Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time.
Although Giuseppe di Lampedusa had long had the book in mind, he began writing it only in his late 50s; he died at age 60, soon after the manuscript was rejected as unpublishable. Here, finally, is the definitive edition of this brilliant and timeless novel.
©1958, 2002 Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, Milano. Translation c. 1960 by William Collins & Co Ltd. and Random House, Inc. Copyright renewed 1988 by William Collins PLC and Random House, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Books like this, it's better to go into blind. All I knew about it was that it involved Sicilian Aristocracy during the Italian "Resurgence." It is very well written, in as much that entire short stories seem to blossom from within single paragraphs (Such as the scene you will encounter when the family is eating jello/pudding). I found this to be a very rich and rewarding novel, however don't buy it if you're looking for "Under the Tuscan Sun," where serendipity makes everything come out rosy in the end. This is about war, intrigue, etc. and is strong on character and history. Don't come looking for a fast-food novel about princes and kinds.
I suppose it's classified as a historical novel because the story takes place in the past. It's really an romance novel and only makes brief references to any historical events. The reader seems bored as well. He narrates in a kind of sing-song voice that rocks one to sleep.
In the top 5. I have reread it 3 times.
It is emotionally bittersweet and ironic.
The Leopard of course.
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