The Floating Book: A Novel of Venice

by Michelle Lovric | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0060578564 Global Overview for this book
Registered by jubby of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on 2/20/2007
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Journal Entry 1 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, February 20, 2007
From Publishers Weekly:

Numerous characters and plot lines spin through this historical romance, but the real star is 15th-century Venice, a "transparent floating book, where the pages are concepts visible in colour. Not a thing of the mind, but a piece of beauty dedicated to the senses alone."

Situating historical figures like German printer Wendelin von Speyer alongside over-the-top creations like Sosia Simeon, a Serbian woman with an insatiable sexual appetite, Lovric spins an intrigue-laden tale of destructive lusts and mixed-up loves in the early days of the printing press.

Lovic has an eye for sensual detail, conveying the sights and smells of the city's markets and palazzi. But her characters-such as the demagogue priest, Fra Filippo, and his helper, Ianno, who, once cured of a fleshy appendage on his head "resembling a tiny human brain," finds himself "obsessed with doing good where once he committed only badness"-are caricatures.

Byzantine plot twists and steamy sex scenes may count for more than subtlety of prose in a standard page-turner, but Lovric's literary aspirations often force the action to take a back seat to heavy-handed references to the Latin poet Catullus and extravagant descriptive passages.

In Lovric's Venice, a clumsy lover is "humiliated to the darkest core of his soul," while sexual infatuation is "an exhilarating nightmare like a ride on a seabird's back through the dead hours of the night." Readers looking for a good yarn will get lost in the window dressing, while those seeking a novel of elegance and depth may not feel rewarded enough for their perseverance.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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