The City of Falling Angels

Front Cover
Random House Large Print, 2005 - Travel - 569 pages
709 Reviews
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 bestseller 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%. 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 Fenice 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. In the course of his investigations, Berendt introduces us to a rich cast of characters: a prominent Venetian poet whose shocking 'suicide' prompts his skeptical friends to pursue a murder suspect on their own; the First Family of American expatriates who lose possession of the family palace after four generations of ownership; an organization of high-society, party-going Americans who raise money to preserve the art and architecture of Venice, while quarreling in public among themselves, questioning each other's motives and drawing startled Venetians into the fray; a contemporary Venetian surrealist painter and outrageous provocateur; the master glassblower of Venice; and numerous others--stool-pigeons, scapegoats, hustlers, sleepwalkers, believers in Martians, the Plant Man, the Rat Man, and Henry James.

Berendt tells a tale full of atmosphere and surprise as the stories build, one after the other, ultimately coming together to reveal a world as finely drawn as a still-life painting. The fire and its aftermath serve as a leitmotif that runs throughout, adding to the elements of chaos, corruption and crime, and contributing to the ever-mounting suspense of this brilliant audiobook.

Bonus feature includes an exclusive interview with the author!


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Love his writing style. - Goodreads
The ending was abrupt and unsatisfying - Goodreads
Fascinating, well crafted, page turner. - Goodreads
Good insight into Venice life today. - Goodreads
Only thing I did not like was the ending. - Goodreads
This book speeds along and is easy to read. - Goodreads
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This was a very good read.

Review: The City of Falling Angels

User Review  - Gretchen - Goodreads

I don't know what it is exactly about Berendt's writing, but he makes even the most mundane things seem interesting. Highly recommended if you're into historic preservation, Venice, and/or society ... Read full review

All 5 reviews »

Contents

THE VENICE EFFECT
1
AN EVENING IN VENICE
5
DUST ASHES
43
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

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About the author (2005)

John Berendt (born December 5, 1939) is an American author, known for writing the bestselling nonfiction book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and majored in English at Harvard University. Berendt was once the editor of New York Magazine, and he also made a living by writing and editing for several magazines, with a regular column in Esquire. Berendt began traveling frequently experiencing his first trip to Savannah in 1982. After several return trips, he made Savannah his primary home. The best selling novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is Berendt's account of living in Savannah with the mix of people ranging from well-bred socialites to outrageous black drag queens. One morning, Berendt was informed that Jim Williams, an antique dealer and owner of the Mercer House, had shot his housemate Danny Hansford. The story centers around the murder and the bizarre events following the shooting that led to Williams' four murder trials, a Georgia record. Berendt is also the author of The City of Fallen Angels, which is set in Venice.

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