An original Italian easy reader by Francesca Colombo
“Grandioso! Licenziato dopo due mesi… E adesso che faccio?!” pensai. Il primo impulso era stato quello di prendere il cellulare. Avevo scorso la rubrica fino alla lettera “C”, poi mi ero fermato a fissare lo schermo. Infine avevo sospirato e lo avevo riposto in tasca. Preso dallo sconforto, mi guardai intorno e chiesi, questa volta ad alta voce: “Che diamine posso fare?”
Milanese twenty-something Matteo loses his first real job after just a few months, and despairs he’ll ever find another. His parents don’t understand how bad his prospects seem, and he hasn’t spoken to his best friend, Cecilia, for several months. Should he call her? But can true friendship between a man and a woman really exist?
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/Italian glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at advanced level
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
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Karen (verified owner) –
I believe I am a level B2 learner, but unlike other reviewers also at the B2 level, I found this book extremely difficult to read and understand. There are very many unfamiliar words I had to look up in the dictionary. Even after obtaining the dictionary translation, I sometimes still could not decipher what was being conveyed in the sentence. Secondo me, the plot is not very intriguing, though, that may in part be due to my issues with comprehension. I did appreciate the humor of the protagonist, as well as the friendship between Mateo and Cecelia, and the relationship between Mateo and his parents.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Karen. We appreciate it. Also for your help with the technical issue which seems to be plaguing the reviews process, still not resolved, unfortunately!
As regards the level, this ebook is C1/C2 level, so it is actually supposed to be hard – nearly native speaker level, almost authentic. The writer is an experienced teacher, as am I (and I have read every single one of our publications multiple times…)
So if you found this one difficult and your level is B2, that’s really the point, don’t you think? The fact that another reviewer said they were B2 and did not find it difficult is more likely to put in doubt their understanding of their own Italian reading ability, perhaps better than they thought.
Great little story. Nice modern plot and fun to read. Quite realistic with some good and perhaps more colloquial expressions?
I really love these books and haven’t read a dull one yet. I try to translate every word at first, but then, by the second chapter usually, I just want to read them quickly right through to the end.
Wendy Hartnell (verified owner) –
I really liked this one. It’s a modern story with modern vocabulary and quite funny in places. I’m around B2 and used this for listening practice and found that I could follow most of it after a couple of times listening.
Claire M –
Although well past the age of young love & embarrassing relationships, I found this a fun story.
It was read quite fast but clearly & I could follow the gist of it without the text. However once I did look at the text there was a lot to learn – many new words & interesting phrases. I would recommend it.
Judy Jacques –
I loved the strong narrative voice and the mother/son relationship. The story was very engaging with good characterisation.
It was challenging but the plot momentum carried me along. I managed to resist looking up too much vocabulary on a first reading, but curiosity always drives me to return to the text and check with WordReference. Am I alone in finding the glossary sometimes offers the -to me- obvious, eg una spalla si cui piangere, and misses others, eg cicciotella?
As always, the soundtrack is a real bonus and repays more than one listening.
I’d like more like this, even the same characters.
Thanks for the review, Judy. Yes, you’re right, the glossaries are always rubbish. It seems Italians find it very hard to predict which words English-speakers find difficult, often choosing glossary items that are totally obvious! I confess, I’ve known this for years, but I’ve been putting off reviewing the glossaries for what by now must be more than a hundred titles until I retire and have plenty of time. Sorry again!
Yvonne (verified owner) –
Don’t be put off this book if you’re not an advanced student. I’m not, but I really enjoyed reading it. I’m a lot better at reading than listening or speaking (probably because I like reading more!!) but the accompanying recording is excellent and I think I do learn by getting out of my comfort zone a bit. I am studiously avoiding learning the Passato Remoto because I have a tendency to get wrapped up in grammatical issues (and I have lots of other things to learn); but it’s still good to be able to recognise it when you see it and not be bothered by it.
Matteo and Cecilia have a great friendship (when they eventually sort out their relationship). He has a bit of a complicated relationship with himself for a while. He wants to be a ‘cool’ guy but we know that he has a great sense of fairness and reacts without thinking when his values are challenged. With Cecilia, though, what you see is what you get. Good looking but not at all interested in fashion or trying to fit in. A bit nerdy perhaps but a very good person.
I also found it interesting that both these characters, though well qualified, had employment issues that Matteo’s father found a bit hard to fathom. A generational difference in employment opportunities in Italian society, perhaps. And I really want to say that I wish Matteo had not underestimated his doting Mum’s intelligence so much.
Tony Prosser (verified owner) –
This is at an advanced level, and definitely not for beginners, but I think it is the best of the easyreaders so far. The indefatigable Francesca Colombo has moved away from the historical stories I have read by her recently to an account of a modern relationship. It is beautifully written and read and really does develop sympathy for an initially unsympathetic narrator. This is a great incentive to keep reading and listening. There were many informal phrases that were new to me but which may prove useful, and the exercises were interesting and varied. In the end, it was rather moving.
To stress again, it does require quite an advanced level if Italian but I think it would be worth trying for anyone with level B2 or better (you certainly don’t need to understand every word or even phrase). Once more, great value.