Imagine a duel. A face-off between a man and a boy. The same blood runs through their veins. One, Daniele Mallarico, is a successful illustrator at the peak of his career. The other, Mario, is his four-year-old grandson who has barely learned to talk but has a few tricks up his loose-fitting sleeves all the same.
The older combatant has lived for years in almost complete solitude. The younger one has been dumped with his estranged grandfather for a 72-hour stay.
Starnone’s sharp, succinct story in Trick unfolds within the four walls (and the balcony!) of the grandfather’s apartment, where the rage of an aging man meets optimism incarnate in the shape of a four-year-old child.
Lurking, ever present in their conflict, is the memory of Naples, a wily, violent, and passionate city where the old man spent his youth and whose influence is not easily shaken.
Domenico Starnone is an Italian writer, screenwriter and journalist. He was born in Naples and lives in Rome. He is the author of thirteen works of fiction, including First Execution (Europa, 2009), Via Gemito, winner of Italy's most prestigious literary prize, the Strega.