If this novel is typical, there is a big difference between U.S. and Italian crime novels. Do not expect anything like “Lincoln Lawyer”. The actual crime and trial are secondary to the musings of the main character, Attorney Guido Guerrieri, And it seems that attorneys in Italy prepare for trial ONLY by reading the information given to them by the prosecuting attorney and police without doing any interviewing of witnesses or investigating on their own before trial. It’s very odd. Actually, frustrating is a better word.
I thought that since this is the first book in a series the author had decided to use most of novel introducing the reader to Guido, and you do grow to like him. He often mentions American books, music and art. He is finding himself after a divorce. But now I have started the second book, and more is being revealed about Guido, I am thinking that these books are more about how this man thinks, his humor, his self awareness and how he conducts himself within the legal system, then solving any “crime” or winning any trial.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
That title doesn't make much sense, but, like a rich Italian entree, I'm trying to figure out all the ingredients that made this short novel so enjoyable to listen to. The writing is precise and introspective, the tone is self-deprecating, the atmosphere, urban with a splash of European beach culture. The narration (not an Italian accent) is seductive, chiseled and intimate.
The story is besides the point...this is a character study squisito with Milhone-style details (instead of pulling on jeans and a sweatshirt, our protagonist slips into soft Italian loafers). Avvocato Guido shares his meals with us along with his embarrassments, unromantic notions and Italian points of law. Veramente buono!
You have to start with the fact that the book was written in Italian and that it's somewhat dated. So that excuses some of its shortcomings. The protagonist is a lawyer representing a client accused of murdering a child. The interesting part is that the book gives insights into the Italian court system and Italian countryside. (I'm going to Italy, which is why I bought it.) But the resolution of the case relies on supposedly insightful techniques that are old hat to anyone who watches Law and Order, CSI, Major Crimes -- you get the idea. Plus, about half the book is not dedicated to the case at all, but to the emotional problems of the lawyer after his wife leaves him. He goes for coffee, he lights a cigarette, he lights another cigarette, he has more coffee. It gets tedious.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
There's an interesting but very tiny and inconsequential courtroom thing hidden inside of this interminable character study of a character that wasn't worth the study. And the level of detail… AAARGH! I really didn't care what the guy wore out of the house to a plot-useless meeting. If you like walking beaches for hours on grey days to find shells… Well, do that. This book will still bore. ZZZZZZ…..
Addicted to Audible!
I believe that very often books lose something in translation - to me this occurred with this book. It never really grabbed me - I didn't like the main character and couldn't relate to him. The narration was dull and boring with very little intonation sounded like Colin firth - if it was he should stick to theatre. I wouldn't waste my points on this book
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
I strongly disagree with some of the rave reviews of this book. This is more of a psychological analysis of an Italian lawyer than it is about a murder case.
I feel like this book would fare better with Italian readers who might appreciate a more existential way of writing. I am all for existentialism, but not when it applies to a crime novel. You literally go half way into this book before you even understand what is going on with the man convicted of the crime, so its hard to care about the crime part of it. The rest is the narrator's marriage and random things about his life. I just don't feel like its a good mix. A crime novel succeeds for me when it is more plot driven, with the characters secondary. I'm an American though. I just felt like he wanted to write like Camus and Raymond Chandler at the same time. Before attempting this author, search Mediterranean Noir on Wikipedia to get a grasp for what this book is like. Aside from my qualms with the book itself, narration was great.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Some might label this book "slow" but not me. I thoroughly enjoyed the telling of this tale. The "slowness" would come from the fact that the book provides an interesting personal history of the lawyer at the center of the storm and listeners discover that this particular lawyer can be both detached and emotionally involved in his cases; has remarkable psychological quirks just like the rest of us; and doesn't always enjoy or even like his work or colleagues. These inclusions in the story create a thread of interest that keeps the listener eager for more.
This is not an action-packed court room drama that you may be used to hearing. But I found it very interesting, especially since it is set in the Italian court system.
Although I find the protagonist in the few of these books I have read quite charming, this particular reading is thronged with beyond tedious courtroom questions, procedures, identifications, etc. I found that when my mind drifted out of boredom, it really made no difference to where I was in the story. The main character is complex, yet very well developed and the reader is given entree to his inner persona. Were the story more interesting, it would have been a great read.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I enjoyed this audio book immensely. It is a well-written view inside of the criminal legal system in Italy. The author, Gianrico Carofiglio, has set up this series as an exploration of impossible criminal legal cases managed by an lawyer that hates injustice. This series cannot be described as a thriller or police procedural. But still, it was fascinating and easy to follow. I especially loved that:
1) I got a real feel of an ordinary life in Italy. I didn't even notice that the trial didn't start until the latter part of the book.
2) The attorney, Guido Guerrieri, is written so brilliantly. He is deeply flawed, but I was often moved by his kindness and fight against injustice. His inner thoughts are spot on as well as very humorous. I look forward to getting to know Guerrieri better as I read more books in this series.
3) The narration by Sean Barrett is so good. He got me emotionally involved in the characters, especially the Senegalese client, Abbou. This series would lose some of its appeal with another narrator. Thankfully, Mr. Barrett continues the series as far as I can see.
If you enjoy legal stories (as in Grisham or Turow), give this book a try. I think you will be very pleased.