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Customer Reviews for

The City of Falling Angels

Average Rating 3.5
( 71 )
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5 Star

(25)

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(14)

2 Star

(12)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful Insights Into the City of Venice

I read City of Falling Angels a few weeks before my wife and I took our first trip to Italy. I didn't have much time for detailed research about Venice, but I wanted to get a taste of the city's history and culture.

I couldn't have found a more perfect book in Fallin...
I read City of Falling Angels a few weeks before my wife and I took our first trip to Italy. I didn't have much time for detailed research about Venice, but I wanted to get a taste of the city's history and culture.

I couldn't have found a more perfect book in Falling Angels. While Berendt's tale is ostensibly focused on the fire that burned down Venice's famous Fenice Opera House, the story turns quickly into multiple threads all orbiting around modern and historic Venice.

Berendt lived in Venice and so can provide a peek into a Venetian's view of life and existence within this unique city, but he never becomes a true Venetian and so is able to retain objectivity and perspective.

I visited Venice as a true tourist, but as someone who wanted to understand what Venice is really like (beyond its reputation as an Adult's Disney World), I felt that Falling Angels added wonderful flavor to my brief taste of the city.

The book is well written, very readable and has a strong sense of drama throughout. I highly recommend it.

posted by JGolomb on February 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

As much gossip as history!

I wasn't sure what I was going to read; but since Midnight in the Garden of Evil had been enjoyable, I expected the same. The books centers around the fire at the Venice Opera House, but never fully answers are the questions as to why, the complete rebuilding story, wh...
I wasn't sure what I was going to read; but since Midnight in the Garden of Evil had been enjoyable, I expected the same. The books centers around the fire at the Venice Opera House, but never fully answers are the questions as to why, the complete rebuilding story, where all the money for rebuilding came from, etc. Having recently been in Venice (and now regretfully not going in the new opera house, though we walked by it), it was interesting to read about the difficulties with the fire, the rebuilding process, other locations in Venice that are mentioned. I felt it ended up being more of a who-said, who-disliked whom book rather than completely focusing on the opera house itself.

posted by TBill on March 12, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Supurb

    Much like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt writes non-fiction to read as a novel. This book delves into the fire at the Teatro La Fenice, and all the colorful characters surrounding the blaze (and there are many). In true Italian style, the book is highly dramatic, elegant, and mysterious. Venice truly came alive and off of the pages, with the rich descriptions thanks to Berendt. I much enjoy reading in this style, since it is about pure historic fact, but always intriguing and almost never tedious to read. I do admit, there were some slow parts, especially pertaining to law and the court system, but it was very interesting throughout.

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    Great Read!

    This was a great book. The descriptions of Venice were vivid and grabbed your attention. The intrigue was also a grabber. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Mixed reviews

    I can't say I hated this book, but I definitely wasn't overjoyed from reading it. It passed the time and I learned about Venice. I found the author too into himself. It must be nice to travel to Venice and stay there while interviewing people, but it made me upset that I probably won't ever have the chance to go there. The stories of the lives of the people were very interesting but obviously the government is corrupt. It was interesting but didn't hold my attention. I always try to finish a book no matter what and I did consider not finishing this book. This book was on clearance, so I can't say I wasted too much money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    A gossip magazine disguised as a book

    I found this book to be unenlightening, boring, and empty. It's a book full of the latest gossip out of Venice, and completely lacking a story line besides following the author who is trying to get in everyone's business.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    expected more

    A great book to take you away and feel you are in Venice. A good look at the lives of those living in Venice. There did not seem to be a point, however.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    Not up there with 'Garden'

    I had high hopes for this long-awaited book. Although well-written and with some good stories and details, there just is not enough. You finish a chapter and say, oh I can't wait to see how this turns out, and then the next chapter is about something completely different. When the first strand is taken up again, you have lost interest. The wild characters of 'Garden' were fleshed out just enough but here they are not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2006

    Loved the Venice Information

    Super great information about Venice and its inhabitants!! There are lots of word pictures that are fascinating. If you enjoy travel and interesting people, you'll enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2006

    disappointment

    iam very disappointed in the book. To chatty and really nothing important about Venice , other than gossip...It just renforces my ideas about the rich and famous,how trivial they can be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    Slightly Disappointing

    This really wasn't as great a book as I had hoped it would be. There were a few really great storylines and fascinating characters, but there were just as many dull moments. I wouldn't recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2005

    I loved this book

    I spend a lot of time in Venice. Mr. berendt has it down pat. I know a few of the characters in the book and he has captured the entire environment perfectly. I read it in one sitting. I wish the book had lasted the entire weekend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2005

    City of Falling Angels

    i loved the book. it captured the venice of today A city which has lost it's way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2005

    What waste of paper and money.

    This book is such a disappointment. There are too many characters, none of them very interesting. I can't believe it was written by the same author as Midnight I am struggling to finish it but wonder why I am wasting time. If this is best the author can do, then he might consider another line of work

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    Extremely disappointing

    It has been a long time since I've struggled to finish a book this boring. Midnight was such a vibrant and 'one thrilling character after another' type of book that held you by the edge of your pants. It's difficult to believe the same author wrote this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2005

    Disappointing

    Pretty boring book. I kept waiting for the storyline to improve....but can't say that it did. Just when I thought it may become interesting, I'm reading through another 30 pages of some type of Venetian history. Not that Venetian history isn't amazing, it's just not what I expected from this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2005

    No Midnight

    No Midnight Not bad, but definitely not up to precedent set by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I think that Berendt 'gets' Venice and what it means to be Venetian, but there is not enough to fill 400 pages with information relevant to the Fenice. This is more a book of the personal memoirs of a man¿s personal journey to Venice than it is of the Fenice and its history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    Disappointing

    This book is exceedingly boring. The only way I can describe it is 'one long, boring lecture.' The decadence of Europe and its 'cute' characters is an outworn theme.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    MESMORIZING!

    Every bit as fascinating as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Non-fiction written as the most interesting edge-of-your-seat novel. Venice is a city that intrigues many but few will ever visit. This book takes you on an insiders tour of the politics, society and daily life of this city. Gorgeous!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2005

    FASCINATING PEEK INTO AN AMAZING CITY

    I have always wanted to visit Venice. Berendt's masterful style pulled me in from the very first pages and kept me there, like his shadow following him around the city. He describes the eccentrics, the characters, the plots and drama in such a way that I could not put the book down! While it's frame around the fire at the Fenice Opera House, there is so much more in Venice. As a city that is so well visited by tourists, I thoroughly enjoyed this behind the scenes peek to an magical and historical city. A city most people will never know. An amazing book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 71 Customer Reviews
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