I opened the book and started scrolling through the pages, driven by a curiosity that Turin managed to arouse from the very first pages. Halfway through the book, I wanted to stop reading and started thinking about the title to interpret its message. The title of each novel represents the first significant element because it summarizes the content of the topic dealt with and induces the reader to focus his attention on the intent that the author wants to achieve.
Turin, with its title, announces a journey through the Path of the Gods, that is, along those places whose name, inspired by an ancient myth, represents a first echo of a classical cultural imprint.
The Path of the Gods assumes a symbolic function and to the three men, with the dog (the true engine of the story), the flavor of an ulissism is attributed, albeit in a very modern key.
Thus, within the broad framework of contemporary fiction, the Turin novel is inscribed in that vein which is aimed at inducing the man of the 21st century to approach knowledge through direct experience.
Luigi Torino, self-explanatory writer, protagonist of the story he himself told, enlivens the fabula by presenting the whole Amalfi Coast , from the Benedictine Abbey of Cava de ‘Tirreni to Positano, which he deeply loves and who makes it be observed and loved also to the reader.
The Journey is only apparently the metaphor of an escape from everyday life: the path is born from love loci and is projected into a cultural journey that becomes its substratum.
We are in the presence of a Dantesque punctuality in the descriptions of all the places to which are added drifts of an ethical nature, which guide us to choose between the useful and the useless: man’s choices, the writer seems to admonish, cannot be determined on the thrust of passions but in the wake of rational thinking.
Turin develops the plot with skilful skill because it combines reality and fantasy with determination, and tells the exploits of the three co-stars with humorous brio, accompanied by a dog gifted with intelligence and intuition. There are some digressions such as, for example, on scientific progress and the results obtained; these moments reinforce in the reader the conviction of the attempt, undoubtedly successful, to insert the knowledge possessed by the writer into the novel in a targeted way and still in the Dantesque way. And, in this way, the reader, attracted by the beauty of the Secret Garden of the Soul , retraces, together with Turin, a powerful literary excursus , very rare to encounter in contemporary culture.
The Turin novel must be read very carefully in order to avoid the risk of neglecting those moments that could appear parvi ponderis : the advice of Teagene of Reggio, a Greek literary critic of the sixth century BC, is always valid, who stated: ” If you look well , you will find ” . Reading, indeed, requires passion: it is necessary to approach it with critical intelligence.
Luigi Torino also wanted to take care of the aesthetic aspect and, of this, I like to take a step back: “… walking immersed in nature, without any barrier between us and the immense, in a primordial intimacy” , with a completely D’Annunzio flavor.
Finally, Turin, in addition to dwelling on the beauty of the places, on history, on art, dedicates ample space to the traditions of the territory, including those of cuisine (scialatielli, ‘ndunderi, carbonara with seafood, etc.) and pastry (“ricotta and pear” cake, lemon delight, lobster tail, etc.).
Review by Prof. Michele Fasolino