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Margherita Dolce Vita [Paperback]

By Stefano Benni & Antony Shugaar (Translator)
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Item description for Margherita Dolce Vita by Stefano Benni & Antony Shugaar...

Fourteen-year-old Margherita tries to break her family's new love of modern technology and high-tech excesses and go back to their simpler, more frugal ways.

Publishers Description
Margherita Dolce Vita is a young girl who knows how to observe the world. A heart slightly on the blink and a few pounds too many are enough to add sting and irony to her natural cleverness. She sympathizes affectionately with her family's peculiarities, and eagerly loses herself in the large meadows near her house, final ramparts of a countryside that has been contaminated by the city, and home to her invisible friend, the Dust Girl. Then out of nowhere, like a ghost in the night, a black glass cube appears in front of Margherita's house surrounded by an aseptic fake garden and a tall hedge. The Del Benes have arrived, bearers of "the new," of the blessed joys of consumption. Friends or fiends? Margherita's family falls under a kind of dark spell to which nobody is immune. A cloud of mysterious reprisals seems to gather around anyone who poses resistance to this celebration of well being, of goods, of power. Margherita suspects a diabolical plan is afoot and is prepared to use all her ingenuity, her resourcefulness, and her imagination to discover exactly what kind of abyss her little world, and perhaps the whole world itself, have fallen into.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   226
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2006
Publisher   Europa Editions
ISBN  1933372206  
ISBN13  9781933372204  

Availability  0 units.

More About Stefano Benni & Antony Shugaar

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stefano Benni is widely considered Italy's foremost satirist and a dramaturge of considerable note. His many novels, collections of essays, poetry and short stories include: Bar Sport, The Company of Celestials, and The Cafe Beneath the Sea. He lives in Bologna.

Stefano Benni was born in 1947.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Margherita Dolce Vita?

Laugh Out Loud Funny  May 6, 2007
Warning: Don't read it in public if you don't want people looking at you funny when you burst out laughing. A MUST read! The narrator, Margherita is hilariously. I couldn't put it down. A little gem!
"Only dead fish move with the current."  Feb 26, 2007
Fourteen-and-a half-year-old Margherita, "a girl past her sell-by date," shares the magical, romantic world of the Dust Girl, a ghost who defends the Great Meadow behind Margherita's house in the quiet Italian countryside whenever it is threatened by development. Despite her belief in ghosts and magical spirits, however, Margherita, the speaker of this wildly imaginative and satiric novel, maintains a sophisticated and critical point of view as she relates the changes which take place in her neighborhood and within her own family when new neighbors erect a large, black cube-house, beside their own (old) house.

The ironically-named Del Bene family, who built the Cube ("like Scrooge McDuck's money vault"), quickly begins to absorb Margherita's parents and the rest of the neighborhood within their aggressively materialistic orbit. Soon the meadow is sprayed to kill mosquitoes, a gypsy encampment is "encouraged" to depart, and abandoned cars are removed. The Del Benes appreciate and employ the subtle briberies needed to bend each person to their will, and Margherita begins to think they have supernatural powers, as they become increasingly powerful in the lives of Margherita's family. When they begin to encroach upon the Great Meadow, however, the ghostly Dust Girl plots an unforgettable revenge. The conflicts develop more dramatically, and a dark, bang-up conclusion results.

Margherita's spot-on, mordant observations about her world are leavened by her hilariously unique images, coined words, puns, and word play, which keep the novel from becoming didactic. She describes her mother as looking like a "used tea bag." She notes that during a kiss seen on the new giant-screen TV, "the dueling tongues look like a pair of dueling meatloaves." Margherita's father has dealt with his growing bald spot by "recruiting about two thousand hairs that used to live near his left ear and force-marched them over to...the right hemisphere."

The first of Italian author Stefano Benni's novels to be translated into English, Margherita Dolce Vita deals with important social and environmental issues--the destruction of forests and natural habitats, consumerism, the growth of cults, the power of advertising, and the ostracism of "outsiders"--but his use of magic realism keeps the tone light--at least until the conclusion. The author concentrates on fast-paced story-telling, rather than moralizing, creating characters who themselves are either story-tellers or story-lovers. Fun to read, the narrative offers new ways of thinking about contemporary problems without becoming ponderous. While some readers may find the observations and satire a bit obvious, many others will be so captivated by Margherita that they will empathize with her dark assessment of life: "The fairy-tale has gone all wrong: the killers have become masters of the earth." n Mary Whipple
Weird and fun  Oct 27, 2006
Margherita is not a light read- SAT vocab words and academica references aboud, but the book feels like a light read. Funny, surreal, and warm, Margherita takes us through life in suburban Italy- which is nearly identical to America. Talk about the McDonaldization of society. While the book mocks consumerism, materialism, and neglect of simple beauty, it's not preachy or patronizing. If Margherita existed, she would be a treasured daughter, niece, ot friend.

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