A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining masterpiece in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.
Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its mix of entertainment and literary bravado. The core story is set in Venice in the 16th century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world's most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination - was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? - the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however - a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose - has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city's terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten....
Meanwhile, in two other Venices - Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today - two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret.... All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down - an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the listener to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice...and the bedazzled sense of having listened to a truly original and thrilling work of art.
©2016 Martin Seay (P)2016 Recorded Books
It was slow to start. It was a little confusing to understand. But I went with it anyway. Finally a break and I understood. Wonderful how the author intertwined the stories and the centuries. A true masterpiece.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
I listen to almost everything Mr. Ballerini narrates. I think that he is one of the best narrators working now. However, even he cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. This is just plain nonsense.
I listened to this for almost six hours (!) waiting for it to make some kind of sense. Apparently there are people who like this sort of thing. At the time I read it, it had been reviewed by six readers, one of whom said that it was one of the best audiobooks he had ever read. This man (or woman) and I have absolutely nothing in common, at least in the realm of literature.
I will continue to read just about everything that he narrates. However, there have been a number of books that he has narrated that I just haven't enjoyed at all, and when I think about it, I note that several of them are about Italy, for what that's worth.
I would cut the whole thing. There would be nothing left.
I just didn't get why the critics raved about this and compared it to Cloud Atlas. I found the story hard to care about and the lead character, Stanley Glass, at turn unfathomable and unbearable. I did like Curtis Stone though and the scenes of Venice (the real one) are a plus for anyone who loves that city.
This is a book about boys and for boys. Compare to Cloud Atlas, where Luisia Rey and Sonmi~451 are major characters. Here women are 100% incidental. The oft-mentioned but never seen Danielle is perhaps the most obvious example of how little women matter. Certainly other women appear and deliver pieces of information about men or helpful to men, but women as self-realized people would have probably done a lot to increase my enjoyment of this book.
All of the scenes in Venice were interesting just for the physical spaces being described. The sword fight with Crivano was as action packed as you are likely to find outside of a movie.
I would simply have added more women as actual people.
Another book to return. I keep asking Audible to rate these books. But evidently they're not listening. I can't be the only one who hates this. Chapter 12, the guy shot the bird then had his chef cook it. He didn't even enjoy eating it. NONE of this was necessary to the story. Why do authors do this? Can't they write a book without killing animals? 99.99% of the time it has absolutely nothing to do with the story. It's stupid, not enjoyable, just stupid and UNNECESSARY. Good grief.
The narrator was good and the story was good up to this point. I hope this helps.
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