SusieBookworm: "One of the funniest books I've read in a while."
Date: Nov 19 2012
The best way to describe Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles is as a men's mid-life crises novel on drugs. The characters don't start out very likeable. They're three down-on-their-luck, self-centered, often prejudiced guys with poor social and love lives and very few redeeming qualities. When these city-slickers decide to start anew and renovate a large country home into an agritourist bed and breakfast, what could possibly go wrong?
Of course, hilarity ensues. At times I was laughing out loud. This is one of the funniest books I've read in a while, just from the characters' blunders and the almost ridiculous situation that progresses between them and members of the local mob. Somehow the author actually makes this scenario seem realistic, though for most of the book the reader lives under the knowledge that the situation can't possibly last in the men's favor and will only end badly. Still, it's fascinating to watch how the characters change and develop under the influence of their mutual country enterprise. They're not always capable of saving themselves from their own mistakes, however, and so the cast of characters grows as others join the initial trio in maintaining their schemes. In addition, there's a good deal of social messages included in the story, making this not only a very enjoyable read, but also one that sticks with readers after they have closed the covers.