While I was reading Snow, Dog, Foot, I couldn’t help thinking about Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte, which also features a man and his interactions with nature. Also both take their time to build up to a memorable conclusion.
The book is deceptively simple; hermit Adelmo Farandola lives in the mountains and occasionally visits the closest village in order to buy goods. The problem is that Farandola’s memory is going so he tends to repeat certain actions twice without realising it.
One day a dog finds Adelmo and befriends him. They bond, with Adelmo holding conversations with the dog and actually seeing him reply. It could be seen as a way to combat loneliness but it’s the first steps to Farandola’s madness. As the book progresses he tries to lure chamois for killing by chatting to them and refuses to wash. During this time he receives visits from a ranger who is ‘checking’ him.

Things get worse when Adelmo is snowed in for five months and then after the thaw, discovers a foot in the snow. As the snow has not completely melted, he waits until he can see the body. When he finally discovers it, the ending is not to dissimilar to something that would sprout in the mind of David Lynch.
Snow, Dog, Foot is not just a person’s journey into madness but rather how nature can make a person revert to a raw state. Inadvertently, the mountains and forest merge into Adelmo’s character, making him a delusional killer and the book’s slow build up offers the reader a chance to partake in the craziness. It goes to show that if we were in the same situation we’d go down the same route.
Unpredictable, clever and atmospheric. Snow, Dog, Foot is an addictive book that can unsettle the mind and make one aware that nature is a law unto itself .

(The Bobosphere, The Bobsphere)

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