Berendt, John. The City of Falling Angels. Read by Holter Graham. New York: RandomHouse Audio, 2005.
Reason read: Read in honor of Venice Carnivale, which takes place in February.
Author fact: You might recognize John’s name as the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which was a best seller and made into a movie.
When one thinks of Venice, the imagery of gondolas and waterways and brightly colored carnival masks usually come to mind. Venice itself is a complicated city and lends itself to an air of old world intrigue. John Berendt fell in love with the city the first time he visited. Upon a subsequent visit, Berendt arrived three days after a devastating fire has ravaged the grand a historic La Fenice Opera House. Rumors of arson swirl among the community prompting Berendt to put on his investigative persona and dig in the ashes of history. Eventually, through meeting a cast of colorful characters, he uncovers the truths and fictions surrounding La Fenice Opera House and Venice.
Special note: if you want to read City of Falling Angels, do yourself a favor and listen to it on CD and make sure to get the version with Berendt’s interview at the end. His explanation for the title of the book is eyeopening.
Narrator trivia: Holter Graham is also an actor for the big screen but I haven’t seen any of his movies.
Book trivia: The first thing that Berendt tells you about City of Falling Angels is that it is true. None of the names have been changed. It is truly a work of nonfiction.
Nancy said: Berendt’s book “explores contemporary Venice” and that he makes the city sound beautiful “despite its bureaucratic nightmares and dangers” (p 241). She even includes a quote she found especially evocative.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Veni, Vedi, Venice” (p 240).