The Combover

by

Translated by Richard Dixon

Publication Date:
ISBN: 9781911420712

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‘A fierce, formidable writer … The Combover is a small masterpiece’ Alberto Manguel

Arduino Gherarducci is the latest in the family line of bald men with ornate combovers.

Some combed their hair from one side of the head to the other, some weaved the remnants of their hair together in the middle, but Arduino favors the imperial style of Julius Caesar: forwards, with a fringe.

Although fiercely proud of his combover, it has some serious drawbacks. A sudden gust of wind, or a malevolent prankster, could ruin it at any moment. When the worst happens, Arduino decides to abandon his comfortable university life, as a professor of bibliographic data exchange formats, and he heads toward freedom: Lapland. But he only makes it as far as a mountaintop in Le Marche, where he sets himself up as a hermit and his life takes an unexpected turn…

A hilariously dark tale, The Combover confirms Bravi’s unique and privileged status among Italian contemporary writers.

‘With the skill of a spider, Bravi weaves stories that appear translucent; readers fall into them like flies, finding that there is a fierce, formidable writer at their center. The Combover is a small masterpiece.’ Alberto Manguel

‘Bravi’s book is quizzical in the best sense of the word; its intrigue as a novel lies in its un-decidability: it is both light and grim. Its sheer neuroticism and darkness are sometimes masked by its humour, but if they are behind trees on your first read, they will surely trail you out of it, loop back, snarl, and stalk you brazenly in the second.’ Numéro Cinq