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A Perfect Hoax

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  202 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Influenced by the rise of the science of psychology and the turmoil of the early 20th century, A Perfect Hoax is an ironic and affectionate story of illusion, self-deception, and impracticality in a practical world. Mario Samigli is in his seventies; he has all but given up his cherished aspirations as a writer and smiles at the world through his one remaining literary out ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Hesperus Press (first published 1927)
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Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConradDr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonBartleby, the Scrivener by Herman MelvilleMetamorphosis by Franz KafkaThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Hesperus Classics
75th out of 176 books — 19 voters
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Best of Italo Svevo
4th out of 11 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 390)
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Teresa
Sep 22, 2016 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-contos, n-austria, e3
Era uma vez...
Um rouxinol já velhinho que sonhava alcancar a glória através do seu belo canto. Quando era jovem tinha criado uma composição que não foi valorizada pelo público, sendo apenas apreciada pelo seu enfermo irmão.
Mas, porque até a capacidade de sonhar pode ser objecto de inveja, um dia um pardal de telhado engendrou um embuste para se divertir à custa do pobre rouxinol.

Morais da história:
1. Um sonho bonito pode tornar-se um pesadelo, mas no fim oferecer um terno despertar...
2. Os mel
...more
Núria
Apr 18, 2011 Núria rated it it was amazing
Italo Svevo es uno de mis escritores favoritos. No es que me guste decir que es de mis favoritos porque siempre se queda muy bien citando a un escritor relativamente minoritario como favorito, pero tengo que reconocer que el hecho de que sea tan relativamente poco conocido (y aún menos leído) hace que le quiera un poco más, como para compensar la falta de amor que recibe de otros lectores. Svevo me gusta porque trata algunos de los temas literarios que más me gustan y porque lo hace de la forma ...more
tom bomp
Aug 28, 2015 tom bomp rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, novella, italian
Alright, nothing too exciting. The format and way of telling the story and the style of characters really reminded me of the fables the main character writes. It's also not too sad, which is good cause the subject could easily turn out that way. I dunno, not much to say about it. Good enough but nothing special, just nice and didn't leave me with any lingering thoughts.

Quick plot summary so I can remember what happens if I come back to it in the future, don't click unless you want it all spoiled
...more
Ela
Jun 27, 2016 Ela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...l'attesa del successo[...] aveva imperversato sulla sua vita facendone una tortura insopportabile persino nel ricordo. Ma allora, data la forza della gioventù, l'attesa non aveva insidiato il suo sonno e il suo appetito. È benché dovesse credersi in pieno successo, il povero Mario stava facendo l'esperienza che dopo i sessant'anni non bisognava occuparsi più di letteratura, perché poteva divenire una pratica molto dannosa alla salute."

La letteratura può rivelarsi un male incurabile. Che fare
...more
Karmakosmik
Nov 07, 2012 Karmakosmik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classici
Il solito caro e devastante Svevo concentra in una piccola storiella di paese (ambientata nella Trieste del primo dopo-guerra) nel quale un invidioso commerciante s'inventa una burla verso l'ingenuo e sognatore Mario, vero alter-ego dello scrittore, serve all'autore come scusa per svolgere il suo sguardo indagatore verso le meschinità umane. Già dalle iniziale descrizione del protagonista, uno pseudo letterato con la puzza sotto il naso e la passione dei passeri (nella quale riversa il proprio s ...more
Lisa
Feb 20, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it
Italo Svevo was a recommendation from my mom. Seeing as she is a very intelligent woman I took her advice and read Svevo’s The Hoax. The book is about jealous and mean old men with literary dreams to brighten their dull lives. I liked the short format, which felt in line with the protagonist’s continuous production of little fables. It was a pleasant read but not very engaging. I didn’t really care one way or another if the bitter men one by one managed to deprive each other of the only dreams t ...more
Thais
Jan 05, 2013 Thais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una storia deliziosa sulla presuntuosità di uno scrittore, facilmente burlato a causa della sua assoluta certezza di diventare un giorno famoso, anche se sono passati quarant'anni dalla pubblicazione del suo unico romanzo. Bella l'idea di fargli commentare l'accaduto tramite brevi favole con i passeri come protagonisti. Una lettura piacevole che ricorda quanto siano vane le aspirazioni dell'uomo.
Zana
May 22, 2016 Zana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Mario escrevia pouquíssimo e, aliás, durante muito tempo, de escritor tinha apenas a caneta e a folha sempre em branco, prontas sobre a mesa de trabalho. E foram esses os seus anos mais felizes, tão cheios de sonhos e desprovidos de quaisquer experiências cansativas, uma segunda infância acesa, preferível até mesmo à maturidade do escritor mais afortunado que saiba esvaziar-se no papel, mais ajudado que impedido pela palavra, e que fica, pois, como uma casca vazia que todavia se crê um saboroso ...more
Alina
Aug 14, 2013 Alina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam Dalva
Apr 21, 2015 Adam Dalva rated it really liked it
Charming, funny novella with really good interpolated fables. It's a semi-autographical book about writing, it goes on too long, and it telegraphs the ending for no particular reason, but I was into it anyway - think of it in that nebulous 3.5 range. There is a really good description of a hat that pushed it over the edge.
Adam
Feb 20, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it
Depicting in this novella a cruel hoax perpetrated on a very minor literary figure by a one-time friend, Italo Svevo makes countless incisive observations about the literary “impulse” and the potential for pet ambitions to obscure reality and make one vulnerable in the most unexpected ways. Much of the book is told in a blend of exposition and summary narrative, rejecting the modern injunction that writers should “show, not tell.” This makes for a fairly slow-moving story. But because Svevo rese ...more
Germano Dalcielo
La favola, la letteratura come metafora di una catarsi dalla quotidianità piatta e spaventosa è una compensazione psicologica a cui l'animo di una persona già sensibile può ricorrere per crearsi un piccolo mondo parallelo, in cui essere qualcuno e non l'anonimo Mario Samigli che deve accudire il fratello anziano. Ma anche in quel mondo surrogato c'è un'insidia latente: può alimentare i sogni e le speranze di emergere dall'anonimato della routine e della vita di tutti i giorni. Il problema poi è ...more
Raquel
Feb 02, 2014 Raquel rated it liked it
Uma pequena história muito relevante sobre relações humanas, os embustes que nos pregam e como as expectativas não raro se frustram.
Muito agradável.
Gizem
Oct 22, 2012 Gizem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
adıyla müstesna olarak kötü bir şaka olduğunu düşündüren kitap. yıllardır italo svevo'yu çok mu gözümde büyütmüşüm acaba yoksa yanlış kitabından mı başladım bilemiyorum. james joyce'un favori yazarı, italyan psikolojik romanının öncüsü, çağdan italyan edebiyatının en önemli temsilcilerinden filan diyince sanırım fazla heyecanlanlandım ama zaten incecik olan kitabı okurken afakanlar bastı. ben bir süre italo svevo almayayım.
Eliana
Mar 05, 2013 Eliana rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2013
-Plot: 4
-Characters Development: 4
-Writing Style: 4
-Consistency/realism: 3
-Entertaining: 4
-Creativity/predictability: 5
-Emotional Impact: 1
-Intellectual Impact: 4
Matthew Berkshire
Nov 27, 2011 Matthew Berkshire rated it liked it
What a great read. Very whimsical. The ending is a little too happy, but this was a pleasure to read.
Leticia
Dec 08, 2014 Leticia rated it really liked it
Another story very well told, about something very ordinary.
lisa_emily
Feb 11, 2008 lisa_emily rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fablers
Shelves: tales
A fable about a fable-writer and his dreams and wishes.
Joana
Sep 06, 2013 Joana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Triste, cómico, ridículo. Uma delicia de ler.
Blakely
Jan 02, 2008 Blakely rated it it was amazing
A perfect novella.
Derek
Derek marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2016
Steve
Steve rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2016
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2016
Riako
Riako marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2016
Marta
Marta marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
Mariana
Mariana marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
Mariana Figueiredo
Mariana Figueiredo rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2016
David Vineyard
David Vineyard rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2016
João
João rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2016
Mehveş
Mehveş rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2016
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  • Tutte le novelle. Volume I
  • Malombra
  • Thoughts
  • Le confessioni d'un Italiano
  • L'Ingénu
  • The Distracted Preacher
  • Le K
  • Las hortensias y otros cuentos
  • Gautier Récits Fantastiques
  • Casanova's Return to Venice
  • L'avventura d'un povero cristiano
  • Uma Aventura no Deserto
  • L'infinito viaggiare
  • Lost Boy: A Novella
  • Sonetos
  • A Voz dos Deuses
  • Stories of God: A New Translation
  • Sidereus Nuncius, or The Sidereal Messenger
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Aron Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo, was an Italian businessman and author of novels, plays, and short stories.
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