Anthony Julian Tamburri reviews Books and Rough Business

Books and Rough Business Tullio Pironti. Red Hen (CDC, dist.), $20.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-59709-129-9

Tullio Pironti's Books and Rough Business is, on the one hand, a wonderful metaphor about the publishing world today. Indeed, it could be both the metaphor and the reality of both worlds, Pironti's and that of Italian publishing. Like Pironti's own life of bobbing and weaving his way out of the squared ring and into the world of book production, the publishing world is, to be sure, a place where head feints and body shots can mean the difference between success and failure. The challenges of surviving in the ring anticipate those of the mid-size Italian publisher who, with clenched teeth and sweated brow, not only makes it through the last round but actually ends up winning the fight. No editor, big or small, can boast better writers than those who appear in Pironti's catalogue. Books and Rough Business is nicely translated in a style that aptly replicates the author's voice, a book that may very well keep the reader on the edge of his (even her) seat rooting for the underdog.