The New York Times
Date: Dec 24 2014
Introduced in Diego De Silva’s 2012 novel, “I Hadn’t Understood,” Vincenzo Malinconico is a lawyer almost in name only, pathologically indecisive and given to lengthy ontological meditations. He is caught in a feud between his ex-wife, Nives, and his cantankerous former mother-in-law, Assunta, recently diagnosed with cancer. (On a hospital visit, he brings her a bottle of Jack Daniels.) Then there’s the trip to a supermarket in Naples that lands Vincenzo — whose surname means “melancholy” in Italian — in the middle of a crime scene. A computer engineer, avenging the death of his son, has taken a mafia boss hostage and rigged the store’s closed-circuit security cameras to display events in real-time, resulting in a police standoff and a bizarre (and hilarious) reality TV event. Vincenzo saves the day and with his newfound confidence emerges as the bumbling hero of his own life.