“40 Something” Readers Reviews

Best book for contemporary life in Australia.
November 21, 2010

The book is great, interesting, with many innovative ideas of the life in 2010, places that I remember and places that I now need to remember… it really gave me the desire to be back in Melbourne. No other book captures the life in contemporary Australia the way Pasquale Palmieri did.Read it now, don’t wait for the movie, which I’m sure will follow.

Ronen Paldi USA

What a great book and what a great sense of humor. January 5, 2011

I have really enjoyed reading “40 something”. Pasquale’s figurative and humorous language made me feel like being part of every single situation and it made me smile continuously. After being away from Melbourne for so many years it also made me feel kind of “homesick” and brought up a lot of good memories. I actually regret that I have already finished reading it.

Marianne Hoehl Germany

Explores relevant and challenging issues in the modern relationships of old friends in Melbourne, Australia. January 27, 2011

’40 Something’ really draws you in to the intimate conversations of a close circle of friends – a circle that allows them the freedom to speak frankly about their innermost fears and desires. This insightful book pulls no punches, posing the big questions that can be challenging in our plight for love, sex and enduring relationships. The writing style is unconventional and throws the reader in amidst the characters discussions. I recommend this book for anyone interested in how modern people tackle age-old dilemmas in an urban society.

Eleana Sikiotis Australia

An insightful book that grows on you with every page. January 19, 2011

Pasquale’s style and approach to writing is both insightful and unique. Even though I’m only in my early 30’s, I still related well to the twelve diverse characters and their complex stories. I enjoyed reading about all the ups and downs of their everyday lives – dealing with love, lust, friendships and family. By the time I finished reading I really felt like I had become a part of this group.
I highly recommend this book, especially to those who know Melbourne, who have been married and are either in their 40’s or older.

Marco Palmieri Australia

Excellent READ. February 16, 2011

Being 40 something myself, I could relate to this wonderful story, even though it is set in Australia, it is universal and I enjoyed every line of this great read! It is honest, refreshing, insightful, throughly delightful! I look very forward to his next book!

Veronika Williams USA

An excellent insight into the lives of the 40’s and what I have to look forward and out for. great page turner. loved it. February 14, 2011

An excellent insight into the lives, loves and hopes of the 40’s and what I have to look forward to. great page turner. I kept finding a smile across my face. really clearly and cleverly written for a first time novelist. Loved it.

Katieface 70

I think we all wish we had a similar relationship with our friends and family. February 20, 2011

I have now finished reading Pasquale’s book and I’m very impressed. In the beginning it was a bit difficult for me to get into the book and I mixed up the characters, but after a few chapters I was hooked and found it hard to put it down.
It felt as the characters became my friends and I looked forward to my moments with the book.
Their incredibly close relationship made the moments around the table very interesting. They knew they would be treated with respect, love and always get 100% honesty, (Whether they like it or not).
I think we all wish we had a similar relationship with our friends and family, always have someone who supports you and stands by your side, always have someone who will tell their opinion and know you better than anyone else.
While I was reading I could sometimes stop and just be impressed by, and be incredibly proud of all the meaningful messages, all the nice words and all the deep thoughts written by Pasquale, very well done!
Even though I’m only in my “30 something” (soon), I had a major exchange from the book and had many eye-opener.
Reading the book has also made me long to return to Melbourne and miss my lovely “Aussi-family” even more!

Sofie Grönroos Sweden

Lovely book. February 23, 2011

Easy to read with interesting and funny dialogs. One becomes part of this group of friends in only a few pages.
The Melbourne setting made the book even more personal to me, as I recognized the cafes and restaurants where some of the events took place.
I’m thrilled to own a copy signed by the author.
Highly recommend this book.

Simona Prochazkova Australia

There’s Something in the Air, February 14, 2011

At first glance, Pasquale M. Palmieri’s ’40 Something’ is a vibrant account of a circle of friends living in what has been described as one of the most liveable cities in the world. Certainly, the images painted of Melbourne’s beaches, latte culture and social diversity are colourful and tangible. The ‘amici’ themselves go some way in promoting their enviable lifestyles as they indulge their familial get-togethers with mouth-watering brunches, wine-soaked dinner parties and intellectual forays.

But, dig a little deeper and, as with any group of close relationships, each individual’s caricature is gradually exposed: an identifiable visual likeness that extrudes from them all without exception – the ‘ego’. Much like cosmic static, the pages are filled with the noisy brouhaha of these varied personalities, each clambering for their place to be seen, heard, respected and loved.

Caught up in their life stories they appear to be searching for the titular ‘something’ . . . else. Superficially content with their lot, yet aching (some more imperceptibly than others) with a sense of yearning, these characters come to represent the spiritual dis-ease that exists even in the ‘best’ cities in the world. As Liam (an entrepreneur Casanova) declares, “. . . I realised how much I didn’t want a story to develop in my life, with all the attached expectations and pain and affective complications . . . let’s just have fun.”

At times, it looks as though love is the missing jigsaw piece. But with an almost obsessive focus on the erotic, romance, or, simply, the ‘feeling’ of this dubious emotion, their collective search soon becomes entangled with their skewed perceptions of the world, which indiscriminately reflects back the very lack that they see. What they seem to be missing lies at their fingertips: authentic; universal; and unconditional love, or, a whole-hearted acceptance of self and others.

Luca (the central character), is the first to tap into this as he explores the infinite possibilities of being. Not without his own backpack of emotions, his journey is honest and refreshing as he attempts to shed the layers of his past to fully embrace his experience of the ‘now’. Despite the background static, he, and soul-mate Patricia, casually bring an air of stillness and peace to the fold as they philosophise over existential concerns. Their attempts to understand the human experience are often deflected by the whirlwind of egos with which they have become inseparable – their friends. Clearly ‘living’ in the past and future, the latter avoid the present moment like the plague, ducking and darting from its attempt to catch their attention lest their misperceived conceptions of vulnerability and powerlessness make themselves felt.

If storytelling is naturally designed to fulfil the ego’s appetite (which enjoys nothing more than gnawing away on the gnarled bones of dramatic tension), it’s far from easy to produce interesting and absorbing fictional writings that highlight in some way the arrival of the Age of Consciousness without coming across too ‘woo-woo’. As paradoxes go, telling a story without the telling of a story is quite a challenging one. But, just as the writer Paulo Coelho does in many of his works, Pasquale M. Palmieri goes some way in effectively using the novel as a means of revealing the nature of our true selves, whether consciously understood (or, even better, experienced) by the reader or not.

’40 Something’ does this with kid gloves, without condescension or pretence, by gently planting the idea that self-awareness is not only realisable by anyone, but is simply one breath away. Palmieri warmly and sensually invites us to share with Luca his journey as he realises enlightenment without the need to compromise his humanness or extricate himself from the material world he inhabits, one in which he interacts often with the people he loves as fellow human beings.

As the Zen proverb goes, “Before Enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After Enlightenment, chop wood carry water.”

Jae Dee Scott UK

About 40 Something, a novel by Pasquale M Palmieri.
January 13, 2011

Brilliant Pasquale, just brilliant!

Shelley Roberts Australia

Such familiar places, I could almost hear the chatter.
December 4, 2010 
Such familiar places and I could almost hear the chatter of Acland St. So many parts made me smile, frown, tear up and most of all made me think.
The scene set is one of a family, without blood but a family none-the-less, something that I think most of us aim to achieve… I saw so many people that I have come across in life in each of the characters and Patricia’s line ‘Try to not keep recreating your todays on the blueprint of your yesterdays‘ really struck a cord with me. We all get so lost in the day to day life, surviving each day, and this book shows us to take a step back and to take a look at ourselves. I could relate to them all, but in very different ways, which made me enjoy turning each page. Such a diverse group of people who have just one real thing in common: their mutual love and respect for each other.
A brilliant book by a brilliant man.
Janine Rothwell Australia

40 Something is really something. February 21, 2011

40 Something is really something… a book like no other I have had the pleasure to read in recent times.
My attention was captured from the very first page by the literary style which is fresh and engaging. You are invited in and instantly feel a part of their lives, perhaps akin to watching an episode of reality TV, or the 13th guest at the table of 12 just hovering, listening feeling and experiencing every known emotion as you relate your own life to theirs.
The story is set in my home town of Melbourne.  A beautiful city that is young by comparison but yet steeped in diversity in all things.
The group of 12 friends forms a melting pot.  Each character contributes in their own way through their varying cultures, upbringings, beliefs intellect, talents and experiences, all brought together into this rich rewarding “minestrone” soup that makes this circle of friends truly interesting.
As you explore the 12 characters you want to cry with them, hug them or at times slap them across the face as you share their journey and gain insight into their views on all topics and life’s challenges.
Overall the story is beautifully written, it begs you to want read on to find out just how the next day, next event  for whoever was the centerpiece of that chapter pans out.
The clever phraseology, inferences and beautifully crafted descriptions by Pasquale are masterful and at time leave doubt in your mind regarding your own personal views and beliefs about life, love and all things eternal.
Alex Sipala Australia

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