by Alberto Moravia, introduction by William Weaver, translated from the Italian by Angus Davidson
The novels that the great Italian writer Alberto Moravia wrote in the years following World War II represent an extraordinary survey of the range of human behavior in a fragmented modern society. Boredom, the story of a failed artist and pampered son of a rich family who becomes dangerously attached to a young model, examines the complex relations between money, sex, and imperiled masculinity. This powerful and disturbing study in the pathology of modern life is one of the masterworks of a writer who, as Anthony Burgess once remarked, was "always trying to get to the bottom of the human imbroglio."
In its moral and artistic economy, [Boredom] is perhaps the most successful of all Moravia's work....No one has depicted a series of carnal acts, frenzied yet cold in their automatism—nudity, desire and its outlet—with such complete lack of complacence, such impassive truthfulness.
—Nicola Chiaromonte, Partisan Review
Precise, calculating, decadent and quite brilliant.
Boredom is Moravia's most succinct exploration of the quiet desperation at the heart of the automated human...one of Moravia's funniest explorations on the origins of middle-class funk.
—Bill Marx, Boston Review