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Customer Review

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would rather wait for something better, 5 May 2013
This review is from: The Golden Egg: (Brunetti 22) (Hardcover)
I have bought every single one of Donna Leon's books but if the Golden Egg had been my introduction to her books I doubt that I would have continued to read them. It is, of course, beautifully written: she is not a professor of English (and American?) literature for nothing. But the characterisation and plots used to be complex and textured. Equally, her polemic about the inherent corruption in Italian politics, Venice and religion was always expressed in a way that was integral to the characters and plot, and thus rung true. The last few books have been thinner both literally and metaphorically. In the Golden Egg the plot is singular and hammered out with a blunt insistency. Brunetti and his colleagues, as well as Paola (his professorial wife) and children are no longer fleshed out satisfactorily: they feel two-dimensional and superficially drawn. The anti-corruption voice now just feels like a diatribe from the author herself. I am happy to wait two years in between novels, or even longer, if it means Donna Leon returning to the excellence of her earlier novels.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 May 2013 19:36:16 BDT
I loved the first Donna Leon's books I encountered so much that I bought them and read them all in series, right from the first. However, NOT HAVING READ this latest, I find myself agreeing with Booklover, since the last 4 or so have been gradually tailing off in interest. Instead of pre-ordering, I will now badger my local public library. Oh dear.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2013 12:15:02 BDT
I would happily have given you my copy, free -- except I read it in the Kindle version. I agree entirely with Booklover: had this been the first one in the series that I had read, it would probably have been the last. It's a pale, pale shadow of her best, such as 'Friends in High Places'.

Posted on 23 May 2013 22:14:48 BDT
mike says:
Sadly, I agree. Donna Leon seems to have run out of idea, her books have become rather bland.

Posted on 6 Jun 2013 07:29:32 BDT
S. Curtis says:
Totally agree. They are a shadow of their former selves and her diatribes have become rather tedious. Paola as a character had started to irritate me as she is mainly used as the voice for the author and you eventually get fed up with people ranting about all that is wrong in the world. For the first time I am not going to buy her latest book which is sad as I used to await each one with great anticipation. I started to think if she finds Italy so corrupt and infuriating why has she made it her home for so long.
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