21 May 2009

Forgotten Book: THE LITTLE WORLD OF DON CAMILLO, Giovanni Guareschi

This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books.

You may think it takes a very determined addict to see the Don Camillo books as crime fiction!
But they were certainly among the reading I did in my formative years. And some of them were big on mystery, and there were even crimes, and murders.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

In the United Kingdom, the United States of America and possibly other English-speaking territories, the books were translated and published by Victor Gollancz Ltd as the following:

  • The Little World of Don Camillo (published 1950; translated by Vincenzo Troubridge)
  • Don Camillo and the Prodigal Son (published 1952; translated by Frances Frenaye)
  • Don Camillo's Dilemma (published 1954; translated by Frances Frenaye)
  • Don Camillo and the Devil (published 1957; the only book not translated but written in English by Guareschi himself)
  • Comrade Don Camillo (published 1964; translated by Frances Frenaye)
  • Don Camillo Meets Hell's Angels (published 1969)
Each book consisted of loosely connected short stories, focussing on the conflict and friendship of the village priest Don Camillo and the communist Mayor Peppone.

The books were the basis of a series of black and white films 1952-1965, and then a BBC television series in 1980, in which Brian Blessed played Peppone.

In my research I found a delightful site, that lists the short stories in the first collection (with a little description). It also gave me the following publication details which attest to the popularity of this book.
The Little World of Don Camillo, by Giovanni Guareschi. Copyright © Giovanni Guareschi, 1950. Translated by Una Vincenzo Troubridge. NEW YORK: Pellegrini and Cudahy, 1950.
Published simultaneously in Canada by George J. MacLeod, Ltd., Toronto.
First published in Great Britain by Victor Gollancz, Ltd.; 1951.
Published (UK) by Penguin Books, 1962.
Reprinted (UK) 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Very Informative, Kerrie and new to me.

Ray said...

Once upon a time I had all the Don Camillo books - really humourous especially his chats with Christ on the cross.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin