Paolo Colagrande Paolo Colagrande

Listen to the frogs

  • (Senti le rane)
  • published: 27/02/2015
Paolo Colagrande Paolo Colagrande


“A divertissement based on a torrential narrative and on a pervasive humor that derides everything. A sound and full narrative, a lunar and lunatic imaginary that recalls Fellini’s Amarcord”. Corriere della sera

“The reader laughs and suffers along with this handsome and bewildered provincial priest.” la Repubblica

“The reader smiles at every step, in a story that is full of (secular) holiness.” Amica

Sitting at a café table, Gerasim tells Sogliani the story of a third friend, sitting nearby. It is an extremely adventurous story. Zuckermann, a Jew converted to Catholicism following a celestial call, take his vows and becomes “the handsome priest” of a small town on the coast of Romagna. He is seen as a saint by the faithful inhabitants and tourists, brilliant in his sermons, brisk and innocent. But while rumors of miracles begin to cluster around his name, one late summer afternoon Zuckermann meets Romana, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a couple of parishioners. The priest falls madly in love with her. After the initial hesitations and some pale efforts of penitence, the passion quickly spreads through the young bodies and with it the jealousy towards other admires of the girl: soon the whole community finds itself embroiled in a sentimental tragedy, which ends on the bank of a stream with a singing frog... With his dense and amused writing, Colagrande tells a story through the voice of two perfectly unreliable witnesses.

Selected by Books in Italy in the ten italian books for Frankfurt 2015  (


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