The Story of San Michele

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John Murray Press, Oct 10, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 300 pages
This ‘dream-laden and spooked’ (Marina Warner, London Review of Books) story is to many one of the best-loved books of the twentieth century. Munthe spent many years working as a doctor in Southern Italy, labouring unstintingly during typhus, cholera and earthquake disasters. It was during this period that he came across the ruined Tiberian villa of San Michele, perched high above the glittering Bay of Naples on Capri. With the help of Mastro Nicola and his three sons, and with only a charcoal sketch roughly drawn on a garden wall to guide them, Munthe devoted himself to rebuilding the house and chapel. Over five long summers they toiled under a sapphire-blue sky, their mad-cap project leading them to buried skeletons and ancient coins, and to hilarious encounters with a rich cast of vividly-drawn villagers. The Story of San Michele reverberates with the mesmerising hum of a long, hot Italian summer. Peopled with unforgettable characters, it is as brilliantly enjoyable and readable today as it was upon first publication. The book quickly became an international bestseller and has now been translated into more than 30 languages; it is today an established classic, and sales number in the millions.

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Review: The Story of San Michele

User Review  - Kelly - Goodreads

I've been meaning to read this book for 14 years. Finally I decided to finish it. I highly doubt that anyone, except people who have visited San Michele in Capri, would be willing to trudge through ... Read full review

Review: The Story of San Michele

User Review  - matt - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book - but, I read this while on the island of Capri (the island plays a big role in the book) -- which certainly affects one's objectivity. There is nothing amazing about his ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Born in Sweden in 1857, Axel Munthe trained to be a doctor in Paris at a precociously early age, establishing a fashionable practice (Maupassant and Strindberg were his patients) and quickly gaining an international reputation. He became the friend of royalty; Tsar Nicholas asked him to look after his son - Rasputin was their second choice.

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