Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Charles Lambert: The View from the Tower


Charles Lambert is England born, but he's lived in Italy for decades--now in Fondi, between Rome and Naples--and he writes about Rome's "dark side."  The View from the Tower (2013) is his latest, a "psychological thriller" in the language of the Amazon description.  The words are apt, but only if one understands that the novel is a lot less thriller and a lot more psychological.  The story moves back and forth from Rome in the present to Turin in the "anni di piombo"--the late 1970s--when the protagonists, now essentially part of the political establishment, were committed radicals.
Thankfully there's more Rome than Turin, because it's in Rome that a murder occurs that stirs the pot and jump starts the plot.  Suspense (rather than action) is in ample supply.  It's of a low-key sort; the book is fundamentally about angst and depression and grief and guilt, mother and son, mother and daughter-in-law, husband and lover (a "Jules and Jim" sort of threesome is at the center of things, for a while). The prose is strong, and reasonably frequent references to Rome streets and locations will keep Romaphiles entertained.
Bill

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