I have known for quite some time that Sandro Veronesi was one of the most skillful and profound Italian storytellers of the past thirty years. But The Hummingbird is the decisive proof of his sensitivity, of his extraordinary strength as a writer.
The Hummingbird is a book full of that roller-coaster ride that is life itself, a succession of defeats and unexpected ascents. Crucially, this is a novel that has the courage to pass the baton to the new generations: in the sea of cynicism in which we all risk to drown, it gives us a glimpse of a possible new future.
Long considered one of Italy's leading writers, Sandro Veronesi has dazzled both readers and critics with novels that are not only page-turners but profoundly literary. An heir to Italo Svevo, he explores, from book to book, intergenerational conflict, existential anguish and the passage of time. These themes, in Veronesi's hands, burst with vitality. Trained as an architect, he plays inventively with form, producing works that are unconventional, disarming, and profoundly humane. With his latest novel, The Hummingbird, he has re-written the family saga. Ardent, gripping, and inventive to the core, it has already been hailed a classic.
No other writer in Italy today can tell a story like Sandro Veronesi.
Outstanding. A perturbing masterpiece. Absolute beauty in the smallest detail.
Powerful and seductive.
A great novel, vibrating with life and death, happiness and pain, nostalgia and hope for the future.
Reading The Hummingbird is like getting on a rollercoaster: it's a vertiginous ride - almost to the point of physical pain - and then you are left in a state of wonder.
Reading The Hummingbird is not just a moving experience: it's almost like a therapy session, a lesson in persevering, in letting go of guilt to find ourselves again.
Everything that has made Veronesi one of the greats is distilled in The Hummingbird - just more mature and ambitious.
Much more than a novel about a family - which its deceptively unadorned surfaces might suggest it to be - The Hummingbird portrays a subtle and intriguing political vision, depicting the reach of history into the lives of people we might well believe are outside history's notice.
The novel flits back and forth between multiple decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the narrative is interspersed with letters, emails and transcripts of telephone conversations. Instead of the familiar pattern of trauma, grief and healing, everything seems to happen at once and, indeed, keeps happening. Relationships end before they begin, characters die and are resurrected, only to die again. The reader's foreknowledge of certain events could rob the plot of suspense, but Veronesi uses dramatic irony to poignant effect, and still manages plenty of twists and revelations... Excellent: Marco Carrera is a compelling main character, a devoted father an oblivious husband, a dutiful son and an inadequate brother. The novel's conclusion is a beautiful study of the resilient bonds of flawed love.
Reading The Hummingbird is a spellbinding experience; it's so clever, funny and deeply moving.
An extremely beautiful and generous novel about time, family, home, love and loss, passion and pain. Funny, heart-breaking, eccentric, tender and completely brilliant. A triumphant, life-affirming novel. Now I want to read everything by Sandro Veronesi.
The Hummingbird is a profound story about the myriad ways in which human passions collide with forces beyond human control. From its first page to its last, it's as full of surprises as it is jolts of recognition. Sandro Veronesi has overcome the ultimate, and most difficult, of any novelist's challenges-created a story of such depth and scope that it can stand unembarrassed alongside life itself. It's a remarkable accomplishment, a true gift to the world.
The Hummingbird is a masterly novel, a brilliantly conceived mosaic of love and tragedy. Veronesi creates a thought-rich and ultimately comic meditation on human error and lost chances. It's a cabinet of curiosities and delights, packed with small wonders, strange and sudden turns, insights of great poise and unusual cultural reference points. The Hummingbird in an object lesson in authorial control. Veronesi truly knows and loves all matters of the heart.
Somehow or other Sandro Veronesi pulls off the extraordinary feat of making you believe he is writing for your ears alone. I cannot tell you what The Hummingbird is about because that would be to betray a confidence. But I can tell you it's a mightily clever novel.
Sandro Veronesi's captivating novel is at once a gripping tale of family bonds and a provoking meditation on fate and choice, suffering and endurance, love and hatred, and the elusive nature of happiness. I greatly admired its wit and erudition and its deep charm.
Sandro Veronesi is a writer I have always admired. He's funny, smart, rueful, deeply feeling. The Hummingbird stands with his finest work. It's some of the most poignant contemporary writing I know of.
Instantly immersive, playfully inventive, effortlessly wise... a family saga that pays homage to the quiet heroism required by day-to-day existence