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The reluctant Tuscan
Phil Doran
Adult Nonfiction DG734.23 .D67 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Readers of Doran's amusing memoir about relocating from Los Angeles to the tiny Tuscan town of Cambione must first suspend their disbelief that a person in his right mind would actively resist such an opportunity. But resist Doran does-and when his sculptor wife buys a ramshackle, 300-year-old house there on a whim, she must drag him kicking and screaming out of his high-stress, low-reward life as a Hollywood writer and producer (among his hits: Who's the Boss? and The Wonder Years). What follows is rather predictable: the house turns out to be in even worse shape than anyone imagined, and the construction crew has no "discernable pattern" when it comes to showing up for work. Lines like "Things happen in Italy that don't happen anywhere else on earth. A magical friendliness is spread all over the place like pixie dust" don't do much to distinguish Doran's story from other books of its ilk, but the author's grudging optimism and dead-on ear for dialogue certainly do. Doran's brutally funny accounts of tangles with everyone (including the mayor, the police, an inefficient landlord and Doran's long-suffering wife) are enough to keep readers hooked until the last page. It may not be a surprise that he lives happily ever after, but how he gets there is certainly worth the ride. Agent, Betsy Amster. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

After spending 25 years writing and producing popular television shows like Who's the Boss? and The Wonder Years, Doran was approached by his wife, who thought he needed a change. Her proposal: restore a house in Italy and leave the stress (and success) of Los Angeles behind. Doran agrees, but only grudgingly; thus this story is born. It is as much about Doran's struggle with a television industry that considers him a "relic" and his fight to reconnect with his wife as it is about restoring a 300-year-old farmhouse in a small Italian village chock-full of colorful characters and plenty of bureaucracy. Doran handles all of it with curmudgeonly wit that is the book's greatest strength. With the recent popularity of Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun and the companion movie, Doran's title may prove appealing to patrons looking for a more sardonic take on life, love, marriage, retirement, and Tuscany. Recommended for public libraries.-Mari Flynn, Keystone Coll., La Plume, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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