Discussion of John Berendt’s “The city of falling angels”

I last wrote briefly about the anticipation of a monthly book club meeting.

I should have written about it much earlier, but was trying to finish the book! So guilty as charged of doing what one is not supposed to do in a book club – ie not read or finish the book. OK, I can use the excuse that I was waiting for a copy to arrive ( someone with bag privileges kindly ordered me a copy). I have done this a couple of times, and felt slightly guilty, but still I did complete the book, which is better than not even attempting the read at all.

Also partly that it was a non-fiction book, John Berendt’s The city of falling angels, with the handle being the fire at the famous Fenice opera house, took me longer than usual to finish.  I was impressed at the range of people discussed – some directly involved with the aftermath of the fire, others less so, but all characters with stories that are told with sensitivity and vividness.   The tales of infighting among expatriates and Italians alike were quite amusing, if they were not rather sad.   

We were all struck at how the author managed to get such a wide range of people not only to talk to him, but to open up to such an extent. Several of the group said they wanted to either visit or revisit Venice. Others mentioned his previous book, Midnight in the garden of good and evil, about Savannah, and how the book increased visits to that southern city. I think I will follow up on this; not sure when I will be able to get a copy, but it will definitely be on my “to read at some point” list.

March we are discussing Water for elephants,  by Sarah Gruen, which I have read, but will look through again.

And we did manage to finalise books to read up till September, though slightly disappointedly not up to the end of the year. I have to admit that this did rather annoy me, especially as some of us had put in some effort to make suggestions.

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