Featured Title

You're an Animal, Viskovitz!
You're an Animal, Viskovitz!


Writer's Recommendations

About the Author Author's Desktop Excerpt
Picture of Author Author Name

Alessandro Boffa was born in Moscow. He completed his studies in biology in Rome, and now divides his time between Italy and Thailand. This is his first book.

From Italy, a wildly modern riff on Ovid’s Metamorphoses—a whirlwind of ironic fables in which the central hero, Viskovitz, continually changes identities in pursuit of his one true love.

A snail with two sexes, a parrot who speaks of love, a dormouse who has erotic dreams, a police dog who’s a Buddhist, a microbe with an inferiority complex, a lion in love with a gazelle, a chameleon hoping to find himself, an intestinal worm, a dung beetle . . . Viskovitz is each of these animals and many more, possessed by their behaviors, their neuroses, their vanities. And the gorgeous and impossible Ljuba, the object of Viskovitz’s desire, is in turn a sow, a bitch, a gazelle. There is an animal passion between them that lasts from story to story, but it is the fullness of the human condition that is portrayed most vividly in these hilarious metamorphoses.
Dazzling beginnings lead into plots full of surprises, ranging from slapstick to Western, from cautionary tale to thriller. Scientific jargon is turned into wordplay and witty aphorism; theatrical reversals and philosophical insights abound.

You’re an Animal, Viskovitz! is a triumph of comic inventiveness and intelligence unlike anything we’ve seen before.

"Written with the originality of an inventor by ex-biologist Boffa, these twenty stories soaked with morality and metaphor trace the multiple lives of an animal named Viskovitz and comprise a hilarious and highly theatrical compendium of the passions displayed by the animal called man."
--Corriere della Sera

"Bestial passions, animalesque adventures, indecent metamorphoses, the sophisticated humor of You're an Animal, Viskovitz strikes like lightening...Viskovitz is a bizarre protagonist who embodies a wide array of animals: a hermaphrodite slug, a male praying mantis longing to be eaten by his lover, a drug abusing police dog, a chameleon having an identity crisis, a microbe with an inferiority complex. Naturally, each of his manifestations become a parable for the human condition, for good and for evil, and the book often reads like a 'conte philosophique,' but its pleasure and irony are explosive...This is an enchanting little book and Boffa's is an extraordinary talent."

"Desire and joy, fear and survival, sex and love, death and identity issues, cruelty, illusions and delusions...Boffa's themes are universal and eternal, his story-telling brilliant."
--Il Sole 24 Ore

"A pinwheel of invention containing gags of the highest literary ambition, these are irresistible stories about bizarre and comic animals made up by a fable-spinning biologist in the computer age."
--Francesca Durante, La Repubblica delle Donne

"It doesn't happen very often that while reading a book alone you find yourself laughing out loud. It is even rarer to find on every page of a book by a first time author the sparkle of genius delivered in a refined prose style rich in irony...This one should not be missed."
--Il Secolo XIX

"It is an age old literary exercise to speak truths about man through the voices of animals--from Aesop to Leonardo Da Vinci to La Fontaine...Adding Chaplinesque humor to the mix, Boffa's circus is a mirror that reflects back at us a savagely funny image of who we are."