“The Late Night Pasta Party: An Untold Story of Brexit” by Piero (Pierrot) A. La Franca

Two things made me interested in reading “The Late Night Pasta Party: An Untold Story of Brexit” by Piero (Pierrot) A. La Franca. First, the mention in the description about it being written in 2002, which is long before Brexit actually happened. Second, that it is a musical comedy.

I don’t often read books – or anything else – about politics, simply because any event is viewed from the perspective of whether it was to its author’s advantage or not. I liked Kate Andersen Brower’s books about the domestic side of life in the White House: “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” and “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies”. But that’s about how deep I go into reading about politics.

Brexit is one of those “big scene” events that felt personal to me, for I spent a few years living in a beautiful place in Dorset and travelling for work all around England. The first time I flew to London, I had a rather unpleasant experience going through thorough customs control since it happened before Latvia became a member of the EU. “Crossing the border” at those times was a synonym for a “formidable experience”. But the next time I had to go to England, it was almost right after we entered the “Happy Farm of Friendly EU’s Nations Project” as the author calls it in the book. The difference between the two arrivals was so vast that I still remember it vividly despite almost two decades having passed since then.

Just like any project, entering the European Union brought advantages and disadvantages for the people of Latvia. I don’t discuss politics publicly, so I won’t go into details. One thing I want to mention though is that England was the country to which the majority of people, who chose to use the benefit of the free workforce movement and leave Latvia, went to live. So, for us, Brexit wasn’t yet another event in the big political arena. It did have direct consequences.

“We must always keep in mind that nothing is falser and more perilous than the illusion of knowledge that is always the result of incorrect information,” says Pericles Cleisthenes Dormouseon of Athens or simply Peris, Cleis, or Peric. He is an Olympic dormouse and an attorney, who volunteered to defend the group of farm animals in the court trial. What did those animals do? They misbehaved really badly, causing such a ruckus that shook the whole EU.

I won’t include any spoilers, but I’ll add this quote: “…progress is not just the end result of academic studies, but foremost of situations driven by necessity and solved with inspiration, curiosity, creativity and dedication.”

“The Late Night Pasta Party: An Untold Story of Brexit” is a story that is easy to read, but it’s also one of those books that make readers think about global things without feeling the burden of their importance.

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