I was completely entranced by Starnone’s beautifully written novel. It is a snapshot of a man at the latter end of his life, who, while spending a few days looking after his grandson, takes stock of his life so far. The interactions between the grandfather, and his grandson, are so spot on, to be exquisite, and the way Starnone investigates the theme of a man nearing the end of his life, and evaluating it, and the choices he’s made, in contrast with a boy at the beginning of his, are sublime. Highly recommend! — Becky Doherty
Shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Awards
One of The Globe & Mail's Best Books of 2018
A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction in Translation of 2018 book
Sharp, succinct storytelling and breathtaking prose combine in this new novel by the author of Ties, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Kirkus Reviews and Sunday Times Best Book of the Year.
Trick is a stylish drama about ambition, family, and old-age that goes beyond the ordinary and predictable. Imagine a duel between two men. One, Daniele Mallarico, is a successful illustrator who, in the twilight of his years, feels that his reputation and his artistic prowess are fading. The other, Mario, is Daniele's four-year-old grandson. Daniele has been living in a cold northern city for years, in virtual solitude, focusing obsessively on his work, when his daughter asks if he would come to Naples for a few days and babysit Mario while she and her husband attend a conference. Shut inside his childhood home--an apartment in the center of Naples that is filled with the ghosts of Mallarico's past--grandfather and grandson match wits as Daniele heads toward a reckoning with his own ambitions and life choices.
Outside the apartment, pulses Naples, a wily, violent, and passionate city whose influence can never be shaken.
Trick is a gripping, brilliantly devised drama, "an extremely playful literary composition," as Jhumpa Lahiri describes it in her introduction, by the Strega Prize-winning novelist whom many coinsider to be one of Italy's greatest living writers.