Book Detail

Publisher: Giunti Editore

Format: paperback

Quasi Arzilli

Almost Lively

An exhilarating debut; gentle and moving. A comedy with an unmistakable atmosphere that makes you laugh until you cry with a touch of melancholy. The portrait of an Italy that is slowly disappearing; a place you will never want to leave.

A gang of over-80 year-olds are in pursuit of the meaning of life: each in his own way … and before it is too late!

In the landmark bar ‘la Rambla’, in the heart of the Pennines above Reggio Emilia, one particular game of cards is more forlorn than usual. Not even Elvis’s special coffee spiked with a dash of sambuca will cheer them up. In fact, not only has Ermenegildo left an empty seat, he has also left a hole in the hearts of his friends and a ghost to square up to. After old age comes death. And after death?
Each one of us tries to react in his own way: Gino, nicknamed Apecar because of the old three-wheeled banger he gets around in, doesn’t want to give up driving despite failing sight making him a public peril; Ettore can’t sleep and every morning, like clockwork, goes to Dr Minelli’s, his GP, surgery; Basilio, ex-commander of the twenty-sixth Garibaldi regiment, goes after the “enemy”, a Serbian lad who has taken over the greengrocer’s, which once belonged to dearest Ermenegildo. In the meantime, however, the odd group faces another danger: Corrado, a new officer with the municiple police seems to have a single mission: to send the whole lot of them to Villa Cipressi, the new rest home about to be inaugurated …


Having turned undisturbed into the garages behind the bar, he climbed into the old green rust-ridden Apecar.
He had bought it in the winter of 1994, after the Department of Motor Vehicles had irrevocably announced at his medical checkup that he had become a peril on wheels and that no amount of cured hams and aged parmesans would have persuaded them to renew his license.

Simona Morani, thirty-one, was born in Florence but grew up in Canossa, in the province of Reggio Emilia. She graduated in foreign languages and moved to Germany, where she writes and edits television documentaries. Almost Lively is dedicated to “her old friends” and the fairy tale atmosphere of the Reggio Emilia Pennines.