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This review is from: Venice: Pure City (Hardcover)I am a great admirer of the work of Peter Ackroyd. Ever since I read `Hawksmoor`
I have sought out all I can of his writing whether it be fiction or non-fiction. I was therefore looking forward to his most recent publication `Venice`. Sadly I can only say I was disappointed.
Perhaps Peter Ackroyd is best known for his numerous books about London. This would be understandable since each of them is outstanding in its own right, together they are a monument to one man`s love and appreciation of one of the greatest cities of the world. Unfortunately the samew cannot be said for `Venice`. Perhaps my expectations were set too high. I read the book looking for the spark to ignite the narrative-it did not happen. Throughout I could not help thinking the author`s heart was not in the writing nor, more surprisingly, the city.
In fairness, the fault could be all mine because I had recently re-read Jan Morris`s book of the same name. Reading Morris`s book had been a pleasure from start to finish simply because the author made me feel the same way about the city. This never happened with Peter Ackroyd`s book. Too often I felt the latter book had been written to a formula. The layout of the chapters are similar to those of Morris`s book. Was this accidental or deliberate?
I admit this is a partial view and I do not really want to dissuade anyone from reading Peter Ackroyd. All I would really suggest is that if you are a newcomer to Peter Ackroy`s work choose another of his books and if you want a book about Venice read the one by Jan Morris