A little Iliad set in Piedmont

Fabio Turrini’s passion for writing and mountains led him to write the adventure of a “team” of young people, featuring climbing, love and cultural clashes.

Jan 2018

“Since we often hear talk about culture in Avio Aero, I’m sending you a link to a book I’ve published”. This is how the editors of About magazine discovered this story.  Fabio Turrini works in the Engineering Department at the headquarters in Rivalta di Torino as Senior Technical Leader for the Combustor product, and he describes himself as “an engineer, dedicated to music and writing”.

Passionate about mountains, he recently published his first book ‘Non vogliamo essere i lupi’ (We don’t want to be the wolves). But his passion for writing started many years ago, when Fabio was just 17. He wrote a letter of complaint addressed to the manufacturer of a faulty watch that his grandfather had given him for his birthday, which started with a false but effective opening line: “I have been your loyal customer for almost twenty years”. And he hasn’t stopped since.

Fabio, what is your first published book ‘We don’t want to be the wolves’ about?

“The plot on the back cover reads: ‘A mountain story. The youngsters leave the village at the foot of the dam and climb to the camp between the peaks. On the border between Piedmont and France, they disappear without a trace. Without rules, they dream of a peaceful revolution. They don’t want to be in charge. But there’s love and real life. And then there are the Others. The new arrivals in our world, who expect a place in the sun, even if the sun can’t shine for everyone. And so the adventure transforms into a clash of civilizations’. I spent several days summarizing the entire book into ten lines for the editor. Rereading it now, I still think it stands up”. 

How did the idea of writing this book come about?

“There were many ingredients to this book which got mixed together during the writing. But maybe the first idea came to life some years ago during a hike to Valasco in the Maritime Alps. The valleys between the mountains were covered in snow. I had my four year old daughter on my shoulders. I thought how lucky I was. Then from nowhere a girl and a boy appeared on the track. They overtook me. Close to the camp I lost sight of them. And I imagined that they would spend the night up there, far from the chaotic world we’d all escaped from, and where late in the evening I would return. I envied them. And that’s how my story started”.

What message do you want to convey to readers?

“The message is in the title, ‘We don’t want to be the wolves’.  A slightly disquieting title maybe, where the wolf is just a metaphor for what our humanity is often forced to become to survive the ‘role-playing’. With friends and colleagues too, and in love, the risk is wanting to win at all costs and get the better of everyone else. So, the good and the bad mix together and we no longer know which side to take. Only discussion and tolerance can hold together different cultures, ideas, and goals. The message is passed on in the form of a story about education, love and adventure. A sort of Iliad in the mountains. I like to think of this story as a remake, a cover of that epic conflict sung by an aging Homer: us, them, a touch of love. And war”.

To sum up, what’s your favorite book or author and what are your passions apart from writing?

“I’m an engineer, dedicated to music and writing. I like conciseness, looking at things from above; I like drawings and screenplays. A novel should be a sequence of images, fast and simple like a film. When writing the book I tried to leave only the essentials. A Carver poem, a Twombly painting, a Kerouac Haiku, a Beatles song. These are the points of reference that accompanied me on the adventure. I simply had to follow in their footsteps”.

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