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Brunetti's Venice: Walks Through the Novels [Paperback]

Toni Sepeda
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 April 2009

Visitors to Venice might hope to find a Venetian friend who will guide them through the narrow streets, explaining a bit of history here, a story from his youth there, perhaps grumbling about the tourists, occasionally stopping for a glass of prosecco or to gossip with friends...

Brunetti's Venice does all these things as it moves through the famous city with Commissario Guido Brunetti, the much loved Venetian detective of Donna Leon's bestselling novels. Presented as a series of walks through Venice and featuring atmospheric extracts from relevant parts of the novels, it is woven together by a commentary that links Brunetti's emotional and visual responses to places he has known all his life with the inquisitiveness of the visitor.

The first walk starts at La Fenice Opera house - where the very first Brunetti novel began - and ends at the iconic Rialto Bridge. Each consequent route weaves interlinking paths through Venice and catches the secrets, sounds, sights and smells of Venice past and present. Along the way we visit Brunetti's favourite eateries around the Rialto bridge, walk with him from his home in San Polo to the Questura in Castello where he works, cut through Piazza San Marco and accompany him on the vaporetti out to more remote parts of Venice. There are reflections on the art and architecture of Venice, as well as the impressions of writers from Shakespeare and Goethe to Thomas Mann and Jan Morris.

Enchanting and practically useful, Brunetti's Venice is both a walking guide and an evocative narrative of the life of this most magical city for any Brunetti fan.

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Brunetti's Venice: Walks Through the Novels + A Taste of Venice: At Table with Brunetti + Venetian Curiosities
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434019496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434019496
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"The attraction of the walks, even if you've never read the books, is that they take you through some of the most interesting and often least touristy parts of this always fascinating city" (Mail on Sunday)

"Throughout this guide, the native view is constantly being set against the tourist view, with Brunettis' own favourite coffee and wine bars, far from the tourist melee, getting a mention. What this book also shows though, is not just the beauty of a city, but the literary opportunities it offers. As has been noted before, the city in a long-running detective series virtually becomes a character on its own, playing a pivotal role in the detecting and solving of crime, and Brunetti's Venice is no exception . . . A sense of intimacy is a feature travel guides struggles to manufacture; this kind of detective guide to a place is intimate from the beginning. Even those unfamiliar with Leon's Brunetti books will succumb to being shown a city by one of its own who loves it in spite of all its corruption and crime, tourist paraphernalia and ignorant crowds." (Herald)

"For lovers of the city Sepeda will take her place alongside Jan Morris, John Julius Norwich and JG Links, who wrote an inimitable celebration of pedestrian Venice, Venice for Pleasure" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

A walking guide to Venice in the company of Donna Leon's much-loved fictional detective Commissario Brunetti

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read 6 May 2009
Thoroughly enjoyed it,didnt want the walks to end!!Amost useful,interesting book for someone not knowing Venice,and for someone quite familiar with it I have been 10 times and read all 18 novels-it conjures up sights and atmospheres vividly-it is a magical place -cant wait for the next novel!!!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tried it, liked it, but bring a map. 14 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My wife and I have just returned from Venice and took this book to inspire our walks. The book contains good, detailed maps to go with each walk. Main complaint is that where the route is shown over a street it all but obliterates the street name. Needless to say this is a bit tricky. You end up guessing the street name by what's left top and bottom, or by nearby streets. Therefore it's helpful to have another - and detailed - street map to help out at times.
As for the walks they took us to parts of Venice we would otherwise miss and of course if you are familiar with Brunetti then they are all the more special. Tried a few of the bars and restaurants mentioned and liked them.
You don't need to be a Donna Leon fan to enjoy the walks in this book. It quotes relevant passages from books to match each area so is quite self-contained as a guide-book.
Walks around Accademia were lovely and peaceful compared with the hectic San Marco area.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book for enthusiasts 15 Jun 2009
By AlanF
I would highly recommend this book to Donna Leon's Brunetti fans; particularly those who have been to,or are about to visit Venice.
Likely real places, buildings and eateries for Donna Leon's fictions will add lots of satisfying glimpses of Brunetti's beloved Venice.
My wife is even re-reading 'Death at la fenice' again with Mr Sepeda's book by her side. The guided walks are a delight in themselves. they provide an admirable itinerary for a stay in the city.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good companion 14 Jun 2009
Following in Brunetti's footsteps from his debut in "Death at La Felice" up to the tenth novel gives Toni Sepeda ample possibilities to look in depth at different parts of Venice - often with quotes from Donna Leon's novels. No illustrations, but a couple of detailed maps. The result is a competent guide book about a fascinating city - and a good companion for all Brunetti lovers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving Venice 17 May 2009
If you are a regular visitor to Venice, you will find this virtual visit in the company of Comissario Brunetti a must. It helps you to see the city through the eyes of a Venetian and brings to life the world of Donna Leon's very human detective. It will accompany me on my next visit to Venice and I will follow the well-described "tours" using the clearly mapped routes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion on a trip to Venice 11 July 2011
By Olivia
I took this book with me when I went on a week's holiday to Venice as I have read and enjoyed a number of Donna Leon's Brunetti books. I found it very entertaining to read as well as being very useful. The maps are very clear - and with much larger print than the tourist map I also had with me. I didn't complete any of the full walks that Toni Sepeda suggested but did parts of several of them and found it very easy to follow her directions and find the landmarks that are shown in the maps. My only disappointment was that I wasn't able to find anywhere that produced meals that compared with the mouth-watering descriptions of the meals that Paola makes for the Brunetti family!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brunettis Venice 22 Aug 2009
By Lulu M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brunetti's Venice: Walks Through the Novels

This is a wonderful companion book to the Donna Leon series about Inspector Brunetti. However, if you have only read a few books (or none at all) then it might not be as easy to follow. I enjoyed it so much it has made me want to return to Venice to see it all 'in the flesh'
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great walking guide to Venice 26 July 2009
If like me you are a fan of Donna Leon's atmospheric crime novels and of their Venice setting, this book cannot be bettered. As well as reminding the reader of some of the story lines from the novels, this is a really useful guide to a whole variety of walks through Venice which will take you to some of the quieter and (almost) tourist free areas of the city. We used it on a trip to La Serenissma earlier this summer and it was brilliant. The maps are clear and the accompanying text is informative and useful. We will definitely use it again on future visits.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brunetti's venice
Fabulous book! I will be taking it with me on my April trip to Venice and hope to recreate Brunetti's walks around the city. Read more
Published 2 months ago by kathy sleigh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion
Took us to areas of Venice we wouldn't have normally have found, and gave us the history, often with humourous asides. Brilliant book!
Published 6 months ago by Claire Burdett
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love the novels you will love this book
Used this book to explore some of Inspector Brunetti's haunts on a recent visit to Venice. I like the way the book uses extracts from the novels. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Digitalpan
4.0 out of 5 stars traveller
just come back and the walk guide was fun although we did a lot of laying around in squares away from san marco,and the expensive coffee houses. Read more
Published 8 months ago by moonbeam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion to Donna Leon
Brilliant book. Toni is funny, interesting and following the walks around Venice feels like really being in Brunetti's footsteps. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Miss L. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great excuse to go back to Venice
I love the Brunetti books, and as soon as I knew I was going to Venice again I knew I had to have this book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by AJB58
5.0 out of 5 stars Where to go in Venice.
Brings the Brunetti stories to life. It was always difficult to actively trace Brunettis meanderings in Venice. This helps tremendously.
Published 16 months ago by Mr. K. B. Roylance
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have
I read Donna Leon's Brunetti with a map of Venice to hand and this book really helped bring everything alive. Read more
Published 17 months ago by H.B.King
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful guide for Brunetti fans.
Have taken this to Venice 3 times now and done different walks each time. The quotes from the novels really help to jog the memory . Just brilliant.
Published 21 months ago by Imogen
4.0 out of 5 stars Venice with Brunetti
We found that as we got to know Venice this book became more and more interesting - eventually managing... Read more
Published 23 months ago by A. V. Ruddle
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