You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


Book review

‘Italian Ways’ by Tim Parks

More can be learned of a country’s character, often, from the way it makes bread or sardines than from its politics or administration. Tim Parks, whose literary and journalistic career has centered around his long residence as a teacher in Italy, has chosen Italian railroads to sketch a portrait of his adoptive country.

The result is uneven. Some parts cast a revealing though not especially new light on the Italian character; others go into tedious detail on station arrangements and the procedure for buying tickets. For long stretches the book reads like a distended magazine travel piece, leaving the reader with the suspicion that the project was padded with facts when ideas ran short.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week