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Publisher's Summary

It was seven years ago that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil achieved a record-breaking four-year run on The New York Times best seller list. John Berendt's inimitable brand of nonfiction brought the dark mystique of Savannah so startlingly to life for millions of people that tourism to Savannah increased by 46 percent. It is Berendt and only Berendt who can capture Venice, a city of masks, a city of riddles, where the narrow, meandering passageways form a giant maze, confounding all who have not grown up wandering into its depths. Venice, a city steeped in a thousand years of history, art, and architecture, teeters in precarious balance between endurance and decay. Its architectural treasures crumble, foundations shift, marble ornaments fall, even as efforts to preserve them are underway. The City of Falling Angels opens on the evening of January 29, 1996, when a dramatic fire destroys the historic Venice opera house. The loss of the Fenice, where five of Verdi's operas premiered, is a catastrophe for Venetians. Arriving in Venice three days after the fire, Berendt becomes a kind of detective, inquiring into the nature of life in this remarkable museum-city-while gradually revealing the truth about the fire.
©2005 High Water Incorporated; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"One of the longest-awaited literary encores in recent times....Teems with a diverse cast of aristocrats and lowlifes....Berendt's voice is gentle and tolerant, reveling in human complexities; he has no pretensions of offering anything more than a good story." (The New York Times Book Review)
"In lieu of Savannah, he offers us Venice, another port city full of eccentric citizens and with a long, colorful history." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Stephen
  • New Orleans, LA, United States
  • 08-20-12

Fascinating subject but sadly disappointing

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Fair reportage of the fire at La Fenice opera house but lacking descriptive richness and fascinating characters. I would only recommend the book to those with specific interest in disasters and reconstruction. It's not for the general reader.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The fire in a historic structure in tightly packed Venice is confined to the building itself despite difficult conditions was interesting. The political and financial intrigue was not at all compelling.

What does Holter Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator was quite competent but the book was without dramatic content so he had little to work with.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Yawn.

I was so excited to listen to this. I loved Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -- both the book and the movie. But I should have listened to the other reviews I read about this and saved my credit. Don't waste your time.

Of note: the narrator has a very soothing voice -- I did some of my best daydreaming while it was on...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful