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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

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  54 Ratings  ·  13 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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A.L. Sowards
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Rainy Days
Jan 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
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
Alexander
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I believe that the events of bicycle runner are similar to the current day events in Syria. In bicycle runner, When Franco was in Frontale, he joined the resistance against the Fascists. When he went to Elena’s house, he found her house and business occupied by German and Italian soldiers. The soldiers had taken away most of her house and business. Eventually, they kicked her out completely. Once the fascist Italian government was overthrown, Elena returned to her house.

Something similar is happ
...more
Peter
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Lisad
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Valerie Davia
May 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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!
Tuck
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
good bio of real life reactions to fascism, not the greatest ever written maybe, but confirms many theories
Kirsten
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
A little less exciting than what I expected, but still a sweet story.
Judy
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
An heartfelt account of life in Italy during WW II. This book does an admirable job of capturing one boy-man's experiences.
Jon
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A vivid and moving memoir of growing up in fascist Italy. I loved it.
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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...