The Italian Teacher

The Italian Teacher

Book - 2018
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"Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear's genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father's attention--first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father's biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father's legacy--and make his own mark on the world."--Page 2 of cover.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780735222694
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 20, 2018

Could not get into this one at all. I kept trying but it seemed weird to me or I am missing something.

suzannethomas Jul 23, 2018

Not knowing this author, I was attracted to this book by its description; a story about art, artists, art critics -and it didn’t disappoint! But it’s also a morality tale about fame and family, the power of art and perils of progeny.

VaughanPLAlyssia May 27, 2018

I’m of two minds about this book, because I loved the first three quarters or so but found it went in a weird and, quite frankly, boring direction towards the end. I don’t know how it happened so quickly. I think it’s because Pinch becomes more isolated, and I just don’t find him a compelling character on his own. He’s a man who’s never grown out of father’s shadow; all of his self-identity is tied to his relationship with his father. As Pinch gets older it becomes harder to root for him when he is still so dependent. But aside from that, I greatly enjoyed most of this novel. I’m a sucker for books about artists, and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t drawn to this book by its gorgeous cover. Tom Rachman’s writing is perfunctory (no frills) but his characters (aside from Pinch) are all vivid, from Bear to Natalie to Pinch’s friends in Toronto. He also really brings to life a sense of place, particularly the segment in Rome.

May 23, 2018

Is the Art great enough to forgive the artist his trespasses? Should a person earn respect as a human being before deserving attention for his work? Bold, handsome, charismatic, Bear Bavinsky is the Sun, the Moon and the Stars to his son. Unfortunately, the Great Man not only is not so great, he does not deserve the love and support, nor the time, energy and oxygen that his acolytes sacrifice to make his life easy. You feel sorry for Pinch Bavinsky, empathize with his blindness to his father’s flaws, and become angry and frustrated with him for being so dismissive of the kindness and goodness of the other people in his life. We are all lacking in perception from time to time, sometimes fatally so. In Pinch’s case, he could easily live a lifetime of fear and furtiveness, ashamed of his own talent and unable to express himself freely. Will he survive? With humor and compassion, Rachman’s novel delves into the power of the forceful creative personality, the rules of family loyalty, and forgiveness it takes to be true to yourself at last.

May 22, 2018

This one really grew on me. The main character, Pinch, seemed so almost cartoonishly unsure, hesitant and mistrustful of not only others, but himself, that I almost put the book down for good. But I found that his story then echoed with me and I had to see how it finally resolved itself. A good book. Involves interesting questions about art and what makes great art: is it talent alone or does personality and confidence mean almost as much?


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