28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Conflicted Feelings and I'm not Entirely Sure Why,
This review is from: The City of Falling Angels (Hardcover)
I stopped reading after page 168. Cold turkey.
I loved "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" so I was pre-disposed to liking "City of Falling Angels." But I just couldn't get into it. It isn't Berendt's writing. It's crisp and his sentences are well constructed and easy to read, as always.
So what is it? I think, suspect, really, that it's because, at least until page 168, the book's mainly been about the rich and "famous" of Venice. Oridnary people, the common man, hardly appear. Yes, there is the rat catcher of Venice, the men who "control" the pigeon population and the man who wears a different uniform every day - really interesting people - but that's about it and their appearances are all to brief. Mostly, "City of Falling Angels" has been about the foibles of rich people - transplanted Americans, in large part. In my book, at least, the rich and privileged of Venice aren't nearly as compelling as the ordinary Venetians who made too brief an appearance. Which leads me to another point, contrasted with the people who made up "Midnight in the Graden of Good and Evil" - the man who wanted to poison the city's water supply, Lady Chablis, etc. - the people who appear in "City of Falling Angels" are positively boring in comparsion - their penchant for wearing nothing but white and transforming rooms in a Venetian palace into a Mars Embassy, notwithstanding.
I was expecting more or, at the very least, different. I didn't want the "grand" stories. I wanted the small but interesting ones about oridnary people. Unfortunately, "City of Falling Angels" isn't about them. And, for me at least, that is a shame.
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Initial post: Apr 2, 2013 10:47:46 AM PDT
blue iguana says:
I have to agree with you. This book was well-written, but after pg. 168, it never really returns to regular people, mostly the rich and/or powerful and how they fight each other every chance they get. I got to the end without caring about anybody. My vote is to let the place sink.
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