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Translated by Howard Curtis
Antonio is on the cusp of adulthood, trying to work out who to be and what to do. His father, once a brilliant mathematician, hasn’t figured much in his son’s life since the divorce from Antonio’s mother, a beautiful and elusive woman. A diagnosis of epilepsy and hope for a cure takes father and son to Marseille, where they must spend two days and two nights together, without sleep. In a foreign city, under strained circumstances, they get to know each other and connect for the first time.
Elegant, warm and tender, set against the vivid backdrop of 1980s Marseille and its beautiful calanques, Three O’Clock in the Morning is an unforgettable story about illusions and regret, about talent and the passage of time and, most of all, about love.
‘Lucid and touching.’
‘There is not a word to add, a word to take away.’
‘Reading this wondrous book is like wandering the streets of a bewitching foreign city, highly attuned to its pleasures and tensions, thrilled by its freedom and possibility. I was deeply moved by its tenderness, its honesty, and, most of all, by the unlikely journey father and son take to discover each other as if for the first time. Carofiglio is a master of voice and atmosphere, which gives this elegiac novel its satisfying and emotional punch.’
‘Poignant and moving…Antonio’s catalog of intimate experiences, whether painful, pleasurable, or bitter-sweet, make for an enchanting coming-of-age tale.’
‘[An] absorbing novel of filial bonding.’
‘Subtle precision informs every page, as does a deceptive simplicity laden with all that happens when you’re not paying attention…Crisp, lean, yet quietly mournful.’