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Cara Massimina

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Udent And if his intentions are frustrated by a suspicious conservative family is it any fault of his that the lovely girl chooses to elope Obsesse. I hated the main


Bored and broke Morris Duckworth an English teacher in Verona stumbles on a plan for financial salvation to marry Massimina a seventeen year old st. ‘Cara Massimina


D by self advancement and excitement Morris' dreams of blackmail theft and murder plunge him deep into a chilling nightmare of deception and violen. Somehow entertain

10 thoughts on “Cara Massimina

  1. says:

    ‘Cara Massimina’ the first book of the Duckworth series is one of the novel that provokes a very uncomfortable feeling while reading This is because Parks is setting up a trap for the reader First he introduces the British expat Morris Duckworth living in Verona teaching English to make a living Young Morris may appear a little bit strange but as in every book you try to identify with the protagonist And when you did so you realize that the main character is not only strange but mentally ill and evil The difficult thing is that the story is told from Duckworth’s perspective And as you might guess he considers himself to be a normal guy doing bad things only as a direct reaction to the misconducts of his fellowsUsually I like this kind of narrative approach nevertheless I have some difficulties with Park’s style On the one hand the author shows us that Duckworth is a monster capable of doing the worst things a human being can do But on the other hand Parks is using his protagonist to transport subtle irony for example when commenting on the Italian lifestyle In other words the author doesn’t commit himself neither to comedy nor to drama It’s not forbidden to do so but me personally I don’t like to listen to jokes made by an evil and insane person I love Park’s books but prefer his works where he commits either to light but well written entertainment or profound drama as in ‘Destiny’All in all this novel is some kind of homage to Patricia Highsmith’s ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ featuring narrative elements of ‘The Wasp Factory’ by Iain M Banks Although Parks ‘Cara Massimina’ is a good book it doesn’t reach the level of the two novels mentioned above I am not sure yet if I will continue the series

  2. says:

    Readers need to sympathise empathise enjoy or feel for the protagonists in whose journey they are following; this is the way of things and yet with Cara Massimina Juggling the Stars in US you don't feel any of these things Despite being published in 1990 this is a fairly original concept one that is interesting uniue and temperamentalDescribed as a thriller I found it of a character thought provoking drama of a man who is driven to murder by his insecurities of being in a different country lack of money and career prospects and his demonised relationship with his father that ultimately forces him to struggle with relationshipsMorris is a despicable man; angry jealous sarcastic and pig headed and yet there are terrific black comedy moments where I found myself laughing out loud It takes a subtle hand to be able to mix humour and murder together in a serious book Morris's deepening paranoia is also delved into in such a realistic and witty wayHowever I did find the book increasingly slow at the beginning It wasn't until I was about just over half way through that I found things picking up The ransom letters needed to be introduced earlier in the novel and I can see why people are put off by its slow approach Enjoyable but not one of the author's best

  3. says:

    British author Tim Parks' early novel Juggling the Stars has been reissued as Cara Massimina Duckworth and the Italian Girls It is one of three or four novel the ex pat has written about Morris Duckworth a Brit who moves to Verona Italy and finds a novel way to advance his fortunesMorris Duckworth is the kind of character you'd find in many novels which are constructed around poor boy on the make Morris has come to Verona this novel takes place in the 1980's and finds a place at a language school teaching English to the children of wealthy Veronese He being brighter and hard working than those he's teaching is envious of the easy way these young people live their lives As the son of a widowed father who is abusive to his only child Morris is a handsome young man with an outwardly confident nature that is at odds with the real Morris He falls in like with one of his dimmer students Massimina Trevisan the youngest daughter of a widow of means But if Morris falls in like with Massimina she falls into love with him There's a difference between the two emotions of course and Morris keeps his head while he's leading Mimi through a faux kidnappingTim Parks reveals his characters slowly Things happen as they freuently do in mystery novels but the ending is not as expected Now I don't know if that's because of the vagaries of the Italian police and judicial systems or because of Morris's dumb luck but Tim Parks continues Morris Duckworth's adventures into several books Cara Massimina is a fun book to read and I'm looking forward to reading Morris

  4. says:

    An Englishman teaching in Italy becomes obsessed with a seventeen year old student and kidnaps her without her knowledge by pretending to go on holiday with her but has to resort to murder to maintain the deception It’s uite dark with a deliberately cold and unsympathetic protagonist and the smooth prose and Italian setting maintain interest 25 3 stars

  5. says:

    I hated the main protagonist He is a selfish bastard which you can sympathise with for a single second The other reason I did not like this book is that I thought it was a thrillermystery book It is not It is the annoying story about a guy who feels he deserves better

  6. says:

    An acutely observed witty and macabre tale of an English sociopath adrift in Italy 35 but rounding up for the Italian atmosphere

  7. says:

    This book wasn’t really bad and I wasn’t bored while reading it either but it wasn’t that good and interesting that i would read the seuel

  8. says:

    This was not what I was expecting but was completely bloody wonderful Morris Duckworth is such an odious individual and his escapades across Italy are spectacularly written by Tim Parks here I am really looking forward to reading book two

  9. says:

    Somehow entertaining but Morris is such a self possessed person that it is really hard to keep listening to his whining

  10. says:

    I read the following two stories before this one and enjoyed them Reading the happenings that led to the later books made me mad Mor reece was unsympathetic in this story and I got mad for finding amusement in him later in life Reading how massimina was in life as opposed to death was a disappointment

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