A Season With Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Character and...Goals! by Tim Parks
After twenty years of living in Italy, Tim Parks, whom Joseph Brodsky has called "the best British author working today," spent a full year following the fortunes - and misfortunes - of the Verona soccer club. Here is his rollicking report. Following the fans and the players from the tip to the toe of Italy, he offers a highly personal account of his relationship with a country, its people and its national sport. Verona, recently elevated to the top-rank teams - Serie A - is trudging to stay there. The fans, as always, are accused of vulgarity, racism, and violence. The police are ambiguous, the journeys exhausting, the referees unforgivable, the anecdotes hilarious. In a world stripped of idealism and increasingly bereft of religion, Parks suggests that soccer offers a new, and fiercely ironic, way of engaging with the sacred.