Four Seasons in Rome

On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
Narrated by: Anthony Doerr
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (329 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In cart

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
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    93
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    166
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    9
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    153
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    9

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Overly descriptive writing is annoying

What would have made Four Seasons in Rome better?

Overall enjoyable but totally distracting by the constant attempt at creative writing and the OVERLYdescription of every single damn thing! The elaborate black old antique wonderful spectacular gate was scratched by a million cats who were angry and caused...yada yada etc (I'm exaggerating but you get the point) - wow just tell the story already!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An absolute joy.

Parr travelog, part history lesson, part diary, part dream. A treat for the ears and heart. So sad my journey is over.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

delightful recount of a precious time

This book recounts a dear, tender and personal time during Anthony's life, raising very young twins in a new and enchanting city. Though I've never been to Rome, his book makes me nostalgic for Rome.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful book about nature, family, and history

This is one of my favorite books ever, though it is for very personal reasons. I am the son of an American diplomat and my family moved to Rome, Italy, when I was ten years old. I attended an international school outside the city and lived in Rome till I was seventeen. The year Doerr recounts in this book was my first year living back in the US in college. Doerr captures perfectly the experience of Americans living in Rome, Italy, and being awe-struck by the city's age, culture, ruin, and beauty. I read this book for the first time when I joined the Peace Corps and was feeling very lonely in a strange place. This book helped me get through those first transitions to my very rural Peace Corps post and to help me find the beauty in all the strangeness around me. I subsequently read everything else that Doerr has written and not surprisingly he went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, but this book will always be my favorite of his works. It is beautifully written and recounts a deeply personal experience. My wife and I are now expecting twins, so I again find myself listening to this book. Hearing Doerr read it is great, and while he does employ some fastidious diction, it lends the book an even more personal sound. I recommend this book to anyone who is heading off to live in a foreign place or is starting a family.