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Give Us a Kiss
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Jim Thompson
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Marcovaldo - Italo Calvino, William Weaver "This Marcovaldo possessed an eye ill-suited to city life."--"Mushrooms in The City", Calvino

Indeed his eye is not suited to city life, but then niether is any other part of his body. MARCOVALDO is a small book of some 20 short stories, some very short, detailing the travails of the hapless peasant Marcovaldo who toils in a post-war Italian industrial city while longing for the simple rural joys he left behind. These were beautifully written (and translated) stories. Marcovaldo is a buffoon, but also a canny recorder of the absurdities of urban life. 3.5 to 4 stars from me.