From the celebrated Italian novelist. An older man, an illustrator, reluctantly comes from Milan, where he is currently living, to Naples, where he grew up, to look after his grandson while his daughter and son-in-law attend an academic conference. Once there, he must confront the ghosts of his past.
...[a] layered, alternately witty and melancholy story ... In her fascinating introduction to Trick, [Lahiri] writes with captivating skill about the complex language choices she had to make ... It’s all fascinating stuff. But, in a sense, it pulls attention from the novel. I’d suggest reading Trick first, then reading Lahiri’s insightful introduction. Otherwise, like me, you might find yourself marveling at her mastery of language but distracted by wondering how she landed on words like 'agglutination' or phrases such as 'omniscient homunculus.'
These strained relationships already make this engrossing, but then there is something darker still ... Starnone packs a huge amount into a small compass, as he did in his last novel ... For a while Starnone was suspected of being the best-selling author [Ferrante]. With Trick, he shows yet again that he is a much more literarily sophisticated writer than that.
...[an] astute and emotionally precise novel ... Lahiri’s translation preserves the poignancy and humor of the first-person narration, which balances compassion and repressed irritation. The book is packed with endearing moments and clever observations about familial relationships. This remarkably layered work encourages rereading to unearth subtle and new interpretations.