John Berendt is a journalist and former editor of New York magazine. His first book, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, was an international bestseller. He lives in New York.
The man who made Savannah really famous visits fabled Venice, and though his starting point is the 1996 fire that consumed the Fenice opera house, his narrative concerns the crazed painters, partying Americans, glassblowers, hustlers, and others who ply the city's streets-er, canals. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The story of the Fenice fire and its aftermath is exceptionally interesting, the cast of characters is suitably various and flamboyant, and Berendt's prose is precise, evocative and witty - Jonathan Yardley, Washington PostAn engaging journey in which the author navigates Venice's shadowy politics, its tangled bureaucracy and its elegant high-society nightlife with a discerning, sanguine touch. Berendt does great justice to an exalted city that has rightly fascinated the likes of Henry James, Robert Browning and many filmmakers throughout the world . . . In Berendt's capable hands, the city has never seemed more colorful, perplexing and alluring. - Kirkus ReviewsBerendt has delivered an intriguing mosaic of modern life in Venice, which makes for first-rate travel writing - Publishers WeeklyThe City of Falling Angels - one of the longest-awaited literary encores in recent times - strikes many of the same notes as "Midnight". It, too, is set in one of history's blessed backwaters, a place of crumbling mansions and rococo intrigue. And it, too, teems with a diverse cast of aristocrats and lowlifes. - Adam Goodheart, New York Times Book ReviewAn urbane, beautifully fashioned book with much exotic charm. . . Once again, Mr Berendt makes erudite, inquisitive, nicely sceptical company as he leads the reader through the shadows of what was
Berendt reads his own nonfiction exploration of the seamy side of Venice with an insider's hushed tones, chronicling the life and times of the city's movers and shakers like a naughty child sharing an overheard secret. Following up his similar study of Savannah in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Berendt has cobbled together a series of entertaining tales of the legendary canal city, ranging from the squabbles of Venetian fund-raisers to the fire in the Venice Opera House. Like a cocktail-party raconteur with a particularly juicy story to tell, Berendt twists his listeners' ears with his book's seamless string of Venice-themed misbehavior and decadence. Only occasionally overemoting, Berendt mostly maintains the proper tone of high-society gossip delivered succinctly. Berendt's intimate voice helps to tie together the disparate strands of his sometimes-sprawling book. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, July 18). (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.