From the author of Margherita Dolce Vita
One late-winter morning as he is “hop-hiking” downhill toward his character-building destination, a vomit-yellow cube surrounded by a garden of barbarously unkempt weeds known as the Bisacconi elementary school, Stefano Benni’s young hero encounters a peculiar man—as big as a mountain and as filthy and garbage dump, with a vast beard the color of a dung-heap, dressed from head to foot in layers and rags, and in the company of a swarm of buzzing flies. A god, perhaps? A pagan divinity? Who can tell! After a brief tête-à-tête, this earthy apparition endows the young boy with a rare gift: an internal “duoclock” that allows him to see into the future and at the same time exist in the present with an uncommon fullness. Meet Timeskipper.
Timeskipper sees and foresees the epochal events of his era from postwar reconstruction to the birth of television—from the golden age of rock’n’roll to the revolutionary sixties and the turbulent seventies. These events are tenderly offset by his own private experiences: his first love, his first job, leaving home, hilariously wild adventures with oddball acquaintances. This vibrant fictional character is the repository of our collective experience. His is the story of our time, an era of momentous change.
A moving and inventive satiric tale in which imagination defies corruption and conformity, in which the innocence of yesteryear comes face-to-face with the moral aridity of today’s money-obsessed society, Timeskipper is one of Stefano Benni’s most touching and enduring creations. Colored by Benni’s trademark linguistic inventiveness and irresistible humor, this is a coming-of-age story with a difference.
Stefano Benni is widely considered one of Italy’s foremost novelists. His trademark mix of biting social satire and magical realism has turned each of his books into a national bestseller. His many novels include: Bar Sport, The Company of Celestini, The Cafe Beneath the Sea, and now the remarkably successful Margherita Dolce Vita. Benni is also the author of several volumes of essays and poetry and many collections of short stories. He lives in Bologna, Italy.