Monday, March 2, 2009 By: Suzanne

The City of Falling Angels

This John Berendt's follow-up to Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. I greatly enjoyed that movie, which is the reason I even picked up the book. I like kooky characters, they're always my favorite in a book. For example, my favorite character in the Harry Potter books is Moaning Myrtle. The City of Falling Angels also has it's share of kooky characters. From the back:

Venice - a city of masks and riddles, where narrow streets and passageways form a giant maze that deepens the sense of mystery. As captivating as it is elusive, the city teeters in precarious balance between endurance and decay. Architectural treasures crumble even as efforts to preserve them are underway. In The City of Falling Angels, John Berendt...unveils the enigmatic Venice as only he can.

The story begins with the burning of the historic Fenice Opera House and winds through the many different odd and glorious people that are involved with the fire and the reconstructions. Interspersed throughout the story is the tale of Ezra Pound's mistress, Olga Rudge, and their daughter dealing with a couple who has taken advantage of Olga in her old age.

This is another story I listened to on cd in the car. Doing a lot more of that lately than actually reading books! It was hard for me to get into this and I might have stopped listening if I had something else to listen to in the car. However, I did finish it and enjoyed it for the most part. The story felt a little disjunct (spell checker says this is not word but I know it is! I hate that!) though. Not only did the author never unite the two stories in any meaningful way, besides the fact that they both take place in Venice, but he also did not make me feel that the main story of the Fenice was all that important to the people involved. It seemed more important to outsiders than to the people of Venice itself. And maybe it was, I don't know. Maybe that was the point. Overall, I enjoyed listening to Berendt read his tale, but I doubt this will make my list of favorite for the year.


Kaye said...

Some books just don't quite manage to hook you.
My initial link was faulty so try