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The Italian Teacher Reviews

The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman

The Italian Teacher

Tom Rachman

5.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: riverrun
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication date: 22 Mar 2018
ISBN: 9781786482570

Rome, 1955 The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world.

1 Prize for The Italian Teacher

Costa Book Awards
2018 Shortlist

Shortlisted: Best Novel of the Year

The Costa Judges: ‘A hugely pleasurable story, fizzing with energy.’

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
Patrick Gale
10 Jul 2018

"The Italian Teacher is often wickedly funny - Rachman has an eye for life's cruelty worthy of Waugh"

The Italian Teacher is often wickedly funny - Rachman has an eye for life's cruelty worthy of Waugh - but it is also deeply touching in its tender portrayals of life's victims...Art - the pursuit of it, the admiration of it, the coveting of it and the fighting over its legacy - comes, here, to seem to be about mortality and the deeply human need to make our mark. I confess this was the first of Rachman's novels I'd read but I was so swept away by it that I raced out to buy the other three.

5 stars out of 5
Olga Grushin
11 Apr 2018

"Rachman appears in perfect control of his material...a psychologically nuanced pleasure."

Rachman appears in perfect control of his material. This is not an aesthetic treatise but, first and foremost, a morality tale about fame and family... Yet so apparent are Rachman’s humanity and intelligence throughout that this ambiguity must be fully intended. There are no black-and-white answers in life and art, not even in our present age of increasing personal responsibility. “The Italian Teacher” is a psychologically nuanced pleasure.

5 stars out of 5
William Skidelsky
16 Mar 2018

"Tom Rachman’s fiction is a distinctive blend of narrative zest and emotional subtlety"

Tom Rachman’s fiction is a distinctive blend of narrative zest and emotional subtlety. While these two features don’t always rub along smoothly (one points to comedy, the other to tragedy), in Rachman’s work they are seamlessly combined.Rachman’s new novel, The Italian Teacher, may well be his most impressive yet... A novel about a mediocrity is a risky proposition: mediocre people tend to lead uneventful lives. Rachman’s spirited writing propels the reader through the more sombre episodes, which include depression, suicide and terminal illness.