The Italian Teacher

The Italian Teacher Rome The artists are gathering together for a photograph In one of Rome s historic villas a party is bright with near genius shaded by the socialite patrons of their art Bear Bavinsky creator

  • Title: The Italian Teacher
  • Author: Tom Rachman
  • ISBN: 9781786482570
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rome, 1955The artists are gathering together for a photograph In one of Rome s historic villas, a party is bright with near genius, shaded by the socialite patrons of their art Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god Larger than life, muscular in both figure and opinion, he blazes at art criticism and burns half his paintings He is at thRome, 1955The artists are gathering together for a photograph In one of Rome s historic villas, a party is bright with near genius, shaded by the socialite patrons of their art Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god Larger than life, muscular in both figure and opinion, he blazes at art criticism and burns half his paintings He is at the centre of the picture His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.From the side of the room watches little Pinch their son At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, striving to live up to the Bavinsky name while Natalie, a ceramicist, cannot hope to be than a forgotten muse Trying to burn brightly under his father s shadow one of the twentieth century s fiercest and most controversial painters Pinch s attempts flicker and die Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, Pinch will enact an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.What makes an artist In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of twentieth century art and its demons, vultures and chimeras Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of painful vulnerability and realism talent made irrelevant by personality Stripped of egotism, authenticity or genius, Pinch forces us to face the deep held fear of a life lived in vain.

    • The Italian Teacher « Tom Rachman
      344 Tom Rachman
    • thumbnail Title: The Italian Teacher « Tom Rachman
      Posted by:Tom Rachman
      Published :2019-08-25T02:47:18+00:00

    About " Tom Rachman "

  • Tom Rachman

    Tom Rachman was born in 1974 in London, but grew up in Vancouver He studied cinema at the University of Toronto and completed a Master s degree in journalism at Columbia University in New York From 1998, he worked as an editor at the foreign desk of The Associated Press in New York, then did a stint as a reporter in India and Sri Lanka, before returning to New York In 2002, he was sent to Rome as an AP correspondent, with assignments taking him to Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Egypt Beginning in 2006, he worked part time as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris to support himself while writing fiction He now lives in London, where he is working on his second novel.

  • 603 Comments

  • I read “The Imperfections”, by Tom Rachman, with my local book club ways back - and wasn’t crazy about it in the same way other members in our group were — I found it dry and dull I never wrote review after our group discussion. I just forgot about it. And - then - this week I was given this lovely Advance copy of “The Italian Teacher”. And WOW. what a completely different experience from the same author.I thoroughly enjoyed this novel - which begins in Rome, 1955 then 1965en in Toro [...]


  • This novel is in many way about art, the art of an eccentric, self centered, overbearing, unfaithful man, a painter appropriately named Bear Bavinsky. It’s about the artist who is famous and yet shuns the critics and the galleries, destroys his work if it is not how he wants it to be .There are certainly some thought provoking questions raised about art and the relationship the artist has with his work, about creativity. For whom is the art created - for the artist, for those who look at it, f [...]


  • Rachman is a marvel. You meet the main character, Pinch, as a child and follow him throughout his life. Pinch’s father, Bear, is a negligent father, drinker and womanizer in addition to being a much admired and successful artist. As Rachman puts it, “But your relatives judge you relatively.” After trying and failing poor Pinch just can’t measure up to his father’s greatness and lives a small life, but he is determined to leave a legacy. How Pinch goes about doing this is brilliant.Fill [...]


  • Charles “Pinch” Bavinsky is just an Italian teacher, though as a boy in Rome in the 1950s–60s he believed he would follow in the footsteps of his sculptor mother and his moderately famous father, Bear Bavinsky, who painted close-ups of body parts. When this dream was shattered, he turned to criticism, getting art history degrees and planning to preserve his father’s reputation by writing his authorized biography. But along the way something went wrong. We follow Pinch through the rest of [...]


  • Review to come. It’s brilliant!The Italian Teacher is destined to be one of my favorite reads of the year.Tom Rachman's character Pinch is the son of a philandering, larger-than-life artist, Bear Bavinsky. Bear is charming and unreliable. Pinch spends his entire life trying to get his dad's attention and approval. He imitates his dad, smoking a pipe early. In a one day lesson Bear teachers Pinch the fundamentals of painting and Pinch dreams of following in his father's footsteps.Bear abandons [...]


  • I've had Tom Rachman's debut novel, The Imperfectionists, on my Want to Read list since it was published to great reviews in 2010, but have neglected it in favor of other books. In two days, I have consumed his latest, The Italian Teacher, and will now move The Imperfectionists to the top of my list.It took awhile for me to get hooked. Rachman's protagonist is Pinch Bavinsky, and we meet him as a child and then follow him through all the phases of his life. He is a hapless but endearing characte [...]



  • It’s a wonderful book! The very beginning is a bit of a slog, but after that, it is a real page turner. It is somewhat depressing as you go through Pinch’s life, but always insightful, and even informative. And the ending is life-affirming. Highly recommended.


  • 5 stars isn't enough - this story is as immersive as it is compelling. Following Pinch on his life's path leads you down hard roads that are as familiar as they are pervasive, illustrating one's control, and how others choices control your life. Tom Rachman craftily creates a Byron-like father, with whom Charles is tied to. The story of Pitch's life, is truly the story of their lives ~ obsessive, passive, cultivated stories that showcase a life, all with literary flare. Stunning storytelling!


  • Received this ARC from Westwinds Bookshop, Duxbury, MAA very enjoyable read. I was channeling Hemingway as Bear Bavinsky. Interesting take on the art world and its pretensions, prestige, connections and lack thereof.Familial relationships and the irreversible damage/ hurt we can inflict on each other.This book should sell well


  • I was given this book as a Christmas gift and eager to read it is set in 1950`s and 1960`s starts in Rome ,Italy.I grew up there in that era and i thought it was portrayed very well ,i was a teenager then and Roma was in the Dolce Vita era ,a gorgeous era when the city was at the height of movie making the Fellini era and the Sophia Loren era. Also the city attracted many artists and writers and poets. The story of the artist in this novel is familiar, the larger than life character the mad drin [...]


  • Having been a huge fan of Rachman's first book, The Imperfectionists, I was disappointed in this second novel. The characters were less pleasant, less believable, and really less interesting. The father, an artist supposedly, bordered on caricature at times. The mental health issues were kept vague and less than helpfully portrayed.A recent editorial by Rachman in the Globe and Mail on Brexit and the situation in the UK was a much more useful bit of reading.



  • Thanks to and Penguin Random House Canada for a free copy of this book. The Italian Teacher is beautifully written, humorous at times and gut wrenching at others. This character-driven novel tells the story of Pinch Bavinsky, the son of two artists, Bear (a famous painter) and Natalie (a struggling ceramicist) and his lifelong struggle to earn his father’s approval. I found myself becoming so drawn into the story and engaged with Pinch’s character that I gasped out loud at one point and fou [...]


  • I just absolutely love how Tom Rachman writes. He pulls me in & won’t let me go. This story is about Pinch, the son of a successful painter and a failed potter. Pinch himself falls somewhere in between, never really being successful & never really failing. The story that follows is Pinch’s life as he tries to prove to his father that he is successful. It can be heartwrenching at times, but it’s also funny and heart warming. Really great literature here.


  • An absorbing tale about an artist (Bear), his son (Pinch), Bear's various wives and children (minor characters), with fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpses into the art world. At times amusing, but often heartbreaking because of the son's desperate attempts to win his father's approval, the soul of the novel is Pinch's story which begins when he's five, and follows him over several decades.My thanks to the author, Andrea Schulz, and Viking for the ARC. The book will be available on March 20, 20 [...]


  • I love Rachman’s writing—it is smart and carefully considered but not at all overwrought, so it reads like the wind. He has created some very vivid characters in this novel and the clever turns of phrase that I’m still quoting from “The Imperfectionists” are nicely on display here as well. I intend to use “anecdotage” to describe the state of the long-winded aged for evermore.


  • I love reading novels with an art theme and this was a great one. A great book for book club discussions. A great story that towards the end you can't foresee where it's going. A great writer a great story!


  • I won this book and I absolutely loved it! I love books where I can really imagine each characterhear them, see themc. Tom Rachman paints such a beautiful picture of all his characters (no pun intended) Even having no background or interest in art couldn't put it down.



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