• "All Italy is here, its history, its character, its flaws"

    Sunday Times
  • "A treat equivalent to a ride on the Orient Express"

    Wall Street Journal
  • "Like the best train journeys, you don’t want it to end"

    New Statesman
  • "A very funny hosanna to Italian railroad locomotion in all its rackety glory"

    Evening Standard, Books of the Year
  • "Parks has the keenest of eyes for the telling of amusing detail ... He remains the best interpreter of Italian ways in Italy"

    Sunday Herald
  • "Tim Parks has written a book about Italian railways that is engrossing, entertaining, and wonderfully revealing about the country and its people. It makes perfect armchair travelling – a delight from beginning to end"

    David Lodge
  • "The book is, as Tim Parks says, a search for the Italian character, which he evokes in dozens of gorgeously written scenes; but beyond that Parks is exploring the dynamic between tradition and innovation... Underneath everything, Parks is trying to come to a point of loving the world in all its confusion and frustration, and by the book's end he does, he does. Bravo"

    David Shields
  • "This latest peg on which to hang another ruminative book about the character of Italy provides Parks with a first-class ticket to ride as a lively, erudite raconteur in salty daily negotiation with what he calls a ‘dystopian paradise’"

    Iain Finlayson, The Times
  • "With Paul Theroux apparently winding down, there might be an opening for Parks as a new laureate of international railways"

    Andrew Martin, Observer
  • "Parks is also a railway enthusiast and this delightful book is the story of his love-hate relationship with Italian trains"

    Literary Review