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The City of Falling Angels

New or Used: 9 copies from $9.00
New or Used: 9 copies from $9.00

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A mystery story, a comedy, and a riveting human drama rolled into one, from the bestselling author of MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL

About the Author

John Berendt is a journalist and former editor of New York magazine. His first book, MiIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL was an international bestseller. He lives in New York.


More than ten years after the publication of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Berendt returns with another nonfiction thriller, this one set in Venice. The victim here is the Fenice, Venice's spectacular opera house, which burned under mysterious circumstances three days before Berendt's arrival in early 1996. As the author settles in for an extended stay, the Venetians attempt to determine the cause of the fire and rebuild the opera house-a process that reveals much about the life of the city and its citizens. Berendt meets Venetians of all classes and occupations, as well as tourists and expatriates, and weaves their stories into his chronicle of the fire investigation and reconstruction process. The cast of distinctive characters includes a judge, a glassblower, artists and artisans, poets, scholars, contractors, socialites, and members of the aristocracy. Even the buildings of Venice are characters in this real-life drama; thankfully, appendixes listing main characters, places, and organizations help readers to keep track of everything. What emerges is an intimate portrait of a city that has survived floods, government corruption, decay, rising water levels, invasions, and attempts by international organizations to "save" it-all while remaining a bastion of art and a place of unique beauty. Essential. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/05.]-Rita Simmons, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'Berendt's descriptions of people and places are well-honed and he has an ear for a good yarn as well as an obvious knack for getting people to talk revealingly' -- Laurence Phelan, Independent on Sunday 'Fascinating, fantastic... Intrigue, too, stems from the burning of the Fenice opera house in 1996 and here Berendt's enthusiasm for juicy recriminations become almost palpable.' -- Stephanie Cross, Observer It's a fascinating read' -- Jonathan Gibbs, Telegraph 'Glittering, entertaining and anecdote-filled.' -- Sunday Times 'The inhabitants of Venice are the real stars of the story' -- Sunday Telegraph

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.

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