The City of Falling Angels

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Penguin, 2006 - History - 414 pages
62 Reviews
'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 that loses possession of the family palace after four generations of ownership; an organization of high-society, partygoing Americans who raise money to preserve the art and architecture of Venice, while quarreling in public among themselves, questioning one another'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.
 

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User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

Loved the historical parts of this book, Venice and Italy and the catholic church etc, but wow oh wow does this book become the biggest soap opera ever. He not only mentions every single person he ... Read full review

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User Review  - ChazziFrazz - LibraryThing

Having read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" I expected this to be a mystery set in Venice. It was, but it wasn't. There is a mystery to it but it is a work of non-fiction. The mystery is ... Read full review

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Contents

THE VENICE EFFECT
1
AN EVENING IN VENICE
5
DUST 8 ASHES
33
AT WATER LEVEL
49
SLEEPWALKING
65
SLOW BURN
91
THE RAT MAN OF TREVISO
107
GLASS WARFARE
127
XO FOR A COUPLE OF BUCKS
233
OPERA BUFFA
265
BEWARE OF FALLING ANGELS
287
THE MAN WHO LOVED OTHERS
331
THE INFERNO REVISITED
363
OPEN HOUSE
383
GLOSSARY
399
NAMES OF BUILDINGS AND PLACES
409

THE FIRST FAMILY
143
THE LAST CANTO
183

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About the author (2006)

John Berendt has been a columnist for "Esquire" and the editor of "New York" magazine, and is the author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," which was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction.

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