A wry, intelligent, and unputdownable look at class and national identity today.
Alberto Prunetti arrives in the UK, the twenty-something-year-old son of a Tuscan factory worker who has never left home before. With only broken English, his wits, and an obsession with the work of George Orwell to guide him, he sets about looking for a job and navigating his new home.
In between long, hot shifts in pizzerias and cleaning toilets up and down the country, he finds his place among the British precariat. His comrades form a polyglot underclass, among them an ex-addict cook, a cleaner in love with opera, an elderly Shakespearean actor, Turks impersonating Neapolitans to serve pizzas, and a cast of petty criminals ‘resting’ between bigger jobs.
Stuck between a past haunted by Thatcher and a future dominated by Brexit, Down and Out in England and Italy is a hilarious and poignant snapshot of life on the margins in modern-day Britain.
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