A highly enjoyable novel, convincingly and smoothly translated by Anne Milano Appel. Spanning twenty years and the anguished love affair between Teresa and Bern, some of it takes place in the dark recent days when Puglia's olive trees were attacked by a beetle that reduced the landscape to an apocalyptic vision of the planet's end. Giordano is especially good on the textures, smells, heat and colours of the Italian south, where almost the whole novel is set, the herbs that scent the air, the rocky terrain on which little grows. These stay long in the mind, as does the way he writes about the obsessiveness of love, the way it dominates and distorts and the self-delusions and fantasies it gives rise to. Puglia's scorched earth and, later in the novel, the craters and caverns of Iceland become metaphors for a plot that is both touching and sad, violent and uncomfortable.
Perfect, moving, honest, brilliant, with characters who feel like old friends
Raw and evocative, Giordano's Heaven and Earth is a breathtaking and poignant creation
Heaven and Earth is the perfect novel - always interesting, beautifully but not ostentatiously written, peopled with unforgettable characters, a powerful love story, animated by ideas, visually stunning. Paolo Giordano is one of the handful of great writers working anywhere today.
An intense novel about passions and reasons, unbreakable bounds and reckless excursions. Giordano is a master storyteller.
Heaven and Earth is not just a magnificent novel - it's an act of faith in literature and in the rousing power of storytelling, an ode to the unknowable mystery that is the human heart. Novels like this are a rare find: you won't be able to forget it.
Lush regional details, indelible characters, and a riveting story line ... Giordano's captivating tale is a magnificent testament to the lingering impact of a charged romance
PRAISE FOR PAOLO GIORDANO 'Mesmerizing... Giordano works with piercing subtlety. An exquisite rendering of what one might call feelings at the subatomic level' New York Times on The Solitude of Prime Numbers 'Seductive and unnerving' Entertainment Weekly on The Solitude of Prime Numbers 'Elegant and fiercely intelligent... A singular love story' Elle on The Solitude of Prime Numbers 'Tender, cruel, beautiful, heartless, a brilliant story of desire and youth and death... A modern classic' Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winner author of Less on The Human Body 'A profound tale of family, crisis and the passage of time, Giordano's novel is a cherished read' Harper's Baazar on Like Family 'Elegiac, tender and mournful' Wall Street Journal on Like Family
A powerful tale of the bond between siblings and the tensions that underpin that relationship ... Evocatively written and sensitively translated, this powerful love story will carry you effortlessly from page to page
Reading this reminded me instantly of Ferrante's earthy, nostalgic prose. Vividly evoking the sights and sounds of Italy, this novel paints a rustic portrait of life in the vibrant Puglia. Giordano's novel is an evocative depiction of the complexities of adolescence, love and faith.
Heaven And Earth is rooted so deep in idyllic Puglia that you can almost feel the red soil under your sandals
Magnificent, heart-wrenching, and utterly compelling. Heaven and Earth is the perfect novel. And I'm not saying this lightly. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
Ever since the publication of his debut novel The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Paolo Giordano has stood at the forefront of international literature. His new novel Heaven and Earth is a stunning achievement and confirms him as an electrifying presence in contemporary fiction.
Big in theme, languid in pace and exquisite in execution... The plot is deftly handled, moving from a secretive steamy teenage romance in Speziale to a cave in Iceland - taking in fringe eco-activism and a doomed attempt to conceive a child along the way...The dreamy lyricism of the prose ("the foam-slick rocks, the silent sea, and, all around, the mercilessly bright night of the South")... Giordano's novel is a devastating marvel.
Giordano is a fluid, expansive writer. The chapters flow effortlessly back and forth in time, pulling us deeper into the story of Teresa and Bern's great love. The landscape shimmers with their longing. "It all belonged to us," Bern says. "The trees and the stone walls. The heavens. Even the heavens belonged to us, Teresa."
It's been too long since Italian author Paolo Giordano (who happens to have a PhD in particle physics) wrote a novel... Heaven and Earth is set in Puglia and focuses on four friends trying to grow up. It's a story that sprawls and stuns.
A novel as ferocious as youth and as pure as a utopia.
This is at once a lush picture of growing up in the Italian countryside and a deeply affecting story of friendships under the strain of time and tragedy. Giordano's best book yet.