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Publisher's Summary

Anthony Doerr has received many awards - from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins.

Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats - the chroniclers of Rome who came before him - and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.

This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft - the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

©2007 Anthony Doerr. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Oh my , don't miss this one

For all of us who love Anthony Doerr's writing and insights, this is a very satisfying book. Not only do we get the treat again of reading his beautifully descriptive prose but it is a personal journey which is very endearing. He is learning to be a Dad, a husband when he is a Dad, all the while being in Rome where he and his wife are constantly delighted by the culture, food and passions of the Italians. I have listened to this twice and probably won't stop there.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

OK

Lots of talk about the first year with twins ... and then Rome. More the content of a family letter home rather than a travel experience.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Four seasons in Rome was fabulous!

I love how the author described everything he was very good at making me picture where he is and how he felt when going through the rough times and couldn't picture myself in his place going through the tasks he had to
There was nothing I did not like he's a great writer the second book I've read and enjoyn I would recommend this book to anyone that would love to visit Rome but may not be able to and anyone that is into art

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeff
  • O Fallon, IL, United States
  • 12-11-15

I'm soooo disappointed in this story

I was just in Umbria ...Assisi, Spoleto and drove to Narni ( husband and two daughters). Seriously, this is the most beautiful drive that I've ever been on and he totally goes down the well of sadness and despair on some other subject. Absolutely nothing about Narni or Spoleto. I'm an artist and an enviromentalist and the beauty around there is breathtaking!!!Seriously, Idaho does not hold a candle on the history, people and surroundings of Italy. I've been to Italy over a dozen times as well as a good portion of the world as our kids have been since birth(thankfully my husband never wined as much as Mr. Doerr...) He should have written about gratitude over this award of living there for a year and reached out more to his Italian neighbors. You receive what you give in life!

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Returned

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

There is no original thought in this book. It perpetuates all the stereotypes Europeans have about Americans going anywhere. The book is shallow and redundant. My first return on audible. I have no idea who may enjoy it. Maybe a tourist with first-world problems who thinks that raising twins with a help of a stay-home wife and a nanny is overwhelming? First book I listened to on 1.5x speed. My worst read of the year.

What could Anthony Doerr have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not publish it.

How could the performance have been better?

It could not.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Four Seasons in Rome?

The entire book

11 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

How does 240 pages = 6h 15m...?!?!?

Doerr’s reading drove me effing crazy. They way he annunciates words, how slow he reads (i listened on 1.5 speed and occasionally slowed it to 1.0 to see if it was possible that he was reading that slow... geez), the generic musings of Rome (though wrapped in Doerr’s sometimes beautiful prose) offer nothing new to the reader. Except for some useless, random facts about the history of Rome.

The book is 240 pages, and the audible reading is sprawled out over 6 hours and 15 minutes. (Are you kidding me?!?!?)

He only ever gets animated twice (once about how hot it gets in June... yawn), otherwise his voice is monotonous, great to put you to sleep! I’m not a parent, but i am a twin, and i personally found the focus on the twins (like 75% of the book) to be too much. It just seems like he’s rambling. I never laughed, didn’t find anything humorous, it was just mundane and serious... i actually went back and took a star off “all the light” on Goodreads because i disliked this “memoir” so much.

He barely discusses insomnia, so that shouldn’t be in the subtitle, and neither should the reference to the Pope’s funeral... he didn’t go to it.

He also spends much of the book quoting Pleni, so you may as well just read Pleni and save yourself the time and the wanting to pull your hair out.

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Fan of Anthony Doerr

I came to Anthony Doerr through his novel All the Light I Cannot See, the wonder and splendor of that novel led me to appreciate his prose and perspective, thus I wanted to learn more about his as a person, family guy and his writing process. Plus I was able to venture back to a city I love through his eyes.

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Marvelous book!!!

I ADORED it!!!
As indeed I loved and appreciated Anthony Doerr’s ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

Thank you! You have given me joy.



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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LiveMind
  • Vancouver, BC Canada
  • 08-30-18

An American country young poet encounters Rome

This man is a real poet. The freshness with which he describes for us his encounters with both the eternal city and life as a young father of twins are charming.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love, love.

Listened to it four times now and hear new things each time. The author has a way of making me feel I too, live in Rome. Grazie mille!