committed suicide is not necessary.  The author seems to need to regurgitate absolutely everything he learned about the main character, Allen Dulles.

Relief was found by taking a break to read "A Fine Line".  Carofiglio is among a group of Italian crime writers that focus on solving the crime and not on the brutality of a crime, which is very different from American or British fiction of this genre.  Carofiglio's main character is an attorney who may as well be a private detective.  Of the three previous books by this author, this is by far the best.  The legal aspects of this case rule, and as usual the development of this main character Guido Guerrieri  takes equal billing.  As pure intelligent pleasure reading this book could not be more highly recommended, and it just might add to some personal insight as well.  Of course, each to his own as there are no guarantees.

To finish this comment, here are quotes from four pages in the book.  Out of context these quotes may seem trite and will possibly be meaningless.  They are not necessarily so when reading, but here's an attempt to give a better picture of what this book is trying to do, other than just solve a crime.

Page 115 --- "I remembered a sentence I had read a few weeks earlier:  It's never too late to be who you might have been."

Page 231 --- "Each of us, over the years, creates a character for ourselves.  One we identify with, which corresponds to a positive idea of ourselves, which encapsulates the qualities we like to think we have."

Page 243 --- "The important events of my life have happened by chance.  If there was a design, I never noticed it."

Page 275 --- "The true measurement of time is the unexpected events, the kind that change everything and make you realize how many other things happened before that you weren't aware of and should have been, and how many things you took for granted that will never happen again."

I don't know if this close of a book comment works, but it is now typed and is not being changed.


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