In the Baslicato, a handsome British actor wakes up from a head injury only to discover he is a short, hard-drinking, Italian race car driver with a wife who hates him. And he has a big race comes up soon. So this mild-mannered actor who has a fear of driving since he was badly injured in a car/truck crash in Ireland must learn to drive a race car. Did I mention he is the odds on favorite to win the race?
To add further drama or confusion, depending how you see it, his new doctor turns out to be his wife from another incarnation...and he recognizes her immediately. But she does not know him. But she LIKES him.
And she has a boyfriend who further complicates the situation. Naturally, my favorite characters in this story are the racecar driver and his American doctor. But there is this little side character named Luigi, who speaks broken English but heartfelt humaneness.
Here is an except of a conversation between Luigi and a tipsy Dr. Garrett MacEgan:
“Tell me, Dr. Mac, you ever been in the service?” Luigi poured. “No, no Loo-weegie. I’ve never served in the armed forces.” Garrett drank some more. “I did. It was hell. Pure hell.” Luigi poured some more wine. “Did you ever go to Catholic school with the nuns and the priests?” “No. I’m not a Catholic. I’m Scottish Protestant.” Garrett drank. “Well, I did. It was hell. Pure hell. You ever marry a crazy alcoholic bitch?” Luigi poured. “No, Weegie. I’m still single.” Garrett drank. “I did. It was hell. Pure hell. Hmm… let me see. No service time. No Catholic school. No crazy alcoholic bitch wives. Tell me, Dr. Mac, what the hell you been doing all your life?” “I… I’ve been saving lives, saving brains. Up until now. But now I can’t do it anymore. I need her with me. I need Brook. She idolizes me. She thinks I’m the Brain God. Without her, I’m no good.” “Yeah. Either is he. Eat. You’ll feel better. My Conchetta, she can make anybody feel better. She is like magic. God send me my Conchetta because of the pure hell I go through with the crazy alcoholic bitch.”