100 Days of Happiness

100 Days of Happiness

100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi

Italian. Didn’t realize it was a translation, but its original language was Italian, very much like my native English, but more melliferous in tone.

From the first few pages, the translator’s tone seems to evoke a certain post-modern standard, works well. Assured, calm, rational in an irrational situation, and more pointedly, quietly confident in voice.

“Almost every family on earth has dealt with the pointlessness and humiliation of the medical spiral. It’s a round robin of treatments that puts money in the pockets of private clinics and leads the patient by the hand into the afterlife, but only after emptying his pockets. I’m not falling for that. I promise.” Page 108.

The main character starts out dead, from the Big C (cancer). It’s narration — with flashbacks and loops — of his last 100 days.

“I suddenly understand that human beings aren’t divided into good and bad, southerners and northerners, the intelligent and the stupid, or any of the other thousands of distinctions that we invent to liven up our existence. They’re divided into book benders and non‒book benders.” The former are happier.” Page 138.

That much is true. Or as close as an Italian author can get to it. Two kinds of people. Even at this juncture in my life, I am a non-book-bender. But I do scribble notes in the margins, on occasion.

“I remind Umberto that I’ve always considered psychologists to be people without any true calling, more or less like politicians.” Page 185.

Would you go see a shrink, if you had less than 100 days to live?

100 Days of Happiness

Love. Loss. Italian comic books.

Never heard of Diabolik before.

Must be a parallel.

As a digital book, the pulp price was attractive, and as a digital book, the chapter divisions weren’t so clear, not at first, but the main character — the protagonist — was counting down his last 100 days.

Another weird attribute about reading a digital book? I pause long enough to flip over to a satellite image of the globe, and look for Rome, Italy. If Texas is bigger than France, then Italy is? That’s not very wide, is it?

100 Days of Happiness

Observation I made privately, years ago, “dating” a Virgo?

“Nowadays, a man who is forty and some change is hardly old. But if he pretends he’s eighteen and dresses accordingly, he’s old, and how.” Page 316.

My observation was about women of a certain age, trying to dress like their daughters, and how it wasn’t really effective. I prefer women in sensible shoes.

Life and death, redemption, forgiveness, all from Italy with love. And doughnuts.

Damn, now I’m hungry for a doughnut.

100 Days of Happiness

100 Days of Happiness

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