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Naturale disordine delle cose by Andrea…
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Naturale disordine delle cose

by Andrea Canobbio

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Claudio Fratta is a landscape and garden designer who likes to get his hands dirty. Prior to the beginning of The Natural Disorder of Things he witnesses a murder at night in a deserted grocery store parking lot. A man he is watching is run over by a white van. Seconds later, another car drives over the fallen man, finishing the job. Claudio follows the car, which in a short while careens out of control and off the road. Claudio rescues the injured woman from behind the wheel, takes her to hospital emergency, and leaves her there, never learning her name. Five months later he receives a call from a woman, who identifies herself as Elisabetta Renal, asking him to design a garden for her and her husband. Intrigued by her voice, which sounds like the woman he rescued, he agrees to meet and discuss the job. The story that develops from this point is (somewhat like a garden) surprising, compelling, and occasionally meandering. A lot of space is devoted to Claudio’s back story, his complex and tragic family history. But the back story is necessary as it is here that the key to everything is to be found. Andrea Canobbio’s fifth novel (and first to be made available in English) is something of a hybrid, sitting on the fence between contemporary literary fiction and noirish murder mystery. Throughout, the writing is lush and atmospheric (Abigail Asher’s fluid translation from the Italian is to be commended). Undeniably, there are times when events strain credibility, but it’s probably a matter of opinion whether or not this in any way diminishes Canobbio’s accomplishment. Some minor flaws aside, a strong argument can be made that The Natural Disorder of Things succeeds in telling its tale of revenge and star-crossed love in an exceedingly entertaining manner. ( )
  icolford | Jul 13, 2016 |
Very unique story of a gardener caught up in a series of crimes and murders. Difficult in that the narrator tells many white lies to the characters--as well as the reader. ( )
  Gary10 | Jan 14, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374219613, Hardcover)

The Natural Disorder of Things is at once a murder mystery, a tale of erotic obsession, and a meditation on order and disorder, on fullness and emptiness, and on fathers and the traces they leave on their children. Claudio Fratta is a garden designer; a naturally solitary man, he is nonetheless a tender, playful companion to his nephews and a considerate colleague. But he's also obsessed with wreaking vengeance on the loan shark who bankrupted his father; pursuing an enigmatic, alluring woman; and wracked with guilt at having watched his brother die from an overdose.
 
Set in an Italian landscape both unchanged and deeply marked by the twentieth century, The Natural Disorder of Things is peopled with an authentic snapshot of contemporary Italy: wealthy dilettantes, ex-convicts, right-wing secessionists, left-wing conspiracy theorists, and immigrant Moroccan, Chinese, and Sikh workers.
 
Andrea Canobbio’s masterful and fluid prose captures not only the character of Claudio—who cannot stop mulling over his past—but the central theme of the book: that his history is a burden, a legacy of guilt, silence, and misunderstanding. Professionally, Claudio imposes order on the landscape, but he cannot lay to rest the tragic past for himself and the people he loves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:30 -0400)

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Set in an Italian landscape both unchanged and deeply marked by the 20th century, this is a murder mystery, a tale of erotic obsession, and a meditation on order and disorder, on fullness and emptiness, and on fathers and the traces they leave on their children.… (more)

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