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Living in Italy: the Real Deal - Hilarious Expat Adventures Kindle Edition
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- "Smulders provides a running commentary on Italian culture that's both perspicacious and sharp-witted."
- "... this is a charmingly lighthearted recollection, even when the author faces genuinely exasperating trials, and it's as good an introduction to the inimitable Italian ways of everyday life as one is likely to find."
- Stef Smulders' Living in Italy: The Real Deal is a thoroughly entertaining read and a unique introduction to 'the Italian way'!
- The book is a comical, often downright hilarious account of the setbacks and unforeseen obstacles Stef and Nico encounter while they navigate through the endless red tape of the stressful Italian bureaucracy and become acquainted with the Italian lifestyle.
Blogcricics and ReaderViews Five Stars Review ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️
- Crisp, concise chapters take the form of short stories and weavetogether seamlessly to create a whimsical, light-hearted, and refreshing memoire of the author's complete Italian experience.
- The characters are delightful and I laughed aloud throughout the reading at some of the obvious stereotypicalcharacteristics of Italians, like the obsession with their health, theirfashion sense, and the overall chaos that surrounds the average person.
- For those who wish to laugh and see a more up-close-and-personal Italy, this is most definitely the book for you!
- Smulders' hilarious recollections bespeak a great humorist no matter what the language
- a series of amusing cross-cultural vignettes that will be highly recognizable to world travelers and very useful to those embarking on a similar change of place
- Recommended (outstanding book)
From the Author
I have a Goodreads-account where you may find what I read and you may read my reviews: goodreads.com/author/show/7538348.Stef_Smulders
- ASIN : B01N7OY6DM
- Publisher : Babelcube Inc. (March 4, 2018)
- Publication date : March 4, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 627 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 282 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #339,758 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There are good and bad people everywhere. It is their misfortune that they wind up with a real estate agent and a general contractor who have, shall we say, multiple character flaws. Fortunately, there are good people, workers, an architect, restauranteurs, some tradespeople and neighbors, who help them overcome setbacks and chicanery.
Stef skewers the lazy academics at Pavia University that he briefly and theoretically works with. The massive work project turning their semi-abandoned hulk of a house into an attractive tourist destination seems an almost daily nightmare. If you are an HGTV addict, this is a Fixer Upper with a builder who is not your friend. The line between humor and revenge is a thin one. From my legal background, they come close to defamation. But getting back at some folks whose professional and character flaws are both annoying and almost comical may be fair game. Whether it is entertaining or not is debatable.
The book is well written and affords some interesting perspectives on the problems ex-pats face. There are chapters on what they do love about Italy. The bulk of the book is focused on the nearly daily tribulations. Whether that is painful or insightful depends on your point of view.
The writing style is contained and the stories seem to end abruptly. Chapters are very short and left me feeling the action was incomplete. Each chapter relates their experiences with a different person or aspect of getting the house renovated, with short episodes while Stef was in school, and in Holland selling their home prior to the move. It felt a bit disjointed. Descriptions of food, cooking, village gatherings and characters, and the countryside provided a nice visual reading experience. Overall, an entertaining and informative book that anyone considering a move to Italy should read.
The characters are all people you can identify with, Torti the dictator, is the one that I found to be the most amusing, but can't leave out mention of the shady real estate agent, the crazy neighbors, the owners and staff of the wineries, all charming in their own ways. I loved the ravioli story in particular. Makes me want lessons from Lena.
We come to know Stef quite well, but I wish more of Nico's personality came out in the book.
I really enjoyed Stef's writing style, it was as though I read short stories from his individual style, but he brings it all together so well that it also seems like a book.
At the end a link is provided for the B & B, make sure to look it up and see what a beautiful villa it is and like myself, be tempted to book a trip to Italy and enjoy the beautiful B & B and area that they are living in. Thank you for the goodreads giveaway book Stef. I will think back on it often.
Top reviews from other countries
The book consists of a series of separate tales, but it hangs together as a whole. I think a fierce editor might have come in handy to reduce the length of the book, as the detail with which the building works are described is sometimes lengthy, but it reads very easily. It is one of those books that you can pick up and read a chapter when you have time. It is also a joy to read; it is crisply and stylishly written, and the translator has done a splendid job in putting this over.
Above all, it should be read by anyone thinking of relocating to Italy
I loved the way this interesting story was told with humour, showing how Stef and his partner were able to keep their sanity during probably the most tense and worrisome times of their lives. I really can't imagine staying that calm and stress free myself!
The author has a brilliant way of describing each of the complicated stages from choosing the house to finally completing their dream venture in full and colourful detail. So many complicated Italian regulations, bureaucracy, procedures, language barriers and culture changes to take into account when you undertake a project like this is quite unbelievable. The amount of obstacles that was faced but overcome just showed how strong and determined Stef and Nico were in ensuring everything still went to plan whilst staying so passionate towards their adopted country.
This is a really charming book to read, fully enjoyable and very interesting. So many quirky chapters that will have you laughing to yourself. I particularly thought the library and the toilet chapters very funny and their crazy contractor....well, you need to read the book to find out!
I highly recommend "Living The Dream", I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and hope you will too. It's light and easy, full of fun and truly entertaining.