Tim Parks

Tim Parks is the author of The Hero’s Way: Walking with Garibaldi from Rome to Ravenna, among other books.

The Beast He Was: ‘Kapo’

Tim Parks, 26 May 2022

MiroslavBlam appreciates his apartment because it’s ‘in the centre of things, yet remains a hideaway’. A mansard at the top of his town’s most prominent building, on the edge of Main Square, it presents several lines of defence. There is a watchful janitor, no lift, many stairs to climb, ‘meddlesome people’ to pass. Even if you find the apartment, you...

Between​ the third and fifth centuries of the Christian era the major world religions ceased to sacrifice animals to appease their gods. For reasons that remain unclear, a practice that had been central to devotional behaviour for thousands of years came to appear grotesque. Joseph Farrell observes that the practice of duelling is now similarly ‘uniformly judged as outlandish and...

Jhumpa Lahiri​ made her name with two collections of stories – Interpreter of Maladies (1999) and Unaccustomed Earth (2008) – in which a range of characters negotiate the kinds of tension that Lahiri herself may have experienced growing up in New England as the daughter of Bengali immigrants. Families are torn between different cultures and languages, children divide their...

‘Look both ways when you cross the street,’ Giovanni’s mother tells him when he goes out. He’s a careless boy, easily distracted, and the reader is primed. In the street, the boy is ‘so pleased with how careful he’s being that he starts hopping along like a sparrow’. A polite gentleman warns him that this is carelessness indeed: ‘You see?...

He​ had two days to prepare. We’d been thinking about it for a year. Four thousand infantry had to be organised. Eight hundred cavalry. Mules, carts, munitions, medical services. A cannon. He was disappointed, having hoped ten thousand would follow him. There were two of us. We left from the same place, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, in Rome. He in 1849. We in 2019. On 2 July. The...

Bats in Smoke: Tim Parks

Emily Gould, 2 August 2012

At some point in his mid-forties, the novelist Tim Parks developed a terrible pain, near-constant and located in embarrassing places: his lower abdomen and crotch. ‘I had quite a repertoire...

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Tim Parks’s latest novel opens in the forests of the South Tyrol, where a group of white-water enthusiasts are taking a kayaking holiday. The river is overflowing with melt water from a...

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Tucked in and under: Tim Parks

Jenny Turner, 30 September 1999

‘Can this beautiful young model be thinking?’ Tim Parks asks at one point in this book. ‘One hopes not,’ the argument continues, as Parks’s narrator looks through an...

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By an Unknown Writer

Patrick Parrinder, 25 January 1996

Italo Calvino was born in 1923 and came to prominence in post-war Italy as a writer of neo-realist and politically committed short stories, some of them published in the Communist paper

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Dangerous Faults

Frank Kermode, 4 November 1993

This is Tim Parks’s sixth novel. He has also done some serious translation – Moravia, Calvino, Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony – and written a lively book...

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Patrick Parrinder, 5 August 1993

Mythology was once defined by Robert Graves as the study of whatever religious or heroic legends are so foreign to a student’s experience that he cannot believe them to be true. Mythical...

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Nicholas Spice, 6 November 1986

Readers of John Updike’s previous novel, The Witches of Eastwick, will not have forgotten Darryl Van Horne’s bottom: how, at the end of a game of tennis, Darryl dropped his shorts and...

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