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Mal de pierres

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  853 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Nel suo secondo romanzo l’autrice di Mentre dorme il pescecane racconta la storia di una donna (nonna della narratrice), della sua vita, del suo matrimonio e dei suoi amori. In quest’ordine, appunto, perchè alla nonna tutto capita un pò in ritardo, quando ormai non ci spera più. A cominciare dal matrimonio tardivo con un uomo che, ospitato dalla famiglia, si sdebita sposan ...more
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Published February 13th 2008 by Audiolib (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,785)
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Teresa
Apr 27, 2014 Teresa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Teresa by: Melanie
Upon finishing this book last night, I immediately turned back to the first page and read it again, without stopping. I wanted to see how the author did it. It is amazing what she achieves in only 108 pages.

This is a subtle novella about presumed madness, writing, and what can sustain one through a life that is lacking emotionally. It is narrated by the main character's granddaughter and near the end you may wonder why she includes the story of her other grandmother, until you arrive at the very
...more
Melanie

A short piece with immense cumulative emotional power. I read most of it lightly, with curiosity and amused detachment until I completely dissolved into tears in the last few pages. I owe this luminous discovery to my mother and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Stephen P
Dec 26, 2013 Stephen P rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who fear no tears or mirrors.
Recommended to Stephen by: Melanie, Brian
This short gliding story finished within the mechanics of reading in two days read by a slow reader establishes an ending that if your heart is not crushed you need to consult a cardiologist.The settings and interactions do not lead one to the steps of the finale. Yet when you reach the landing it is not a jarring shock. This is the author's brilliance. The book confronts the reader, in perhaps a more vivid way than other texts, the conjectured line between imagination and madness, which one car ...more
Brian
Dec 17, 2013 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Melanie

Because in love, perhaps, in the end you have to trust magic - it's not as if you can find a rule, something to follow to make things go well, like the Commandments.


GR friend Melanie's effusive praise of this book tilted me towards an impulse purchase a few weeks ago. How lucky I am I followed that impulse. This is a gorgeous novella, and it deserves all the praise heaped upon it.

But what I really want is for a bunch of people to read it so that we can talk about those last two pages betwixt s
...more
Кремена Михайлова
Чете се за по-малко от два часа.
Колко кратичка и пълна може да бъде една история на 4 поколения, колко топла и чувствена една драма от Сардиния! В дъното прозира пагубното влияние на консервативните нрави в такива затънтени места, но това са и места цветни и населени с хора с буйна кръв, затова атмосферата не е потискаща.
Преизказното наклонение и леещият се език създават чувство за носталгия и прикрита романтичност, но в Южна Италия сякаш емоциите и страстите винаги надделяват и книжката оставя
...more
Svetla Angelova
Книжица, събрала в себе си целия живот. За пореден път се убедих какво могат мечтите?! Една стъпка, за да се превърнеш в дивак, скубещ косите и режещ вените си, и също толкова - една стъпка, за да се върнеш назад към човешкия си образ. Изключително трогваща сърцето любов, макар и ... в мечтите. Ех, тия баби и дядовци ... Същите като нас!
charta
Agus confeziona in serie favolette scipite e inverosimili, cui funge da collante una pazzia gentile e romantica.
Catartica e umanizzante nelle intenzioni dell'autrice, questa risulta, invece, ridicola e stucchevole.
Che ciò dipenda da scarso approfondimento della materia o da una personale visione non ci è dato sapere, ma poco importa sotto il profilo artistico.
Ahilei decisamente basso.
L'alternanza, infatti, con un sesso di matrice ortofrutticola e qualche zoomata di prammatica sulla Sardegna (pro
...more
Chrissie
NO SPOILERS!!!

You will be surprised at the very ending! I was a bit confused at times; I messed up who was being described. The story isn't meant to be spelt out clearly, but by the end you understand everything. Confusion leads to understanding. It is the story about the life of the narrator's paternal grandmother. The question is: who really knows the truth and should we readers trust all that we are told? Don't worry! You will understand at the end.

World and Italian (Cagliari in Sardinia, Mil
...more
Amy
"She had to begin to live. Because the Veteran was a moment and grandmother's life was many other things."



Thought to be insane by her family, the grandmother in this story attempts to recreate a sane and normal life to prove them wrong. Her reputation and behavior dissuades suitors from pursuing her, and without marriage, life in a small Italian village circa WWII leaves her a social outcast. Shortly before the war ends, however, she meets a widower who agrees to marry her; it appears to most th
...more
Elaine
A lovely family saga in miniature. Beautifully invoking Sardegna, both its very recent pre-modernity and its present. The narrative is beautifully done, and to discuss it too much would be to spoil. Just give in to the apparent meditation on love, madness and fiction - it's taking you somewhere.

Interestingly, and in a total aside, this book made me do some research into the Case Chiuse (closed houses), Italy's tightly regulated system of state-run prostitution that persisted to the 50s. It was f
...more
Leslie
In this debut novel by Milena Agus, a young unnamed Italian women pieces together the story of her grandmother’s life, a tale that spans three generations and two families. Translated from Italian, this beautiful book retains it’s lyrical prose. The passion of her grandmother’s bittersweet life and the picturesque descriptions of Italy flowed from the pages.

The story begins begins in Sardinia, near the end World War II. Grandmother had just married at age 30 and was considered a bit of an old ma
...more
Marty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Simply stated, this is an Italian love story (takes place in Sardinia, for the most part). However, all is not as it seems. I must've been in just the right mood to read this, because I found it beautiful and haunting. It really affected me, especially the main character, Grandmother, around whom the story revolves. I could relate to her in many ways, especially her desire for the "principle thing" in life -- love. She is an outcast in her own family (don't want to give away the reason); she fee ...more
Angela M
This a beautifully written story about love with an amazing ending . I have to admit I was quite surprised . I can only imagine how lovely the language is in the original Italian or Sardinian .
I'm really at a loss for describing how I felt after reading this - sad , awed by the ending but I loved it . Not much if a review , I know - maybe I need to think about it a little more .
Cathrine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen
The Europa editions are a godsend to those of us interested in contemporary European literature, and this first novel by the Sardinian writer Milena Agus fully deserves publication in the series. An unnamed narrator tells the story of her eccentric grandmother's search for love. At the heart of the novel there is the mystery of the person known simply as "the Veteran," with whom the narrator's grandmother may or may not have had an affair. The novel raises the question of how much we can ever tr ...more
Piperitapitta
mal di pietre come mal d'amore e come male di vivere. o forse semplicemente la ricerca dell'amore e della vita. �� delicato, semplice e leggero; profuma di gelsomino e di caprifoglio e parla di legami, di sogni, di vita. c'�� un passo che mi �� piaciuto particolarmente, verso la fine, quando parla del disordine nella vita "mamma mi ha raccontato queste cose dopo che nonna �� morta. le ha sempre tenute per s�� e non ha mai avuto paura di farmi allevare da sua suocera che amava molto. anzi, pensa ...more
Iwokeinrelief
A pleasant, sort of sad, quick read that never managed to be anything other than a pleasant, sort of sad, quick read for me.

A multigenerational novel set (mostly) in Sardinia beginning in the last years of World War II through the present day – the book is almost entirely centered around the narrator’s grandmother, with some details included about the narrator’s mother and father and then various extended family members. One of the things that I didn’t particularly care for in the book is that t
...more
Jose Vera
“La mujer en la Luna” es una novela corta escrita de una manera conmovedora. La acertada combinación entre la temática, el lenguaje y el paulatino develar de la trama han sido muy bien armados, creando una atmósfera especial dentro de la novela.

Contado desde el punto de vista de la nieta, la narración es un acercarse a la vida de la abuela. Un descubrimiento gradual de quien fue, de las circunstancias que la rodeaban y de la vida tan especial que llevó. Vida e historias que marcaron a los que la
...more
Stefany
Not terribly interesting and hard to read. It jumped around a lot. I found myself rereading long run-on sentences multiple times just to figure out what the heck the author was trying to say. I was not impressed. Maybe it was just a horrible translation.
Jennie Goldberg
It was OK - I chose it because I wanted to find a book of fiction set in Sardinia. And it had a good sense of place, but it was confusing with all the characters; I couldn't keep anyone straight and it was a dark story and rather depressing.....
Marina Ortega
Lo cierto es que tenía ganas de leer esta mini novela (tiene muy poquitas páginas) y lo cierto es que me ha dejado un regusto muy positivo. Si cae en vuestras manos espero que le deis una oportunidad y a ver si os gusta como a mi. Esta es su sinopsis: "En Mal de piedras, Abuela nos cuenta su vida, su matrimonio y sus amores. Por este orden, porque a Abuela, así se llama la protagonista, le sucede todo con un poco de retraso, cuando ya no espera nada de la vida. Un marido que se casa con ella sól ...more
Mientras Leo
El libro ya me parecía simple, pero el final lo terminó de rematar.
Lo mejor, una frase:
«Si no he de conocerte nunca, haz al menos que te extrañe.»
Nezabravka
"Ако не те срещна никога,поне да чувствам липсата ти..."
Страхотна книжка! Невъзможно е да не се влюбиш в нея!
pam
Beautifully written in Italian! A touching story about impossible love.
Suni
Peccato.
Peccato perché ho trovato interessante l'argomento e particolare la struttura del (breve) romanzo, ritmata e ravvivata dal susseguirsi "disordinato" di diversi piani temporali, che nel complesso vanno a comporre la storia di una donna (la nonna della narratrice) e al contempo della sua famiglia nella Sardegna del secondo dopoguerra.
Quello che ho detestato è stato il tono artificiosamente naïf della narrazione. E se in un primo momento ho pensato fosse un modo per ricalcare un'ipotetica n
...more
GONZA
Ci sono delle volte in cui il libro che non ti spetta ti cade dal cielo e non puoi che essere grato.
Ci sono volte in cui dover aspettare un passaggio si rivela una fortuna e poter aspettare con questo libro tra le mani la raddoppia.
Mal di pietre è il nome che davano in Sardegna ai calcoli renali, quando si partiva e si andava in continente a fare le terme per cercare di guarire.
Questa è la storia di una nonna raccontata da una nipote, una nonna che aveva la luna dentro e per questo gli altri
...more
Yvann S
“But she would discuss it with God, before she went to Hell. She would point out to him that if he creates a person in a certain way then he can’t expect her to act as if she were not her.”

In this tiny slender skerrick of a novella (108 pages), the narrator’s eccentric grandmother is lovingly remembered. The title comes from the phrase used in Sardinia to describe someone who seems not to be entirely in their right mind. In an unusual take on the unreliable narrator construct, we have only the g
...more
Alison
I picked this one because it takes place in Sardinia, where I lived as an exchange student in 1982-83.

Okay now that I've read it, I can comment. I think I would have liked it more in Italian. The translator does a good job, but there were a few sentences that had me scratching my head and wishing I could still remember how to diagram sentences. Sometimes I had the feeling I was bumping along the outside of the story, not quite getting what was happening to whom. I suspect that's a translation is
...more
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Milena Agus was born in Genoa to Sardinian parents, and now lives in Cagliari, a recurrent setting for the action in her novels. She used to teach Italian and History at a secondary school, and is now at the Liceo Artistico of Cagliari "Foiso Fois". “The House in Via Manno" (originally published in Italy as “Mal di pietre"), her second novel, won three Italian literary awards, and has been a bests ...more
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