Fabio Genovesi translated from the Italian by Michael Moore

Live Bait

Publication Date: Jul 01, 2014

384 pp

Trade Paperback

List Price US $15.95
Trim Size (H x W): 5.25 x 8.25
ISBN: 9781590516812


List Price US $15.95
ISBN: 97815906516829

The story of a small Italian town where fishing, biking, and rock ‘n’ roll make the news, until tragedy turns everything upside down

Nothing grows in this Tuscan backwater except the wild imagination of Fiorenzo, a nineteen-year-old metalhead. He lives for his garage band, horror movies, and fishing in the murky irrigation ditches outside of town. But when his path crosses with Mirko, the teenage cycling phenomenon, and Tiziana, the smart but frustrated head of the local youth center turned refuge for the town’s hard-drinking seniors, his world will never be the same. From the brink of despair they fight their way back through honesty, resilience, and laughter, their fates interweaving in a story that is at once achingly funny, bitter, and full of poetic fervor.

Told with the tenderness of a Fellini film, this contemporary novel continues the great tradition of Italian literature and cinema.

Excerpt from Live Bait

Galileo was a moron because he said nature’s an open book, and the book’s written in the language of math. So in his opinion everything in the world and in life—all the people and trees and shells and starfish and seahorses and traffic lights and jellyfish—can be broken down into numbers and geometric figures. What a load of bullshit. If I said it, everyone would tell me to shut the fuck up, and they’d be right. Except Galileo said it so it must be true since he was a genius and lived in a time when everyone was a genius or an artist and didn’t waste time at the grocery store, the post office, or the corner bar… they were busy thinking up poems or paintings or, in this case important scientific laws.

Bullshit. In Galileo’s time they didn’t have bicycles. They didn’t have electricity, and when they had to go to the bathroom they’d use this nasty bucket and then dump it out the window into the street without even looking to see if anyone was walking by. They didn’t even know how to make ice—can you believe it!—and there used to be people who came down from the mountains selling snow, and people used to buy it!

And here we are acting like once upon a time everything was fantastic and deep and nowadays we’re just a bunch of morons…and it’s true, we are morons, except the way I see it we always have been morons, from the caveman days up to this afternoon, when Stefano and I are standing here by the ditch counting.

And if we want to compete to see who’s the biggest moron of all, then I’m about to become the world champion.

“Italian author Genovesi has written a comical novel that…has quiet charms… Fiorenzo, for example, proves the universality of adolescent awkwardness; his sometimes requited love for Tiziana is sweet, Mirko is an especially appealing addition to the cast, and the Tuscan setting is nicely realized.” —Booklist 

[Live Bait] will open up that part of you that you’ve been trying to cover with dirt and paper in your attempt at adulthood.” —Three Percent

“Genovesi’s books are a gift for everybody.” —Vanity Fair (Italy)

“What a kick in the jaw. Fabio Genovesi’s Live Bait is like a punk rock Amarcord: lyrical and dirty and moment-after-moment funny in a way that all the best podunk village stories are. It’s a reminder that growing up is surreal and difficult no matter where you’re from, and that it’s always done best with a group of fellow weirdos.” —Hal Hlavinka, Book Cellar (Chicago, IL)

“If John Irving had an Italian son, he would be named Fabio Genovesi.” —Schnüss, Das Bonner Stadtmagazin

“[This novel] recalls the movies of Dino Risi, Ettore Scola, or Mario Monicelli…we find in it the same cocktail of political and social satire, typical Italian self-derision, and deep humanity.” —Livres Hebdo

“[Live Bait] is a fine example of contemporary Italian literature and a wonderful book that perfectly captures life in Italy.” —Upcoming4.Me

Live Bait has strong engaging voices that draw you in and take you for wild ride. This book takes you through an array of emotions while maintaining its sense of humor. I found it to be a very enjoyable read, and come on! How can you not pick up a book when the first chapter is titled ‘Galileo Was a Moron’?” —Danielle Stahl, Book Cellar (Chicago, IL)