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Scarpe italiane by Mankell Henning
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Scarpe italiane (2006)

by Mankell Henning, Puleo Giorgio (Translator)

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1,015508,391 (3.72)15
Member:saintwo2005
Title:Scarpe italiane
Authors:Mankell Henning
Other authors:Puleo Giorgio (Translator)
Info:Superpocket
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:2000, narrativa

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Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell (2006)

Recently added byplekter, private library, PeterSvensson, MicheleMG, OceanMer, iaga84, Flavie, stef7sa, APopova, dbookbinder

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» See also 15 mentions

English (30)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All (49)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
A very strange story this one with images that will remain with me for a long time. This tale of a man, a former doctor, really gets to you, as does the environment in which he lives: an island high up in Scandinavia at a sea which freezes over most of the year. His isolated lonely life is upset when his former girlfriend shows up, in a bizarre way, which leads the protagonist to come into action again, very slowly after 12 years of standstill. He meets other people from important stages in his life, strange characters as well, difficult and annoying, but also true and authentic. Great style of writing, with strong images and humorous. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Muy buen retrato de la vejez y lo que trae consigo el paso del tiempo: la soledad, secretos descubiertos que te cambian la vida, responsabilidades eludidas que vuelven a reclamar su reconocimiento, pérdidas, nuevas amistades... Muy sentido y altamente poético en algunas ocasiones, pero sin sensiblerias. ( )
  naturaworld | Aug 12, 2016 |
I know Henning Mankell is world famous for his Kurt Wallander detective series, but ITALIAN SHOES is the first and only Mankell book I've read. And I liked it, up to a point. Dr Fredrik Welin, the sixty-six year-old narrator protagonist, is a fascinating character, and that is what really makes the book worthwhile. The story itself - his blighted childhood as the son of a professional waiter and a teary, ineffectual mother, his rise out out of poverty to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon, and his sudden fall from grace after a drastic mistake in the operating room - kind of meanders here and there. But the descriptions of his hideaway cabin on an otherwise uninhabited island in the Swedish archipelago is really quite fascinating, as are the other characters he brings in - his former lover (from forty years ago), an unexpected family, and a few other odd and unusual types all kept me turning the pages, wondering what the hell would happen to the poor guy next. Mankell employs some interesting plot devices, like a near drowning in an iced-over forest pool, which may represent a kind of baptism into a new life for Welin, as he reengages with the greater world after a twelve-year, self-imposed exile on his island. But then there's this giant anthill which has taken over a room in his house, which he chooses to ignore, by simply closing the door on it. I'm still not quite sure what the hell that was all about, or what it was supposed to mean. And there's the title, connected with a hermit Italian shoemaker who makes special shoes for the rich and famous. I think it means that a pair of well-made comfortable shoes can change your outlook, perhaps even your very life. Welin finally gets a pair of those shoes and wears them around inside his house, enjoying how they feel. But then that's it. So ... ??? Are they magic shoes? Is it something to do with The Shoemaker and the Elves? I dunno. I'm not making fun, honest! I'd just like to feel that I understood this book a little better than I did. And I had other questions too that kept nagging at me. Welin's house is the only one on his island, and yet he has heat, but never mentions what kind, never seems to cut wood. He has electricity, with radio and TV. But he's on an otherwise deserted ISLAND! Ah, well ...

Mankell seems quite preoccupied with life and death and the thin veil that separate them. Yes, this is serious fiction, but sometimes there were passages and pages that just left me wondering: What does he MEAN by this? Mankell is an accomplished writer whose work has been translated into several languages. I'm not surprised. He's good, damn good. But maybe there's something just a bit inscrutable about this far north Swedish sensibility, because, well because I'm pretty sure I was missing something here and there. Maybe something was "lost in translation." That said, I'd still recommend this book, just because it does give you plenty to think about. And maybe one day I'll even try one of his Kurt Wallander mysteries. Because, like I already said, this guy is good.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Apr 27, 2016 |
I enjoyed this elegantly written work more than Hossenini’s first two best-sellers because for me it has more universal appeal. The book follows an Afghan family through love, lose, war life in general.SRH ( )
  StaffReads | May 27, 2014 |
A literary piece on reflecting on a long life and how a person’s well planned complacency near the end of life can easily be turned on its head by simple visit. Well placed twists and turns. ( )
  St.CroixSue | May 27, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mankell, Henningprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Luijten, ClementineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichel, VerenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, LaurieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
När skon passar tänker man inte på foten. - Zhuang Zhou
Dedication
First words
Jag känner mig alltid ensammare när det är kallt.
I always feel more lonely when it's cold.
Quotations
When the shoe fits, you dont' think about the foot_ Chuang Chou
There are two sorts of truth: trivialities, where the opposite is obviously impossible, and deep truths, which are characterised by their opposite also being a deep truth_ Niels Bohr
Love is a gentle hand which slowly pushes fate to one side_Sigrid Siwertz
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English translation = Italian Shoes
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Fredrik Welin is a reclusive ex-surgeon living alone on a tiny island in the north of Sweden. His only companions are a pair of aged pets, and the only society callers to his living room are ants that are transforming his table into an enormous anthill. Every morning, the loner goes out to the frozen lake, cuts a hole in the ice, and then plunges himself into the freezing water to remind himself that he is still alive. Four women enter his life: Harriet, his ex, whom he abandoned years ago; Louise, his unknown daughter; Agnes Klarstrom, the patient who ended his medical career; and Sima, a troubled young woman.… (more)

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