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The Break

Pietro Grossi

Publisher: Pushkin Press
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The B Team flocked to read the first novel (translated into English) by our favourite Italian author of the moment. Having told myself I would only have time to read half of the novel before Grossi rocked up to talk Reformation at the Mr B’s Book Lovers Unite event, I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting.
The protagonist is Dino, a young man who relishes the order of his quiet life. He spends his days paving the streets with stones and his evenings playing Italian billiards and planning elaborate trips with his wife that they both know they will never take.
Grossi’s style is understated, stripped back prose which I found incredibly effective and at times very moving. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the intuitive nature of stone-laying, a mechanical process which involves a surprising amount of instinct.
I loved, loved, loved this book!
Kate Double (Thu 21st May 2015)

In Italy, Grossi’s rise to literary acclaim has been dramatic. In Britain, shamefully, he’s still our secret find. My book of the year is the wonderfully warm and engaging “The Break”. Grossi’s beguiling effortless prose tells the story of Dino who is forced away from the billiard tables by unexpected new responsibilities, just as his small Tuscan hometown awakens to the 21st century. I have seen the future of Italian literature, and its name is Pietro Grossi!
Nic Bottomley (Thu 21st May 2015)

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