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The Bicycle Runner: A Memoir of Love, Loyalty, and the Italian Resistance
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The Bicycle Runner: A Memoir of Love, Loyalty, and the Italian Resistance

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Like all boys growing up in Rome during the 1930s and 1940s, the author was expected to join the Balilla—Italy’s fascist Youth Organization. With political divisions running deep in the families within his palazzo, he and his motley group of friends were recruited into the underground Resistance. Racing around Rome on bicycles, they smuggled messages and weapons for the pa ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published August 12th 2009)
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Rainy Days
The Bicycle Runner review

From the start I felt like the book was obviously written by someone who’s first language wasn’t English and it was poorly edited. Towards the end of the book, I found out the author died and left the manuscript in a draw, where his second wife found it and published it. That explained a lot.
Because of the above reasons, I would disagree with the publisher’s description ‘lyrical in language, rich in sentimentality, and possessing the magic of a classic Fellini film.’ Wh
...more
A.L. Sowards
I picked this book up at the library because I was wondering what it would be like to have grown up in Fascist Italy, and this was the only book on the shelves that looked promising. I got what I was looking for, plus some. I LOVED the author’s writing style. If his other books weren’t in a different genre, I would be adding them to my to-read list because the writing is so good.

This book is partly a growing up and coming of age story, partly a war memoir. It’s not heavy on the military history
...more
Peter
This is a wonderful portrait of the time, with heart felt descriptions of family and friends. Romagnoli writes such detailed descriptions of so many characters, yet not a single word is wasted or is unnecessary. I found myself rereading passages for the quality of the personal descriptions.

Romagnoli obviously loves his family, his friends, his country, his culture. I wish I could live my life the same way he did.

This book brought me to tears several times!
Dave
A disappointment. Audiobook. A story about a young man who lived in Rome during WWII. I found nothing really different from I would expect to have been the experiences of a youth during that time. There was way too much reference to sexual relationships - not really obscene but constant referrals to same. I would not recommend it. The one star came from the Italian references and vocabulary throughout the book were of interest to me.
Valerie Davia
I loved this memoir of a boy growing up in Mussolini's Italy and the stories of friends and family during an impossible time. Very moving and heartwarming, wonderful descriptions life in Italy. Should be a movie!
Lisad
I found this a very enjoyable read. When I think of WWII, I rarely consider events in Italy. This was an informative, personal look at the war from a unique perspective. I would totally recommend.
Judy
An heartfelt account of life in Italy during WW II. This book does an admirable job of capturing one boy-man's experiences.
Tuck
good bio of real life reactions to fascism, not the greatest ever written maybe, but confirms many theories
Jon
A vivid and moving memoir of growing up in fascist Italy. I loved it.
Kirsten
A little less exciting than what I expected, but still a sweet story.
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G. Franco Romagnoli, an accomplished chef and restaurateur, was born, raised, and educated in Rome, and moved to the United States in 1955. From 1974 to 1976, he and his late wife, Margaret, wrote and starred in The Romagnolis' Table, a television series on Italian cooking. Their cookbook of the same name and its sequel, The New Romagnolis' Table, have sold nearly 400,000 copies, and for ten years ...more
More about G. Franco Romagnoli...
A Thousand Bells at Noon: A Roman Reveals the Secrets and Pleasures of His Native City The New Romagnolis' Table Romagnolis' Italian Fish Cookbook: Over 200 Irresistible Italian-Style Fish and Seafood Recipes The Romagnolis' Table: Italian Family Recipes Zuppa

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