An easy Italian reader by Francesca Colombo
Giovanni Verga’s classic novel of a struggling family of fishermen is one of the best known works of Italian literature from the nineteenth century.
‘I Malavoglia’, literally ‘the Unwillings’ (an ironic nickname coined, in the Sicilian fashion of the day, by fellow villagers and fisherfolk) are an industrious extended family headed by ‘Ntoni, who fishes from the family’s boat, ‘la Provvidenza’, together with his son, Bastiano, and grandsons.
For generations, hard work and the strength of the family has been enough to ensure survival and respect. But one day, Bastiano’s eldest boy, called ‘Ntoni too, after his grandfather, is drafted to the military. Suddenly the hard-working family is short one set of hands: “nessuno può immaginarne le catastrofiche conseguenze…”
- .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/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate/intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Susan Randles (verified owner) –
I feel I am at level A2 but decided to try a harder book (this is a B1) for a more interesting story and I’m relieved to find I’m understanding the gist of it even though there are words I really don’t know. I find reading easier than listening (and speaking) so will listen to the download once I’ve roughly understood the story which is about a Sicilian fishing family. The questions are a good test to check understanding.
Mary Wilson (verified owner) –
Seeing that “I Malavoglia” is on special offer this week has given me a nudge to write my rather overdue review!
“I Malavoglia” is a good story about the fortunes of a family who make their living through fishing in 1880’s Sicily. I worked my way through the original with the mini book club last June (see club literature page) and would have found it difficult to keep up with the characters and events without the easy reader as support.
Reading this easy reader is a good way of improving my italian whilst at the same time giving me access to the plot of a well known italian novel.
Anne AlJalahma (verified owner) –
A very sad story but with some hope at the end for Alessi and his family.
I really enjoy listening to the audio versions of these Easy Reader books at my level which is B1/B2 but I was very glad to buy the transcript as it cleared up a lot of things that I had been unable to understand. The Glossary and the Exercises helped as well although I would have like a few more exercises if possible. Having read and listened to the Easy Reader edition several times, I will not hesitate to read the original version one day in the future !
Thank you !
Patricia Berridge (verified owner) –
I did not attempt to read the original, especially that there was a lot of Sicilian dialect, which I didn’t need! Its all about enjoyment, is it not! I thoroughly enjoyed this book at the very least a window into the life of a poor, hardworking Sicilian fisherman’s family in the 1800s. Their strong unity, hierarchy & honour was instructive. It was intriguing to read this adaption of the most popular book by Giovanni Verga. Great exercises, glossary & a fun way to practise listening!
cchavencottage (verified owner) –
Daniel will be pleased to know that I struggled with this book as it is on the limit of my current level of Italian. I will , at a later date, re read it and check some of the
words or phrases I feel I still don’t understand.
The story itself was instructive if somewhat depressing. Unlike most of the Italian I have read , the lighter side seemed non existent. Assuming of course I have understood as much as I think I have.
I will not be rushing to read the original version, I will look for something lighter to cut my big teeth on.
All that said, it still warrants a five star review for its historical, instructive content.
Patricia (verified owner) –
This synopsis of a fine tale about an impoverished, but honorable, family in an 1800s fishing community in Sicily is a wonderfully complete story in itself. I read it before the original in Italian, and again, after I finished the read. The combination of the Mini-book club input and this synopsis vastly expanded the experience of reading the original.
The Easy Reader introduces Verga’s use of proverbs to describe the colorful way in which the fishing village habitants lived and thought. The historical context feels solid.
After reading the much more difficult original version, which was heavily reliant on Sicilian dialect, the riassunto da Francesca Colombo is a delight to re-read and understand!
I liked it, and so I recommend it with or without reading the original.
sue (verified owner) –
Having visited Aci Trezza I really wanted to read this book. Sad story of poverty and misfortune but good Italian and interesting vocab. As always da un occhiata alla cultura Italiana
Douglas Dean (verified owner) –
Excellent B-level learner’s text. Glossary and exercises are included.