Comrade Don Camillo, although still first published as a series of magazine stories, is the one book which reads like a continuous novel. It is the amusing, if unlikely, story of how Peppone,who has become a senator (!), wins the national soccer sweepstakes, and leads a party of ten, including Don Camillo disguised as Comrade Camillo Tarocci, on a visit to Russia, during which Camillo gets elected as leader of a new party cell and causes the maximum upheaval for everyone. As he had told Peppone before they set out, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m hoping it (Russia) isn’t as bad as our papers paint it.”
“Very fine feelings!” exclaimed Peppone sarcastically. “How objective and disinterested you are!”
“I’m not disinterested at all,” Don Camillo retorted. “It’s to my interest that the Russians should be happy. That way they’ll stay quietly at home and not go bothering other people.”
In fact, of course, it is Camillo who is soon bothering them. As he tells Peppone, who has just bought a mismatching but expensive pair of Russian socks: ” Beauties! We couldn’t make anything half so good. The idea of having one longer than another is particularly clever. No man’s feet are exactly the same.”
It all ends with Camillo’s bishop being so impressed by what he has achieved that he tells him, “I’ll simply have to raise you to the rank of monsignore.” Not that it ever happens.
Biographical outline describing life and writings of Giovannino Guareschi, author of series of satirical stories about priest Don Camillo in 50’s and 60’s of last century’ Italy.