Savini, the central character – finds himself the victim of even more alarming circumstances at the time of the full moon –, exploring the countryside to gather information about a strange phenomenon:
people have been finding messages in bottles at the bottoms of wells and hearing voices coming up from these wells. What follows is a belabored account of Savini's discovery that people are really actors and their houses made of cardboard, that they will come out, put on a show and then laugh about what a fool they have made of the audience.
Savini meets up with a prefect, and together they set out to expose these actors as well as the hidden creatures they believe are residing at the brink of reality, latching on to human thoughts and bodies. As the novel unfolds in a surreal succession of episodes, we encounter a man who has intimate relationships with his kitchen appliances and a woman who is able to transform herself into a cockerel as part of a mating ritual. Although the Italian author's writing is amusing, the action is repetitious and the appeal of the characters is severely limited by their unrelenting paranoia about the bizarre and ultimately meaningless happenings around them. This novel was recently made into a movie by Federico Fellini. Fellini recognized an abandoned project about filming the natural world: "the soil, the seasons, sun and rain, day and night. He likes the notion that at night the water in the well is awakened by the moon and starts uttering faint messages" to those prepared to listen. Unfortunately, few are permitted - let alone prepared - to listen in the infernal uproar of a postmodern world where blaring television commercials and beeping satellites drown out poetry, silence, and the voice of the moon.
Ermanno Cavazzoni was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1947. He is one of Italy's most original writers and also a reasonably prolific one whose works have been translated in many European languages.