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The Floating Book [Paperback]

M.R. Lovric
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Oct 2004

Venice, 1468. Sosia Simeon, a free spirit with a strange predilection for books and Venetians is making her particular mark on the fabled city. On the other side of the Grand Canal, Wendelin von Speyer from Germany is setting up the first printing press in Venice and looking for the book that will make his fortune.

A love triangle develops between Sosia, Wendelin's young editor, and the seductive

scribe Felice Feliciano, a man who loves the crevices of the alphabet the way other men love the crevices of women. Before long, a dark magic begins to haunt Sosia and the printers: an obsessive nun and a book-hating priest conspire against them, and soon their fate hangs in the balance. For binding them all together is the poet Catullus - whose desperate and unrequited love inspired the most tender erotic poems of antiquity.

Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (14 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844080021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844080021
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


Breathtaking (Marlena de Blasi, author of A THOUSAND DAYS IN VENICE)

Of all the fictional lives of 2002, none is so covetable as that of Cecilia Cornaro (THE TIMES)

A lavish description of a sensual education that drips detail & drama (ELLE)

Part love story, part lesson in aesthetics, part history lesson, this is a fascinating book (TATLER)

Book Description

* A stunning historical novel in the bestselling tradition of Isabel Allende and Umberto Eco

* An extraordinary recreation of the human drama behind one of the defining moments of western culture

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story 17 Mar 2004
A fascinating book. It is a must for anyone who loves Venice and medieval/renaissance history.
There are several main characters whose stories become more intertwined as the book progresses, the whole being skilfully woven into the advent of printing in this evocative city. Underlying the narrative is the story of Cattulus, the classical Roman poet whose work is the catalyst. M R Lovric is a skilful writer, managing multiple 1st person and 3rd person viewpoints in such a way as not to confuse the reader. She paints a Renaissance society of culture, corruption and prejudice, mirroring that of ancient Rome.
This book is not to be missed. I thoroughly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful atmospheric read 6 July 2006
I just couldn't put this book down, and i might never have tried it without the wonderful reviews on Amazon, it was a marvellous read.It made you feel like you were in 15th century Venice. The characters were well drawn and often based on real people, more than I realised when I read it. It is a page turner, and unpredictable,intricate and not at all soppy. The writer must have done an enormous amount of research. I am off to read another one by her now, Carnevale, can't wait. If you like Phillipa Gregory, you'll like this
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Venetian evocation 14 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Don't embark on this book if you are looking for light entertainment; it deserves far more respect! One has at first to concentrate to follow the converging threads of the story, and to get used to the device of using a different typeface for the individual voices, and the richness of the prose demands all of rthe reader's attention. V R Lovric creates a tale of love and vice, of mystery, superstition and prejudice entwined with historical figures and caught up in the politics of the period and with the works of the 1st century Roman poet, Catullus. The poetic evocation of 14th century Venice is so vivid one can almost smell it.
In the final author's note she outlines the relevant events of the period and tells us which of her characters are real and which fictional: in the text, however, they were all equally alive and equally compelling. I found it difficult to move back to the 21st century at the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the rare books that I didn't bother finishing. In fact it was written so awkwardly and clunkily that I didn't reach the 100 page point despite persevering. While it paints an undoubtedly rich picture of Renaissance era Venice, the characters are awkwardly described and don't capture the imagination.

I wasn't expecting light entertainment, but this book simply doesn't flow and the characters just did not capture this reader's interest or imagination. The setting was richly described and the story idea was a good one. The completely dislikable character of Sosa added to the problem - there's nothing wrong with a dislikable character, but Sasa suffered from being a badly written dislikable character. A better writing style might have made the difference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total immersion! 10 Jun 2008
I read this book nearly 18 months ago, but it was so evocative that even thinking about it I can almost smell Venice. Powerful narrative, beautifully drawn characters, and a pinch of historical fact are woven together to create a genuinely outstanding novel I would happily read again and regularly recommend to friends.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance Venice Lives! 13 Jan 2005
Using the device of different typefaces for different characters, the author weaves a fantastical tale of inter-twined lives, loves, lusts and superstitions with an evocative portrait of Venice in the 15th century. Descriptions, from fish buying at the Rialto to printing at the Fondaco de Tedeschi envelop the senses. Venice and its people come to life with all their strengths and weaknesses laid bare. Excellent!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
After reading the Book of Human Skin I became a firm fan of Lovric and this is another that I found intelligent, fascinating and very well written
Published 15 months ago by HH
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite author
A book by my new favourite author. I am very pleased to be able to buy these pre-owned at a very good price as I can then pass them on to friends without worrying whether they are... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Elaine Hepple
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully written book.
The book immerses you in the lives of people in 15th century Venice - the descriptions provided make you feel as if you are watching as an observer. Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Mrs. V. Thomson
4.0 out of 5 stars more than your average historical fiction
Well written, well researched, enjoyable plot, so overall extremely good book. Meaty enough to last a satisfying amount of time, but not so big it was a chore to get through. Read more
Published on 16 April 2009 by Rubbah
2.0 out of 5 stars Venice, Venice!
I must say that I wasn't quite as gripped by this book as I expected to be. Lovric certainly manages to evoke a vivid picture of Venice, the story romps along at a reasonable pace,... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2007 by Elizabeth Adams
3.0 out of 5 stars Something unaccountably missing....
I started this eagerly after all the excellent reviews here, but sad to say while I enjoyed it, I found something missing from the book, that something that raises a competent read... Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2007 by Roman Clodia
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