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The Wrench (Abacus Books) by Primo Levi

The Wrench (Abacus Books) (original 1978; edition 1994)

by Primo Levi

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585516,858 (4.03)5
Title:The Wrench (Abacus Books)
Authors:Primo Levi
Info:Little Brown Company (1994), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:civil engineering, fiction

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The Wrench by Primo Levi (1978)

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Sur un chantier isolé de basse Volga, deux hommes se rencontrent, se lient d'amitié et parlent. L'un est constructeur de charpentes métalliques, c'est Faussone, un bourlingueur un peu foutraque, l'autre est chimiste, c'est Primo Levi, qui se fait le narrateur de ce tête-à-tête inattendu. Tout y passe : le métier, la famille, les amis, les femmes. C'est drôle et désabusé tout à la fois, et, sur un mode moins tragique que celui qui caractérise Si c'est un homme, Maintenant ou jamais et Les Naufragés et les Rescapés. Une grande leçon de vie par l'un des témoins capitaux de l'horreur au XXe siècle.
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
I bought this after hearing potter Edmund de Waal talk about how The Wrench had inspired and validated his choice of a career where he makes things with his hands (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zdh3v). It's structured simply, as a series of stories told by a rigger to a chemist as share 'dead time' on their respective assignments in 1970s Russia. The stories are about work building cranes, derricks, bridges and similar structures in various corners of the world. The trials of working with inhospitable clients, climates and co-workers, plus the conflicts of taking pride in work without copping the blame when things go wrong. Without being able to put my finger on the attractions of these stories, I devoured them (I was supposed to be reading and reviewing another book at the time). That they made me think of my father's early career as a civil engineer may have had something to do with it. ( )
  djalchemi | Apr 8, 2011 |
Stories told to an unnamed narrator by a rigger while they are both stuck working in the Soviet Union. They didn't really grip me. The narrator's story of how he found out what was wrong with the anchovy can enamel (the last story in the book) was actually the most interesting. Machinery just doesn't interest me all that much, but then nor does chemistry yet the chemist's story had a puzzle I could empathise with and feel good when the solution came. Most of the rigger's stories I just felt 'so what?' at the end. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Feb 4, 2008 |
nog niet gelezen
  leesclubhaarenjb | Sep 20, 2007 |
These are stories of the life of work, whether as an itinerant rigger or as a synthetic chemist; they are tales of the consuming force of construction, told by and to a pair of men, and the stories are sometimes set against a hypothetical counter-force of (often destructive) women, as if women's conundrums of building related only to relationships, to the web of knitting they are often seen doing rather than to the towers and bridges constructed by men. ( )
  dmturner | Apr 22, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Primo Leviprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
De Matteis-Vogels, FridaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moreno Carrillo, BernardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title: La chiave a stella (The Wrench). Published in the US as The Monkey's Wrench.
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