Three o'clock in the morning

Gianrico Carofiglio, 1961-

Book - 2021

"Antonio is a boy on the cusp of adulthood. His father, once a brilliant mathematician, hasn't figured much in his life since the divorce from his mother. But then Antonio is diagnosed with epilepsy and a hope for a cure takes father and son to a doctor in Marseille, where French old world charm meets a modern city of bohemians. There they are advised to spend two days and two nights together without sleep in order to trigger - and resolve the medication for - his condition. In this be...autiful, gritty, and charming foreign city, Antonio and his father walk the streets and strain for conversation - until the late nights and caffeine-imbued adventures lead them to a series of unexpected people (and trysts) that connect them together for the first time. As the two cover poetry, family, sex, math, death, and dreams, their story becomes a mesmerizing 48-hour microcosm of a lifetime relationship as they discover much about illusions and regret, about talent and redemption, and, most of all, about love. Elegant, warm, and tender, set against the vivid backdrop of 1980s Marseille and its beautiful calanques, Three O'Clock in the Morning casts a spell on its readers - an unforgettable story imbued with nostalgia and a revelatory exploration of time and fate"--

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Subjects
Genres
Novels
Published
New York, NY : HarperVia 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Italian
Item Description
Originally published as Le tre del mattino in Italy in 2017 by Giulio Einaudi editore.
Physical Description
pages cm
ISBN
9780063028449
0063028441
9780063028470
0063028476
Main Author
Gianrico Carofiglio, 1961- (author)
Other Authors
Howard Curtis, 1949- (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Having been diagnosed with epilepsy, 18-year-old Antonio and his father travel from their Italian home to Marseille for a consultation with a specialist, who pronounces Antonio cured if he can pass a final test: he must stay awake for 48 hours. Despite Antonio's demurral, his father elects to stay awake with him, and together the two contrive a schedule of sorts that, among other things, will take them to a late-night jazz club, where—to Antonio's delight—his father plays the piano. The two then go to a party where Antonio loses his virginity to his 37-year-old hostess. Despite the importance of these events, it is the conversations between son and father that are the real substance of this slender novel from Italy, for, as Antonio thinks, "I had never really talked to my father." Happily, their subsequent conversations are enlightening for both of them. Antonio tells the story in his own unadorned first-person voice from his perspective as a 51-year-old adult, a fact that adds wisdom to this absorbing novel of filial bonding. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Former Italian senator and prosecutor Carofiglio (A Fine Line) takes a break from his Guido Guerrieri crime series with this poignant and moving father/son story. Antonio, an Italian 18-year-old whose parents are separated, is largely estranged from his father; he suffers bouts of epilepsy and, having endured years of failed treatments, is told by a specialist in Marseilles that he may be able to be cured. First, though, the doctor must test how Antonio's brain reacts to stress. To that end, Antonio is ordered to not sleep for two days, and he spends the 48 hours awake in the city, accompanied by his father. He asks his dad about a scar, which leads to a how-I-met-your-mother story, and a dazzling episode, set in a jazz club, has Antonio marveling at his father playing piano on stage. Then the pair talk about mathematics and magical thinking, and after they visit a porno shop his father recounts visiting a brothel. They eventually get invited to a party where Antonio has a transformative experience. The father and son's odyssey through the gritty streets of Marseilles is laced with many memorable details, such as the single-file pack of dogs that reminds Antonio of the Abbey Road cover, and Carofiglio shines with vivid descriptions of Antonio's epilepsy fits ("I had a bedspread that was light blue, almost sky blue. All at once that pale, relaxing colour grew threatening...and went right through me with a violence that was unreal"). Antonio's catalog of intimate experiences, whether painful, pleasurable, or bittersweet, make for an enchanting coming-of-age tale. Agent: David Forrer, InkWell Management. (Mar.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Visiting Marseilles to seek medical care, an estranged father and his epileptic son endure two caffeine-imbued nights of bonding in the culturally rich city while encountering a diverse array of remarkable locals. 20,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Antonio is a boy on the cusp of adulthood. His father, once a brilliant mathematician, hasn't figured much in his life since the divorce from his mother. But then Antonio is diagnosed with epilepsy and a hope for a cure takes father and son to a doctor in Marseille, where French old world charm meets a modern city of bohemians. There they are advised to spend two days and two nights together without sleep in order to trigger - and resolve the medication for - his condition. In this beautiful, gritty, and charming foreign city, Antonio and his father walk the streets and strain for conversation - until the late nights and caffeine-imbued adventures lead them to a series of unexpected people (and trysts) that connect them together for the first time. As the two cover poetry, family, sex, math, death, and dreams, their story becomes a mesmerizing 48-hour microcosm of a lifetime relationship as they discover much about illusions and regret, about talent and redemption, and, most of all, about love. Elegant,warm, and tender, set against the vivid backdrop of 1980s Marseille and its beautiful calanques, Three O'Clock in the Morning casts a spell on its readers - an unforgettable story imbued with nostalgia and a revelatory exploration of time and fate"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning." - F. Scott FitzgeraldA coming-of-age novel'a heady union of Before Sunrise and Beautiful Ruins'about a father and his teenage son who are forced to spend two sleepless nights exploring the city of Marseilles, a journey of unexpected adventure and profound discovery that helps them come to truly know each other.Antonio is eighteen years old and on the cusp of adulthood. His father, a brilliant mathematician, hasn't played a large part in his life since divorcing Antonio's mother but when Antonio is diagnosed with epilepsy, they travel to Marseille to visit a doctor who may hold the hope for an effective treatment. It is there, in a foreign city, under strained circumstances, that they will get to know each other and connect for the first time.A beautiful, gritty, and charming port city where French old-world charm meets modern bohemia, father and son stroll the streets sharing strained small talk. But as the hours pass and day gives way to night, the two find themselves caught in a series of caffeine-imbued adventures involving unexpected people (and unforeseen trysts) that connect father and son for the first time. As the two discuss poetry, family, sex, math, death, and dreams, their experience becomes a mesmerizing 48-hour microcosm of a lifetime relationship. Both learn much about illusions and regret, about talent and redemption, and, most of all, about love. Elegant, warm, and tender, set against the vivid backdrop of 1980s Marseille and its beautiful calanques'a series of cliffs and bays on the city's outskirts'Three O'Clock in the Morning is a bewitching coming-of-age story imbued with nostalgia and a revelatory exploration of time and fate, youth and adulthood. Translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning." - F. Scott FitzgeraldA coming-of-age novel—a heady union of Before Sunrise and Beautiful Ruins—about a father and his teenage son who are forced to spend two sleepless nights exploring the city of Marseilles, a journey of unexpected adventure and profound discovery that helps them come to truly know each other.Antonio is eighteen years old and on the cusp of adulthood. His father, a brilliant mathematician, hasn’t played a large part in his life since divorcing Antonio’s mother but when Antonio is diagnosed with epilepsy, they travel to Marseille to visit a doctor who may hold the hope for an effective treatment. It is there, in a foreign city, under strained circumstances, that they will get to know each other and connect for the first time.A beautiful, gritty, and charming port city where French old-world charm meets modern bohemia, father and son stroll the streets sharing strained small talk. But as the hours pass and day gives way to night, the two find themselves caught in a series of caffeine-imbued adventures involving unexpected people (and unforeseen trysts) that connect father and son for the first time. As the two discuss poetry, family, sex, math, death, and dreams, their experience becomes a mesmerizing 48-hour microcosm of a lifetime relationship. Both learn much about illusions and regret, about talent and redemption, and, most of all, about love. Elegant, warm, and tender, set against the vivid backdrop of 1980s Marseille and its beautiful calanques—a series of cliffs and bays on the city’s outskirts—Three O’Clock in the Morning is a bewitching coming-of-age story imbued with nostalgia and a revelatory exploration of time and fate, youth and adulthood. Translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis