I kept listening because I thought eventually there would be a story. There seemed to be some small stories that never came together - and those weren't interesting. It was tedious. The facts about Venise were interesting, but I'm sure there's a more interesting travel book out there - or even an history book. Ugh
I purchased the book when it was first printed and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to hear the audio version. I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who loves Venice. (I have made ten visits to this magical city.) It will also appeal somewhat to those who enjoyed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I wonder if other readers will enjoy it as much... My only definite criticism is that toward the end of the book he spends too much time discussing the in-fighting within a charitable group and it becomes a little boring.
Enjoyed this book. Very descriptive and visual with good character development
This was a wonderful book about the unique people of and visual tapestry of one of the most enchanting places in the world, Venice. Venice is its own character, much like Savanah was in this author's book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This book would make a good movie too!
This was a delightful tale of the people of Venice and their reactions to a disastrous fire in a priceless and irreplaceable theater. While it is a story about an event, the true adventure is in meeting the inhabitants of this unique and relatively isolated community. All small communities have characters, but the steeping of Venice in its rich and artistic history seems to have steeped its characters to a deep resonance, at the same time that the very same history seems to have trapped those characters in a dance that doesn't seem to have changed much over the centuries. At the same time that one is delighted to have met them, one is left with the melancholy feeling that one is reading the closing chapter in a veritable encyclopedia of charming and harmless eccentricity as well as the saga of the city's art.
This book is not like a regular work of fiction. It is more like a travel diary. I liked it very much. At first I was put off by it and had to make myself continue with the listening. I also went back to some reviews of the book to relook at what professional reviewers had to say about the process the book takes to tell the story. After that I had no problem with it and loved the people and the stories attached to them. I often wondered at how the author got away with saying some of these things about real people, but decided the lawyers had probably taken care of him on that score. I love Venice, and this book made me love it even more.
Don't go here to look for fast action, this is a easy, smooth read of people's life flowing in and out, just like all our lives do.
Terrible--rambled on and on. Sent it back before I was finished. Boring, boring, boring. Way too many characters to follow. What a disappointment after "Midnight!"
Too slow starting. Kept trying to stay with it. Finally gave up.
I absolutely did not enjoy this book. In fact, I didn't finish listening to it past the 5th CD. I kept waiting for it to get better; unfortunately it never did. Too many plot lines; very rambling. I was very disappointed; as a fan of "Midnight" I was expecting much more.
This book was absolutely fabulous. I was hanging on every word and so engrossed with Venice that I found it difficult to stop the disc at any given point. Berendt is a master storyteller who truly lives with his characters, giving you the feeling you are there with him and them. I highly recommend this novel.
I almost *never* put down a book or stop listening to a recorded book, but I couldn't listen beyond the 3rd or 4th disc on this (I can't even remember which disc because my mind was so numbed by listening to it). It started out interestingly enough, but too many details and plot lines get tangled up and, perhaps it's my simple mind, I found myself not listening but thinking about other things. The reading was not all that exciting either. And I've listened to other stories that were just as actionless, but kept my interest. This one didn't.
Most enjoyable - I was never really attracted to Venice but I desperately want to see it & experience it now.
I thought this was going to be another real-life whodunit, like "Midnight", so I listened to the first set of disks waiting for the mystery to unfold. It never quite does, even in the middle set, but by the time I got to disk 5, I was hooked anyway. It takes awhile to get the characters straight (all those mellifluous Italian names run together), but in the end, it almost doesn't matter -- each vignette is a self-contained story, and by the time you realize it's over, Berendt is on to the next one. It's like floating down the Grand Canal and stopping to peep in the windows; you catch a snapshot of the people and the way they live, all centering on the theme of the fire at the opera house (the name of which I don't dare try to spell just from hearing it!). I thought my next European vacation would be Paris, but now... Ciao, Venezia!
I rented this book because I adore Venice; but while it was entertaining, it was also disjointed with too many story lines never connected. Overall, the book was enjoyable, but hard to keep the "players" straight. I think the structure and interest level would have been much better, if the book had been divided according to stories without the jumping from one to another. Too, being fascinated with Murano, I enjoyed the view of a glass artesian family.