Guernica Editions (2020)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/2020)
“The Transaction” by Guglielmo D’Izzia follows protagonist De Angelis, a northern Italian from Milan, Italy. When De Angelis journeys to a small town in Sicily to complete a real estate transaction, he quickly finds his world unravelling.
He initially seems to be a fairly reserved soul, until he starts making odd choices that seem to worsen the situation in which he finds himself embroiled. A tragedy occurs before he reaches the town where the transaction is to take place and this completely throws off his deal. Rather than cut his losses and return home immediately, De Angelis is oddly compelled to stay. This raises the ire of most of the townsfolk because many feel that he had some kind of involvement with the tragedy. De Angelis is fascinated by the locals, and, even though they generally repulse him, he feels compelled to observe them. His unwillingness to leave creates enemies with almost everybody but his landlady who has a crush on him. Without realizing it, De Angelis is descending into a hell of his own.
Gulielmo D’Izzia has created quite a work of fiction with “The Transaction.” He has a skillful ability for describing characters in such a way that it invokes a physical reaction. I often found myself feeling revulsion to the descriptive words that described their appearances and odors. In addition to the physical reactions, I also found myself getting oddly thrown off by the story. The author’s use of dark humor left me unsettled and the only way to offset that feeling was to laugh and feel uncomfortable about why I was laughing. It takes a great deal of talent to be able to evoke these reactions through written word.
I am extremely impressed that this is D’Izzia’s first professional written work. Readers who enjoy dark humor, with unsettling plot twists and eccentric characters will enjoy reading “The Transaction.” The author’s gift for writing vivid descriptions will really make you feel like you are there. It will take you on a rollercoaster ride in which you find yourself both curious and dreading the upcoming twists and turns. I highly recommend reading “The Transaction.” It would make an excellent choice for a reader’s group because there is so much to be discussed!