No Dancing Tonight
The Novel of '68

Marco Bernardini

Price:
€ 15,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Pages: 208
ISBN/EAN: 978 88 6052 162 0

Synopsis
Versilia, 31 December 1968. At the Bussola everything is ready for New Year’s Eve. The owner, Sergio Bernardini, has organized an unforgettable evening for his guests. The stars of the evening are Fred Bongusto and Shirley Bassey. The elite of the Italian bourgeoisie get out of luxurious cars, the women in furs accompanied by their wealthy husbands. But something other than festivity is in the air.

Outside there is a gathering of young protestors that spurred on by Potere Operaio (Workers’ Power) intend to repeat the scene that took place at the premier of the Scala in Milan. Or maybe more than that. Some are the sons and daughters of the wealthy inside the night spot, others are there for redemption of the humiliation their fathers suffered. Like Francesco Mei, the son of one of the waiters in the club.

«This is not going to be the usual university prank,”Adriano Sofri, the charismatic leader of the movement had announced. That night all hell breaks loose. At 1:27 am during the battle between demonstrators and the police, a gunshot echoes and young Soriano Ceccanti falls wounded to the ground. It’s the end of the Great Dream for an entire generation: a world free from injustice and freed of executioners.

The narrative voice of Marco Bernardini, Sergio’s grandson, brings those far off days of his youth back to life: meetings and marches, university sit-ins and street battles, Pasolini’s poetry and Basaglia’s psychiatry. The murder of the anarchist Franco Serantini in Pisa, but also the evenings at the Bussola with Carosone on-stage and Ava Gardner in the audience. Questa notte non si balla is the novel of ’68, the protests and the economic boom where personages like Mario Capanna and Guido Viale, Walter Chiari and Rita Pavone take centre stage. There are also those less well-known: Lidia, the activist with the voice of an angel; Valeria, married to a Fascist but the comforter of her comrades; Antonio, a poor student, an authentic son of the entire working-class; Teresio, a stupendous madman. This is the story of the first victim in a crescendo of violence that will lead to the darkest years, but it is also the story of Francesco Mei who is now a policeman. It is a voyage of memory shifting between the past and the present to portray with a touch of nostalgia all those who had truly believed in that dream of the “fantasy in power”.

The author
Marco Bernardini, sports reporter and writer, is the grandson of Sergio Bernardini, the inventor of La Bussola, the mythical Versilia night-spot that was a symbol of the boom years. Among his many books are Edoardo. Senza corona… senza scorta (2003), Uno come Luca. Un'incredibile vita da Montezemolo (2004) and Li abbiamo fatti cantare (2005).

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