A mystery story, a comedy, and a riveting human drama rolled into one, from the bestselling author of MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL
Taking the fire that destroyed the Fenice theatre in 1996 as his starting point, John Berendt creates a unique and unforgettable portrait of Venice and its extraordinary inhabitants. Beneath the exquisite facade of the world's most beautiful historic city, scandal, corruption and venality are rampant, and John Berendt is a master at seeking them out. Ezra Pound and his mistress, Olga; poet Mario Stefani; the Rat Man of Treviso; or Mario Moro self-styled carabiniere, fireman, soldier or airman, depending on the day of the week.
With his background in journalism, Berendt is perfectly poised to gain access to private and unapproachable people, and persuade them to talk frankly to him. The result is mischievous, witty, compelling - and destined to be the non-fiction succes d'estime of the year.
Berendt's descriptions of people and places are well-honed and he has an ear for a good yarn as well as an obvious knack for getting people to talk revealingly. - Laurence Phelan, Independent on Sunday
Berendt's descriptions of people and places are well-honed and he has an ear for a good yarn as well as an obvious knack for getting people to talk revealingly - Laurence Phelan, Independent on Sunday
Fascinating, fantastic. . . Intrigue, too, stems from the burning of the Fenice opera house in 1996 and here Berendt's enthusiasm for juicy recriminations become almost palpable. - Stephanie Cross, Observer
It's a fascinating read' - Jonathan Gibbs, Telegraph
Glittering, entertaining and anecdote-filled. - Sunday Times
The inhabitants of Venice are the real stars of the story - Sunday Telegraph