Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Falling Palace: A Romance of Naples

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Don Hofstadter, author of the thoroughly enjoyable 'The Love Affair As A Work Of Art,' is totally smitten with Naples, 'that beautiful and wounded city.' He loves the winding streets with their perilous staircases, he loves bassi (very small street level flats), he loves the people, most of all Benedetta, and he shares this deep affection with us in energetic, elegant prose. 'Falling Palace' is a memoir, yes, it's also a paean to the city that for generations has withstood occupation, war, and the whims of Vesuvius. For Hofstadter, Naples is 'a place best or perhaps only grasped through myth and memory and half-remembered dream.' He had many a dream during his sojourn there, dreams he tried to decipher, discover their hidden meanings. Perhaps those were attempts to find his place in Naples and in the life of Benedetta. She is an enigma, a beautiful mysterious woman often given to superstition, frequently argumentative, yet she holds him in thrall. Unlike many short term residents of a foreign city, Hofstadter takes great pains to learn not only the language but the idioms and hand gestures. He notes that tapping the nose with a finger means something smells fishy or pulling down an eyelid indicates that one should keep one's eyes open. All of this observation is done with joy as he happily mimics the latest sign he has learned. Word painted descriptions of Naples, the way the light plays on the buildings at eventide or the scorching of the noon day sun are artfully rendered, yet it is the Neapolitans themselves who are the heartbeat of the city and of this memoir. Hofstadter was fortunate in making so many friends from whom he learned a great deal. There is Gigi, a 'theater person with dyed-blonde porcupine like hair' who schooled him in the Neopolitan dialect, and his landlady, Nunzia Perna, who had lived through the war's bombings. Two brothers, avid spelunkers who have spent their lives exploring the underground avenues that can be tracked throughout the cit introduced him to this hidden terrain.. There are many more friends and acquaintances, of course, all with stories to tell. There are no answers in this wise and witty memoir, simply observations that illuminate one man's quest. Hofstadter has often journeyed to the city of his heart. Fortunate is the reader who shares a visit with him. - Gail Cooke

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1