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3.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,035 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Abbiamo tutti sedici, diciassette anni ma senza saperlo veramente, è l'unica età che possiamo immaginare: a stento sappiamo il passato. Con queste parole inizia il nuovo romanzo di Alessandro Baricco, Emmaus. Il titolo evoca l'episodio narrato nel vangelo di Luca in cui due discepoli incontrano Gesù Risorto, senza riconoscerlo, sulla strada che va da Gerusalemme a Emmaus. ...more
Paperback, 139 pages
Published November 2nd 2009 by Feltrinelli (first published November 2009)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,035 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian
Catholic guilt is some bad shit. You want what is forbidden, and lots of it, even as you condemn it. Which is to say you can't possibly believe anyone would engage in acts you engage in.

Four Italian male friends, sixteen or seventeen - the only age we can imagine - all obsessed in different degrees of psychosis with Andre, lovely and rich and very sexual.

Baricco has written four excellent novels. I'm a fan. But I would be embarrassed to have written this one.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
After two more complex novels by Baricco ('City' and 'This Story') that were worthwhile, this seemingly simple story, just like the equally brief 'Silk', did not really resonate with me. It is a coming-of-age story of 4 young males from the lower social class, who lead a more or less sheltered life that is strongly influenced by a social and cultural type of Roman Catholicism, which to my knowledge almost only exists in Italy and Poland. That sheltered world, including seemingly harmonious ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcsweeney-s
Emmaus is the first novel by Alessandro Baricco brought to this country by McSweeney's, although it is far from his debut. Translated from the original Spanish by Ann Goldstein, this version has been given a fresh coat of paint for a new audience with beautiful cover art from Robyn O'Neil.

This scant novel will satisfy readers that appreciate some biblical imagery with their smut. While sex is central to much of the action of this novel, issues of class and faith form the thematic heart of the
Jim Fonseca
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: italian-authors
This story, set in modern Italy centers around five characters; four good Catholic lower-middle class boys and a young woman from the upper class described in the blurb as hypersexual. The young womans upper class status allows her to live in a different world and play by different rules, whereas for the boys, its the only world we know: the swamp for us is normality. Thats why were able to metabolize incredible doses of unhappiness, mistaking it for the proper course of things. But shes outside ...more
Apr 17, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-soon
shit, why did I delete my "to-read-immediately" shelf?? I would forgo sleeping and eating and everything else if this book were in my hands right now.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm definitely a fan of Baricco. At one point, I read a review on the back of one of his books saying that he seems to be writing for a certain group of readers. He does, it's no doubt. His phrasing, the way he puts together ideas and stories at the limit of logic, even the choice of words: you either love it or hate it. I love it. So when I got Emaus... you can say I was a little bit biased.
Read it in a few days, as I did most of his books. And yes, I did like it very much.
Without spoiling it
Grady Ormsby
Emmaus by Alessandro Baricco, translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein is a coming-of-age novel. It features an anonymous teenaged narrator and his three friends, Luke, Bobby and the Saint. The fears, impulses, confusion and anxiety characteristic of adolescence are complicated for these boys by their thorough entrenchment into Catholicism with all its repression, sin and the terror of punishment. The four come into contact with a world vastly different from theirs when they meet Andre, an ...more
Emaus and Questa Storia are my least favourite books by Baricco.
They give me the soury and distasteful feeling as if I've eaten a lot of chocolate and come back for more because of its sweet taste, but all I get is heartburn.
Tatyana Chesnokova
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am not sure I understood it. May be because I am not familar with feelings of Catholic faith. But I do have fond memories of reading Baricco's other novels, may be I need to reread them as well
Baricco is a wonderful writer. He has insight, wisdom, compassion, and sheer genius. Unfortunately, it is not to be found in this book. It starts well, promisingly, even. But begins to snowball downhill very quickly after.

Written originally in Italian, this has been translated by Ann Goldstein and in all fairness, it is a neat job as far as translations tend to go. For context, in the Gospel of Luke, Emmaus is a town where the resurrected Jesus appeared to two disciples. Biblical overtones and
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say history is written by the victors. In some cases, yes, but its always written by the survivors. This book chronicles the history of four friends: Bobby, Luca, the Saint and an unnamed fourth who becomes the narrator and interpreter. Their story is simple enough to tell, who went where and did what, but their lives revolve around the search for meaning. This is true of all lives at some point but especially of teenagers. Naturally we go to school every day, says our narrator. But that's ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The central problem is wish fulfillment. Imagination only takes you so far. Weve built a fascinating culture of images, literature and movies around this razor edge. A very illuminating work on this matter is Alessandro Bariccos Emmaus. It is a short novel set within the very rigid, iconic present of Catholic Italy. The characters continually inscribe the outlines of their existence through monotonous daily ritual. Four boys a teenage narrator with the hindsight of an adult, Luca, Bobby and the ...more
Mark Staniforth
Alessandro Bariccos short, intense tale of an obsession shared and nurtured by four Catholic schoolboys is a book which brooks inevitable comparison with Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides.
Equally inevitably, perhaps, it comes off worst. While Eugenides extraordinary work provided a rich, warm, tragic peaen to adolescence and its countless torments, Emmaus is deeply philosophical, acutely religious and a more difficult work to love.
The object of the boys obsession is a local girl called
Jim Lang
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Emmaus, Alessandro Baricco charts the effect a mutual interest in an enigmatic girl has on a group of four teenage friends. The kids are very good - they play in a church band and volunteer to help infirm elderly men - and that self-identity is something that they hold on to, despite the fact that they hang out with prostitutes and handle weapons. It's very interesting the way André (the girl) rips apart their friendships, and their hold on their very identity, without ever really getting to ...more
Leo Ferres
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book reads like an anti-coming-of-age story of the 1980s. The usual group of young boys in love with the unattainable free-spirited girl. At the end, though, it suddenly becomes more like "The Last American Virgin (1982)" gone even worse. (By the way, that movie rocked!)

After "Silk" and this, Baricco is my new hero.
Molly McCowan
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fiction
I loved this little book. I haven't read such lyrical, fluid writing in a long time, and it was refreshing. The story itself explores the complications, unsureness, beauty, and hypocrisies of the teenage years while mirroring the same in Catholicism.
Baricco's characteristically luminous prose always goes by too quickly. Feels very similar to The Virgin Suicides. Not sure about this story; merits a re-read.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's interesting to see the world by the eyes of catholic.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book, seemingly simple, which will leave you to think long after you've finished reading.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have no idea how to rate this book.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I would have enjoyed this more if I had been raised Catholic. Feeling guilty sucks. Being corrupted is not the best. Faith is a fraught proposition. I don't know. Was there more in here?
Courtney Brown
Wonderfully lyrical but occasionally overdone. I'm torn about this one.
Madalina Puiu
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
i love Baricco's books but this one is not as far as good as the others he wrote. it didn't get me at all
Robert Stewart
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pages 72-81. That is all.
Christian Pimentel
Curious beginning and magnificent ending.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
A person can be cruel as the devil is..
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creepy, bizarro, and spare anti-morality tale.
Tasha Teufel
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I ve read paper book Emmaus and I was amazed by this book... I didn't expect such a feeling after finishing it!
Sad story about how young guys grow up and how they see life.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Trying to care about the characters was very difficult. The writing felt like it was trying too hard.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
On the back cover there's a blurb by Chris Adrian calling "Emmaus" a "Virgin Suicides" about adolescent boys, and I think that's a great description. There's definitely a surface similarity between the two books, but whereas the communal "we" narrators of Eugenides' book were the town kids viewing the Lisbon sisters from afar, the four teenage boys in "Emmaus" fixate on a single girl, Andre, a free spirit who seems to have a destructive effect on the men (and boys) she meets. This seems more a ...more
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Alessandro Baricco is a popular Italian writer, director, and performer. His novels have been translated into a wide number of languages, and include Lands of Glass, Silk, Ocean Sea, City, and Without Blood. His theatrical monologue, Novecento, was adapted into film, titled The Legend of 1900.

He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two sons.

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