Monday, September 25, 2006

The City of Falling Angels

I just finished reading The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. Falling Angels is a non fiction story about the burning of the Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy. I have never been to Italy and I have only ever been to one opera...not sure why I decided to read this. Overall though, I have to give the book a high recommendation and would love for someone who has had the pleasure of visiting Venice to let me know if this book is an accurate representation.

Berendt seems to have that rare talent in an author to create a strong sense of place and this is why I like the book so much. The book, while using the Fenice tragedy as the thread through the story, is more about the people and culture of Venice than it is about the loss of the opera house and the ensuing investigation. Falling Angels successfully took me to a new place, introduced me to bizarre and colorful people, and made me feel like I visited a city that I have never visited. In that sense, the book is great read. The plot doesn't necessarily suck you in, but the place sure does. I hereby start my lobbying to travel to Venice for my next vacation.

PS. John Berendt also wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (which I have not read).

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