ALFREDO SCOTT HAMILL

Biografia

Docente di lingue straniere in pensione. Madrelingua inglese, nato negli USA. Felicemente milanese di adozione, dopo molti anni a Napoli.

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The Doll - Ismail Kadare

A rather enigmatic book about the author's development as a young writer and his relationship with his mother while growing up first in a small Albanian village, and later in Tirana. The significance of many events, presented in the context of the Kadare's Albanian youth, is not always very clear. The language is also at times a bit indirect, leaving the reader to re-read a passage in order to understand it, though this may be an effect of it's being translated from Albanian or perhaps may be due to the author's particular style. On the whole, a disappointing book.

The woman in white - William Wilkie Collins

A Victorian feuilleton, full of rather vapid melodrama and sentiment, that is ultimately a sort of detective novel and revenge story, with plenty of deus ex machina solutions towards the end to resolve the complicated plot. Being originally published in installments in Dickens's weekly journal, All Year Round, the author drags out the story to make it longer, with continual cliff-hanger chapter endings to keep the readers coming back, and which are indeed necessary to maintain interest as the story carries out over its 650 pages. The language, too, is the baroque speech of its period, which can be tiring as much as it is unnecessary. Nonetheless, the trick of using different narrators, each giving their version of the events, is effective, and in the end you really want to come to the conclusion, however forgone it may be. An enjoyable read if you have plenty of time and not much else available.

Other peopleʼs money - Justin Cartwright

Wise and droll satire, along with wonderful portraits of original characters, make this a very good read. The story revolves around a family's rather nefarious attempts to save their old family-run bank from bankruptcy. (Think Barron's, Lehman Brothers, etc). There is also a wider story told in alternating chapters, involving a number of enchanting characters, that weave their involving roles into the plot, while also taking off in fully-rounded parallel lines, at times even more interesting than the main plot! The main theme of the novel, as it comes out, is that stories, and life, can be told in different ways, with different beginnings and different ends from the expected, and this really does touch many of the characters. In particular, the figure of the downtrodden but undefeated playwright Artair MacCleod, an artist to the core, is both maddening and marvelous. Indeed, the last two sentences of the novel are an epiphany! (Don't jump to read it, you'll ruin the effect!)

Skios - Michael Frayn

A farse of mistaken identities and comic misadventures worthy of Feydeau! As the cover says, both a novel of comic philosophy and philosophical comedy. Perhaps not a masterpiece, but certainly entertaining, relaxing, enjoyable.

Delitto all'Excelsior - P.G. Wodehouse

Molto deludente. È una raccolta di racconti brevi che sembrano semplici abbozzi che Wodehouse non aveva completati, oppure che aveva scartato perché non all'altezza. I primi due in particolare sono senza né capo né coda, altri due sono al più mediocri (addiritura pessimi secondo i criteri soliti di Wodehouse), mente l'unico in cui compare Jeeves (senza che Bertie Wooster sia in effetti menzionato) è talmente sotto lo standard che viene da pensare che l'abbia scritto qualche imitatore di Wodehouse. Con tanti altri libri-capolavoro di Wodehouse fra cui scegliere, questo è proprio da scartare.

Tobermory - Saki

Saki's short stories are the most brilliant and ingenious and entertaining ever written. They are a combination of humour and satire, not to mention some frequent gothic elements, that make them unique. As comment on Edwardian England of the early 20th century, they are perfect.

Lampi d'estate - P. G. Wodehouse

Il primo romanzo di Wodehouse, nel quale introduce molti dei suoi personaggi più famosi e comici. Un gioiellino, che diverte, fa ridere ed innalza los spirito! Farebbe ridere perfino un morto! Se mai c'è stato un Nobel per la letteratura mancato, è certamente Wodehouse! Ai nostri tempi, solo il genio di Terry Pratchett è riuscito, a modo suo, ad eguagliarlo.

Aria di tempesta - P. G. Wodehouse

Il magnifico linguaggio inglese di Wodehouse non sempre si traduce efficacemente, e dunque il libro perde qualcosa, come anche a volte la satira comica perde qualche sfumatura, ma nel complesso i libri di Wodehouse sono la gioia e il divertimento perfetti. Quando si è giù di tono, in genere non c'è nulla di meglio di una dose Wodehouse per far tornare a brillare il mondo e la vita.

Heavy weather - P. G. Wodehouse

When you're down and out and there is nowhere to go, turn to Wodehouse and the world will be right again. His comic genius created a world of beauty where all goes well, while all the while bringing joy and laughter to every reader. If ever there was a Nobel for Literature manqué, it was certainly Wodehouse! His plots are unexplainable, but perfectly enjoyable, and his language is as perfect for its time as Shakespeare's was for his. In our times, only Terry Pratchett, a comic-satiric genius in his own right, has come close to equalling Wodehouse.

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