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Il Virginian era un piroscafo. Negli anni tra le due guerre faceva la spola tra Europa e America, con il suo carico di miliardari, di emigranti e di gente qualsiasi. Dicono che sul Virginian si esibisse ogni sera un pianista straordinario, dalla tecnica strabiliante, capace di suonare una musica mai sentita prima, meravigliosa. Dicono che la sua storia fosse pazzesca, che Il Virginian era un piroscafo. Negli anni tra le due guerre faceva la spola tra Europa e America, con il suo carico di miliardari, di emigranti e di gente qualsiasi. Dicono che sul Virginian si esibisse ogni sera un pianista straordinario, dalla tecnica strabiliante, capace di suonare una musica mai sentita prima, meravigliosa. Dicono che la sua storia fosse pazzesca, che fosse nato su quella nave e che da lì non fosse mai sceso. Dicono che nessuno sapesse il perché.


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Il Virginian era un piroscafo. Negli anni tra le due guerre faceva la spola tra Europa e America, con il suo carico di miliardari, di emigranti e di gente qualsiasi. Dicono che sul Virginian si esibisse ogni sera un pianista straordinario, dalla tecnica strabiliante, capace di suonare una musica mai sentita prima, meravigliosa. Dicono che la sua storia fosse pazzesca, che Il Virginian era un piroscafo. Negli anni tra le due guerre faceva la spola tra Europa e America, con il suo carico di miliardari, di emigranti e di gente qualsiasi. Dicono che sul Virginian si esibisse ogni sera un pianista straordinario, dalla tecnica strabiliante, capace di suonare una musica mai sentita prima, meravigliosa. Dicono che la sua storia fosse pazzesca, che fosse nato su quella nave e che da lì non fosse mai sceso. Dicono che nessuno sapesse il perché.

30 review for Novecento. Un monologo

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dhanaraj Rajan

    "The world is the piano of God and on which I can not play." - says the most famous Pianist Novecento (1900). This is a short and provocative story with an interesting philosophy at the end. The story is of a person born and brought up on a ship and more specifically he was 'born on the piano' of the ship. It seems that the music gave its spirit to him and he emerges a genius of a piano player. The strangeness associated with him is that he never ever leaves the ship and he plays music only after "The world is the piano of God and on which I can not play." - says the most famous Pianist Novecento (1900). This is a short and provocative story with an interesting philosophy at the end. The story is of a person born and brought up on a ship and more specifically he was 'born on the piano' of the ship. It seems that the music gave its spirit to him and he emerges a genius of a piano player. The strangeness associated with him is that he never ever leaves the ship and he plays music only after the ship has set its sail out of the port. He never sets foot on the earth. Later when the ship has become very old and not suitable for further journeys, it gets destroyed and along with that the pianist also dies. Before the destruction his friend goes in to the ship to convince him to come down from the ship. And he responds saying that he does not want to come down. The reason: Read the first line of the review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Mr. Baricco does not write words; he writes emotions, although writes is not a proper term; more like it, draws emotions. This is the second of his books that I'm reading and it left me breathless, as the first one ("Silk") did. Is not about the action, is the way he stages the ambient around people's feelings. Or better said, he makes the feelings of both the characters and yourself gradually grow until you are incapable of anything else. Do not think even for a moment that the story is cheesy, o Mr. Baricco does not write words; he writes emotions, although writes is not a proper term; more like it, draws emotions. This is the second of his books that I'm reading and it left me breathless, as the first one ("Silk") did. Is not about the action, is the way he stages the ambient around people's feelings. Or better said, he makes the feelings of both the characters and yourself gradually grow until you are incapable of anything else. Do not think even for a moment that the story is cheesy, on the contrary: no metaphors, no endless descriptions, no love statements, nothing of this sort. It is just a story told within 88 piano keys...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    I am under the impression that Baricco writes pure emotions.. "Millions and billions of keys that never end and this is the real truth, that they never end and that keyboard is infinite / If that keyboard is infinite, then / On that keyboard there is no music you can play. You're sitting on the wrong seat: that is the piano on which God plays." I am under the impression that Baricco writes pure emotions.. "Millions and billions of keys that never end and this is the real truth, that they never end and that keyboard is infinite / If that keyboard is infinite, then / On that keyboard there is no music you can play. You're sitting on the wrong seat: that is the piano on which God plays."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beewhisperer

    One of my favorite book! It's short but complete, filled with images, sounds and emotions. It took me away and never completely left me. One of my favorite book! It's short but complete, filled with images, sounds and emotions. It took me away and never completely left me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Life from a point of view of somebody who never lived. At least not in a way that is familiar to us. Novecento lives on the ship from the very beginning, he never leaves it. Never steps on land. Instead, he listens to the stories the people tell. The descriptions of cities, forests, a different life. And he puts everything he hears in music. Nobody knows how he learned to play the piano but there is nobody who plays better than him. His music is living, it is indescribable and it is magical. Nov Life from a point of view of somebody who never lived. At least not in a way that is familiar to us. Novecento lives on the ship from the very beginning, he never leaves it. Never steps on land. Instead, he listens to the stories the people tell. The descriptions of cities, forests, a different life. And he puts everything he hears in music. Nobody knows how he learned to play the piano but there is nobody who plays better than him. His music is living, it is indescribable and it is magical. Novecento's music captures the people on board. It is a rather short story and written in a very simple, partly even colloquial style. Nevertheless it captures you from the beginning until the end. Novecento's friend is telling the story and although you soon know how Novecento ends up the story does not lose its tension. Novecento is an interesting and very unique character. The focus is just on him, everything is about him but still it is interesting and full of moral. The story may teach you a lot. It shows the life from a different angle. One, many never thought about, I bet. For me, it is definetely a book that belongs on the "read-before-you-die"-list. A classical, very amusing and yet somehow melancholic story everyone should be confronted with...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emanuela

    I cried all my tears out

  7. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Haf

    This is the story of an exceptional pianist, who was born and lived on board of the Virginian, incapable of getting off and facing life on land. Music, the one that he makes because the ocean is big and frightening, is his whole life. Music that he can play with eighty-eight keys, infinite music through a finite instrument, this is the only music that Novecento knows how to play. Real life is a whole other thing, a whole different music

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philippe

    A nice story that circles around a familiar Baricco theme: the loner, in an enclave, searching for perfection, for the purity of the Platonic eidos.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maddalena

    Imagine living your entire life on a boat,--a huge cruise ship! Your entire world is that ship and nothing else. You cannot know what the real world is; you don’t even know how the sand or just-mowed grass smells like This is the Novecento’s story, who was found by a machinist of the Virginian when he was just a newborn. The story is narrated by a trumpeter, who needed a job, and he has known the main character on the boat. Novecento was the greatest pianist who the narrator has ever met, and by Imagine living your entire life on a boat,--a huge cruise ship! Your entire world is that ship and nothing else. You cannot know what the real world is; you don’t even know how the sand or just-mowed grass smells like This is the Novecento’s story, who was found by a machinist of the Virginian when he was just a newborn. The story is narrated by a trumpeter, who needed a job, and he has known the main character on the boat. Novecento was the greatest pianist who the narrator has ever met, and by a coincidence they play in the same band. The main character has never left that ship, although once he tried. That was the struggle: a man cannot abandon his own house. Maybe he never really wanted living the real life, out of the sea. I wanted to read this book because I’d just seen the movie, and I thought it was beautiful. It has made me dream, it made me think about how much the life, sometimes, could be mysterious. I have to say that this book, like the movie, is pretty is weird. In fact, during all the pages, the trumpeter says just a monologue about his best friend. I can understand that not everybody is going to appreciate this book, even if I have found it pure poetry. I don’t think anyone can read this book; in fact it could be more appreciate by grown-ups. It’s a fast read because it is only approximately 60 pages long. Even though it’s a short story, you can live an incredible adventure. Imagine living your entire life on a boat, a huge cruise ship.Your entire world is that ship and nothing else. You cannot know how the real world is; you don’t even know sand or the smell of just-mowed grass. Novecento found by a machinist of the Virginian when was just a newborn on this cruise ship in the first half of the last century. The narrator of this story is a trumpeter who wants a job on the boat. He and Novecento are now friends. Novecento was the greatest pianist who the narrator has ever met. Everyone who hears Novecento play, even just once, is amazed. Everybody wanted to listen his music and on the land everybody started to talk about him. Jelly Roll,The Jazz King, has decided to challenge Novecento Novecento has never left the boat, although once he tried: but a man cannot abandon his own house. This is the theme, Novecento lived his all life on the boat, that was his house, there he was born: he couldn't leave. I wanted to read this book because I had just watched the movie, and I thought it was beautiful. It has made me dream; it made me think about how much life, sometimes, could be mysterious. I have to say that this book, like the movie, is pretty is weird. In fact, during all the pages, the trumpeter tells just a monologue about his best friend, the great pianist. I can understand that not everybody is going to appreciate this book, even if I have found it pure poetry! I don’t think anyone can read this book; in fact it maybe more appreciated by grown-ups. It’s a fast read because it only has approximately 60 pages. Even if it’s a short story, you can live an incredible adventure and join this incredible life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emeraldia Ayakashi

    What we can say is that Alessandro Baricco knows you carry a few words in his world, and a unique world full of magic. After worshiping Castles anger and sea Ocean (I oddly less marked Silk, his bestseller), I found great pleasure if its fine writing, full of fantasy and poetry. This is a very short text, one might even say it's a long story (90 pages). It is basically a text that was written for the theater and has even stage directions. The author also described as a long monologue. Unclassifi What we can say is that Alessandro Baricco knows you carry a few words in his world, and a unique world full of magic. After worshiping Castles anger and sea Ocean (I oddly less marked Silk, his bestseller), I found great pleasure if its fine writing, full of fantasy and poetry. This is a very short text, one might even say it's a long story (90 pages). It is basically a text that was written for the theater and has even stage directions. The author also described as a long monologue. Unclassifiable text so. This is the story of Danny Boodman TD Lemon Novecento that is told in this book through the words of his friend trumpeter. Novecento is a young man born on a ship and that abandons. He never set foot on earth and became a piano virtuoso. There will be a time down the opportunity but will not succeed until ... Other pianists come to play on the ship but all eventually bow to his genius. I liked this passage, the story of an extraordinary man and an extraordinary destiny. There is also a lot of melancholy in these lines. « C’est ça que j’ai appris, moi. La terre, c’est un bateau trop grand pour moi. C’est un trop long voyage. Une femme trop belle. Un parfum trop fort. Une musique que je ne sais pas jouer. » I must say that this is one of the contemporary writers that I find most original in the writing and the themes it addresses. I am completely in love with his writing so unique, so fine, so delicate and full of humor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    France-Andrée

    I read this in French for my literature class. I had heard of it as a movie and did not know it was available in a book form. This is a monologue, the narrator is telling the story of his best friend: a man who was born and lived his life on a ocean liner. At about 90 pages, this is a quick read (now, I have to prepare my answers for class, but that's another story). I really enjoyed this story, it is well constructed; it is all about Novocento and his music (he is a pianist) and you can hear th I read this in French for my literature class. I had heard of it as a movie and did not know it was available in a book form. This is a monologue, the narrator is telling the story of his best friend: a man who was born and lived his life on a ocean liner. At about 90 pages, this is a quick read (now, I have to prepare my answers for class, but that's another story). I really enjoyed this story, it is well constructed; it is all about Novocento and his music (he is a pianist) and you can hear the music yourself while you are reading or maybe that's just my imagination that got away with me, but I am thinking this is the magic of the story and that other readers will experience this melding of the senses. As a first read for my literature class, this was a good introduction to the subject of the semester: "identity in literature from the world". Next up for the class is The Road by Cormac McCarthy and that sounds really interesting too (I think I was lucky to get a professor who has similar tastes to mine). I think when you are obligated to read something and you have only good things to say about it is the best recommendation for a story you can give.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elena Todisco

    Emotional. I've never appreciated Baricco, to be completely honest, and mostly because of his writing. A witness is my "Ocean sea" copy left with a bookmark at page 8 and never ever re-opened again. This book, although, is a rare gem. I'm persuaded that the reason why I've liked it so much is because it is not a novel, but a monologue, a piéce. What sounds over-dramatic, pretentious, and barely bearable in a novel results in the perfect theatre-style. There is nothing I would change in this "boo Emotional. I've never appreciated Baricco, to be completely honest, and mostly because of his writing. A witness is my "Ocean sea" copy left with a bookmark at page 8 and never ever re-opened again. This book, although, is a rare gem. I'm persuaded that the reason why I've liked it so much is because it is not a novel, but a monologue, a piéce. What sounds over-dramatic, pretentious, and barely bearable in a novel results in the perfect theatre-style. There is nothing I would change in this "book", from the plot to the emotions Novecento is able to carve from your stone heart. If you don't like Baricco, give Novecento the chance to be the exception that proves the rule.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elie

    Maddness. Its all madness like all genius things. Im in love... with a book. Endless endless... 88 keys ... infinite music. 56 pages ... and i said goodbye to all the plays i will read. I bewitched them... infinite beauty.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This book is my proof against all the girls that stated, I'd be a cold calculating cerebral person without many emotions. To all of them I can say: I even cried! And it felt good ;-) This book is my proof against all the girls that stated, I'd be a cold calculating cerebral person without many emotions. To all of them I can say: I even cried! And it felt good ;-)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elsa

    my 1st italian book! I really like it! review to come (when I'll have time after my exams ehehe) my 1st italian book! I really like it! review to come (when I'll have time after my exams ehehe)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ursa

    it's all about perception. it's all about perception.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Irina Baciu

    Genial

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Albanawi

    Captivating masterpiece.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Христина Арсова Kikiland

    My cup of tea ....i enjoy in every page... MAESTRALNO!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Why? why? why? why? why?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tariq Alferis

    .Oh man, that ending was so worth it.,i will watch the movie ..

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aya Kamel

    Perfection!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Darragh

    Loved this! May need to read it again in French to make sure I grasped everything, mind.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Silvia

    (IT/EN) Mettiamo subito in chiaro una cosa: in molti autori italiani contemporanei che ho incontrato sono stata fortemente irritata da quella che chiamo masturbazione letteraria, ovvero la continua necessita’ di far vedere che uno sa scrivere e lo sa. Questa e’ in assoluto la cosa che piu’ mi fa inbestialire in un autore (motivo per cui brucerei L'eleganza del riccio, per esempio), e mi e’ stato ripetutamente detto che Baricco rientra in questa categoria. Tuttavia, ho pensato, diamogli una possib (IT/EN) Mettiamo subito in chiaro una cosa: in molti autori italiani contemporanei che ho incontrato sono stata fortemente irritata da quella che chiamo masturbazione letteraria, ovvero la continua necessita’ di far vedere che uno sa scrivere e lo sa. Questa e’ in assoluto la cosa che piu’ mi fa inbestialire in un autore (motivo per cui brucerei L'eleganza del riccio, per esempio), e mi e’ stato ripetutamente detto che Baricco rientra in questa categoria. Tuttavia, ho pensato, diamogli una possibilita’ a sto povero cristo, e partiamo dal piu’ corto che trovo per rendere il processo indolore nel caso mi faccia schifo. Fortunatamente, queste 70 pagine scarse sono veramente un gioiellino di letteratura. Un monologo, un romanzo, un pezzo teatrale, una sinfonia – a Baricco e’ riuscito proprio tutto. Una storia semplice, di scelte, di priorita’, di vita vissuta in maniera forse biasimabile, ma secondo i propri desideri e le proprie convinzioni. In una parola: bellissimo. Anche se non interferisce nella storia in questo caso, purtroppo capisco cosa mi veniva detto di Baricco. Si vede che e’ uno a cui piacciono le parole, i virtuosismi, lo stile, e gli piace molto far vedere che sa usarli. Leggero’ Seta dopo questo, e confesso di temere il rituale lancio del libro per il salone che riservo a tutte le opere di masturbazione letteraria. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let’s make this clear: in many contemporary Italian authors I’ve come across I’ve been profoundly annoyed by what I call ‘literary masturbation’, meaning the relentless need to show one knows how to write, and KNOWS. This is the single thing that annoys me the most about any author (reason why I’d burn The Elegance of the Hedgehog, for instance), and I’ve been repeatedly told that Baricco falls into this category. However, I though, let’s give the poor chap a chance, and let’s start with the shortest of its books to make the proves as painless as possible, just in case. Thankfully, those 70 pages are a real literary gem. A monologue, a novel, theatre, a sinphony – Baricco did it all. A simple story of choices, priorities, of a life lived in a way you can disapprove of, but true to one’s desires and beliefs. In one word: stunning. Even if it doesn’t really interfere with the story in this instance, unfortunately I understand now what I’ve been told about Baricco. You can tell he loves words, virtuosity, style, and he likes to show he can use those literary devices. I plan to read Silk after this, and I must confess I fear it’ll end up with the usual ritual of throwing the book across the living room, a treatment I reserve for works of literary masturbation.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    [Review in English followed by review in French] [Critique en anglais suivie de critique en français] I really like strange, eccentric and unique characters. Novecento is definitely one of them. It's a man who was born on a boat, or more precisely on a piano on a boat, and who will become a genius player. He will spend he's entire life playing the piano on this boat, without never setting his foot on the land. I love this concept but I rated the novel only 3 stars because it was way too short. I wa [Review in English followed by review in French] [Critique en anglais suivie de critique en français] I really like strange, eccentric and unique characters. Novecento is definitely one of them. It's a man who was born on a boat, or more precisely on a piano on a boat, and who will become a genius player. He will spend he's entire life playing the piano on this boat, without never setting his foot on the land. I love this concept but I rated the novel only 3 stars because it was way too short. I wanted to learn much more about Novecento. This is the only complaint I can make. I don't think the book was incomplete, but personally I wanted to know more so I ended up frustrated from this reading session. But I would still recommend this book because it's still a very good story that Baricco offers us. As usual he depicts emotions with tremendous talent. He makes us feel things with intensity. This is what all books should do. J'aime beaucoup les personnages étranges, excentriques et uniques. Novencento est très certainement l'un d'entre eux. Il s'agit d'un homme né sur un bateau, ou plus précisément sur le piano du bateau et qui deviendra un virtuose. Il passera sa vie sur ce bateau à joueur du piano sans jamais mettre pied à terre. J'adore le concept mais je n'ai mis que 3 étoiles parce que ce livre est trop court. J'aurais voulu en apprendre beaucoup plus sur Novecento. C'est vraiment la seule critique que je puisse faire. Je ne pense pas que le livre soit incomplet, mais moi personnellement j'aurais voulu en savoir plus, et donc je suis sortie frustrée de cette lecture. Mais je conseille malgré tout ce livre, car c'est quand même du très bon Baricco. Comme d'habitude il dépeint avec énormément de talent les émotions. Il nous fait sentir les choses de très intensément. C'est ce que tous les livres devraient faire. Et j'ai beaucoup aimé le concept de "pièce de théâtre".

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    "Please, Novecento, only the normal notes, Okay?" Baricco, you know, rather you love him or you hate him, or at least it appears to be the case. I am among the ones who love him, I can't help it. Every time I read his works I enter in a world made of vivid sensations, of unforgettable characters and emotions. Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon Novecento is a pianist. An extraordinary one. He was born and abandoned on the transatlantic Virginian. Danny Broodman, a black sailor, founds him and adopts him. Th "Please, Novecento, only the normal notes, Okay?" Baricco, you know, rather you love him or you hate him, or at least it appears to be the case. I am among the ones who love him, I can't help it. Every time I read his works I enter in a world made of vivid sensations, of unforgettable characters and emotions. Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon Novecento is a pianist. An extraordinary one. He was born and abandoned on the transatlantic Virginian. Danny Broodman, a black sailor, founds him and adopts him. They live onboard together for eight years when Danny dies. Novecento disappears after Danny's death and when he resurfaces he starts playing the piano. People come and go as the years goes by, but Novevento never leaves the Virginian, he never sets foot on the ground. He's a complex character, great reader of people, unfortunately prisoner of his fear of the unknown that looms outside the Virginian. Too scared to face the immense world he choses to stay onboard and to play the piano to entertain the passengers, until the transatlantic is demolished. Land? Land is a ship too big for me…it's a woman too beautiful, it's a voyage too long…perfume too strong…it's music I don't know how to make…I could never get off this ship.  This book was born as a monologue for the theatre and in 1998 it was adapted into a movie, "The legend of 900", which I recommend you to check out after reading this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aurora

    This monologue is so utterly beautiful.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendorej

    I enjoyed this story but didn't understand it. The ending was too lyrical and poetic... and in the end just cryptic for my brain. I enjoyed this story but didn't understand it. The ending was too lyrical and poetic... and in the end just cryptic for my brain.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mustafa Hamed

    I read this listening to Bill Evans.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wael EL Gabas

    I really think that goodreads should make a special 10 stars rating just for Alessandro Baricco novels, what can I say about the most talented author in our time.

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