Review – Adriano Bulla’s The Road To London
There is something so very special about the debut novel from Italian author Adriano Bulla. The story itself is certainly entertaining, but it is the poetic and color-fueled imagery in the style of writing that holds The Road To London above anything else that I have read this year.
Bulla’s story centers around a young unnamed protagonist, growing up in Italy. We follow his struggles as he comes to terms with his own sexuality, through his school years and beyond – The story flipping from past to present tense at will. But, importantly, never in a way that threatens to break to flow of a very entertaining read as we follow a youth through periods of denial before acceptance, while intermittently receiving flash-forwards via letters from the boy’s future.
Each chapter begins with a new piece of original poetry that adds another layer to the already accomplished work. It is however through Bulla’s use of color, that the beauty really comes to the fore throughout the novel. An almost magical conjuring of imagery that makes everything seem so real.
“I can see now. I can see what I couldn’t see before. I can see the loss of land is the gain of sky. Lime green turns, and, for a moment, is aquamarine. That is the moment. That is the budding. End meets end, and it’s a new beginning.”
The world created is at times vibrant and full of life, yet mere moments later is dark, dismal and grey. Emotions rise and fall with perfectly constructed colors to match. The writing is effortlessly poetic. The subject matter is at times blunt and harsh, but is made to feel less so by the beauty of the storytelling.
“Amongst the warren of grey avenues, amongst the maze of concrete blocks, Parco Sempione hides in the grey city like a pearl in an old, tired oyster.”
The Road To London is a novel that truly should be read by as many people as possible – Bulla has through vibrant and poetic use of language created a modern day classic! Beautifully written, emotionally captivating and again… those colors!
***** 5 STARS!!!