Giorgio Faletti: There’s A Higher Purpose In All This
Giorgio Faletti is an Italian writer, actor, comedian, and cabaret singer. Or maybe it’d be more accurate to say, “an Italian comedian, actor, cabaret singer, and writer.” He was born in the Piemonte and now lives on Elba Island.
Of course he does, because writing a couple of really fat, really bad murder mysteries has turned out to be a way better source of income than comedy, acting, or singing songs you wrote yourself. Over on Elba, they’re seriously nouveaux riches — not like in Italy, where they just play at it.
Each of Faletti’s pot boilers sells several million copies. In a country with a tad under 60 million people, that’s not unimpressive. You could compare it to a book that sold 14.5 million copies in the U.S. It’s for guys like Faletti that the word “bestseller” entered the Italian language.
His first thriller, Io Uccido (which ought to have been entitled, Ti Prego, Uccidimi), was published in 2002 and has sold 3.5 million or more copies in Italy. The movie rights were purchased by Aurelio De Laurentiis who (allegedly) paid 700,000 Euro (about $952,000 American) for them, and Cronenberg is due to direct (unless it’s Bruce Beresford or John Avnet; you know how it is in Hollywood). In any event, that’ll move a few more copies of Faletti’s books. IKEA may pick up a couple hundred thousand and distribute them as doorstops.
Faletti’s latest is entitled Fuori da un evidente destino (which I would translate as “Who’d Have Guessed It Was My Destiny to Make So Much Money Off This Crap!”), and its appearance was enough to get my friend and fellow translator, Giuseppe Iacobaci, plenty riled up. His commentary looks like satire, but watch out: Like my daddy always used to say, “When you want to tell the truth, make a joke.”
Faletti’s new book has just come out, and I’m glad. No, really: I’m extremely glad that Faletti’s new book has just come out.
I don’t like Faletti. I’ve got nothing against the guy, but as a writer, I don’t like him. I’d never buy a book by Faletti. Still, I’m glad—no, I’m incredibly glad—that Faletti’s new book has just come out.
His publisher sent him to Arizona for two months to live among the Navajo Indians so he could get a feel for the setting of his new novel. Meanwhile, I waited at home.
Faletti sells three million copies of every novel he writes. That’s why I’m happy that Faletti’s new book has just come out.
If the editor were to put aside one tenth of one cent for every copy of Faletti he sells, just one tenth of one one-hundredth of a Euro for every MF-ing copy, one cent every ten copies, maybe that would be the golden moment for that asshole of a translator, that guy down there in Sicily who turned his job in six months ago and is still waiting to get paid … I’m just saying … I mean … if they set aside one cent for every ten copies, instead of spending money to send ex-standup comics to Arizona, maybe they could even take a minute to settle their debts. Maybe. If they felt like it. Asking politely, I mean. But take your time. It’s not like, just because you worked, they should ipso facto have to pay you what they owe you. You and your nutty demands. And as far as putting meat on the table and paying the rent, shit, it’s not like it’s any big, hairy deal. I don’t need anything in particular, I’d just like to know that there’s some higher purpose involved in all this. Faletti in Arizona. Vito Catozzo, Faletti’s most celebrated comic creation, hanging out with the Navajos. Anyway, I can always tell the electric company and the phone company: “Hold your horses. Faletti’s book is about to come out.” I mean, whatthefuck, Officer, Sir.
But now, aaaaaah, here it is: Faletti’s book.
By the way, have I mentioned how freaking glad I am that Faletti’s new book has just come out?
Posted on 31 August 2007, in Book Reviews & Literaria, Italy, Italian, Italians (in that order), We've Gone Mad! Mad I Tell You! and tagged Giorgio Faletti, Io Uccido. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.