Being an Italian is not an easy job. Italy is world renowned for contradictions (beside fashion, food and Ferrari) and living here is something that needs a life to become used to. Italy has also a wealth of problem mostly deriving from the (bad) attitudes of its inhabitants. A book on the Italian attitudes and custom looks very attractive to my curiosity inclined nature. The writer is an authority in this field. He worked several years abroad and wrote a couple of books on other country people and their customs as opposed to Italian way of behave and doing things.
For all these reasons the book by Severgnini (the title could be translated as “Italian’s minds”) was a welcome one and I get hooked from the very first pages telling about an Italian airport.
Unfortunately the interest fades while the reading progressed. At about one third, it becomes clear that a plot is missing. The idea of presenting Italy to foreigners by a 10 days travel is clearly an excuse, but the lack of a plot and the lack of overall glue make it so evidently a pretext that nearly hurts. The book turns out to be just a collection of memories, observations, some statistics and comments about Italian customs more and more uninspired and repetitive as the reader approaches to the end.
Not that this is too bad, but after the first half it gets somewhat boring. This book could have been improved by halving it, removing pointless parts and sticking with the funnier. About fun, Severgnini knows his art. When he is inspired he writes pleasantly deep considerations with a brilliant humor.