Saturday, August 4, 2018

the last book I ever read (Rick Moody's Hotels of North America, except ten)

from Hotels of North America by Rick Moody:

No one but our group of wine-tasting Americans seemed to be staying at the farm, and so there were two tables at dinner, which was always outdoors, under the stars, and one table was the famiglia and the other table was the Americans. The dinners were at least three hours long every night and came with endless amounts of wine. There was always an antipasto, a pasta course, a second pasta course, a meat course, a salad course, and dessert. I was usually ready to go to bed after the antipasto. The wine tasters—mostly fine upstanding citizens of suburbs of the United States with a generous capacity for European pretenses, people who went to the ballet, or wore berets, or had children who were experts on Jane Austen—were ready to drink some wine, and even though Italian wine is not known to be as culturally exacting as French wine, it was all part of this experience for them, the wine, the food, the fragrance of the Adriatic, the fresh olives of a sort you have never tasted in your life. They would all hit the wine hard, and it did not take long into the two weeks we all spent together for certain marriages that had seemed rock-solid at the outset, like that of Brenda and Dave McAllister, a couple from Indianapolis who had been to Italy together three times, to unravel. It became clear that Dave’s inability to let his wife finish a sentence had taken a real toll on her, and Brenda rolled her eyes at him the more drunk he got, and once, barely out of earshot, she made a joke about asphyxiating him.

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