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Utopian Dreams offers one writer's attempt to retreat from the 'real world' - which is making him emptier and angrier by the day - and seek out the alternatives to modern manners and morality. Instead of cynicism, loneliness and depression, is it possible to be idealistic, to find belonging and companionship with others who share your sadness, or even, perhaps, your happiness? Are there really communities in Italy and Britain which transcend the opposites of individualism and community, places where you can truly be yourself but also part of something else?
With his wife and baby in tow, Tobias Jones spends a year with spiritualists, time-travellers, reformed drug addicts and Quakers, producing a fascinating exploration of the meaning of community.
Tobias Jones studied at Jesus College, Oxford. He was on the staff of the London Review of Books and the Independent on Sunday before moving to Parma in 1999. Since the publication of The Dark Heart of Italy he has written and presented two TV series for Rai 3: Ricchi d'Italia and Cervelli d'Italia.