Friday, 28 April 2000

Giovanni Guareschi: Don Camillo and the Prodigal Son (1952)

Translation: Frances Frenaye, 1952
Edition: Gollancz
Review number: 482

The second collection of Don Camillo stories continues to be charming, though it is not as good as the first. The limitations of the chosen subject begin to become apparent, and some of the stories from Don Camillo and the Prodigal Son are little more than repetitions of ones from The Little World of Don Camillo. The altar crucifix plays a rather smaller role than it does in the first book, which is a pity (though the voice of Christ is barely present in the best story here, which is about a false news report leading the local Communists to think that the Italian general election has been won and that the time has come for the eradication of the reactionary forces of repression, starting with Don Camillo himself). The style of the new translator is virtually indistinguishable from that of the first book's (Una Vincenzo Troubridge).

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