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We'll Sleep When We're Old


We'll Sleep When We're Old

Coming from Italy, Pino Corrias takes his expertise as a journalist to a new level in his debut novel, WE’LL SLEEP WHEN WE’RE OLD, which is about corruption in the Italian film industry and the hyper-glamourous lifestyle surrounding that environment.

The luxurious lifestyle of Rome is the backdrop for Oscar Martello, who climbs social classes to become the famous and successful president of a film production company, “yearn[ing] to awaken Cinecittà, like Sleeping Beauty in the fairy tale, using millions of euros instead of a kiss.” He is surrounded by screenwriter Andrea Serrano, “who thinks slowly, whose thoughts chase slowly after comets,” and actress and love interest Jacaranda Rizzi, who possesses a secret that has haunted her for years, “laying the groundwork for vengeance.”

Sadly, though, a fire destroys Oscar’s villa. He goes missing, leaving other members of his social circle pointing fingers at Jacaranda, despite other evidence showing that she might not have acted alone.

" interesting read about a life that fascinates many people. By those standards, it deserves a place on your bookshelf."

An initial reading of WE’LL SLEEP WHEN WE’RE OLD made me think of 2013’s The Great Beauty in that both the film and the book take place in extravagant atmospheres of luxury featuring characters who are troubled and complex, each attempting to find their place within a world of entertainment that is moving on from its former glory days. Given Corrias’ background as a producer for movies on Italian television and a writer for other media (particularly the prestigious newspaper La Stampa), it makes sense that he would incorporate this into an investigative novel exploring the parts of celebrity life to which most people would not have access.

The world of entertainment that Corrias creates is one filled with avant-garde scenery, larger-than-life characters, and out-of-this-world imagery that hide an industry that only perhaps Quentin Tarantino could otherwise think up: big productions created for money laundering, violent pasts, paparazzi who thirst for blood, and much more that could turn your stomach. Of course, these are images that most readers would probably predict is a large part of the entertainment industry, but one can only dare to give as much detail as Corrias offers here.

In the end, WE’LL SLEEP WHEN WE’RE OLD does its job in letting the dark underside of Rome’s glamour be a major highlight of the story, where all of the images build up a world growing increasingly darker and more prone to corruption. Despite this, the opinion that these shallow characters could lead readers to be unsympathetic and not very invested in them is polarizing, along with an ending that doesn’t exactly satisfy as much as its entire concept could conjure up. It has the right ingredients for a great novel and perhaps doesn’t pay off as well, but it is still an interesting read about a life that fascinates many people. By those standards, it deserves a place on your bookshelf.

Reviewed by Gabriella Mayer on December 15, 2017

We'll Sleep When We're Old
by Pino Corrias