Gondola by Donna Leon - PDF free download eBook

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Overview

Of all the trademarks of Venice—and there are many, from the gilded Basilica of San Marco to the melancholy Bridge of Sighs—none is more ubiquitous than the gondola. The internationally acclaimed “American with the Venetian heart,” Donna Leon, tells ...

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Details of Gondola

ISBN
9780802122667
Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date
Age range
18+ Years
Book language
EN
Pages
80
Format
PDF, DOC, FB2, FB3
Quality
Normal quality OCR
Dimensions
5.70 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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Some brief overview of this book

Of all the trademarks of Venice—and there are many, from the gilded Basilica of San Marco to the melancholy Bridge of Sighs—none is more ubiquitous than the gondola. The internationally acclaimed “American with the Venetian heart,” Donna Leon, tells its fascinating story (The Washington Post).

First used in medieval Venice as a deftly maneuverable getaway boat, the gondola evolved over the centuries into a floating pleasure palace, bedecked in silk, that facilitated the romantic escapades of the Venetian elite. Today, the gondola wears black—a gleaming, elegant hue, and is manned by robust gondolieri in black-and-white-striped shirts and straw hats.

A tourist favorite, the gondola has never ceased to be a part of authentic Venice. Each boat’s 280 pieces are carefully fashioned in a maestro’s workshop—though Leon also recounts a tale of an American friend who attempted to make a gondola all on his own. The feat took five years and countless do-overs. But the gondola is a work of art well worth the labor. And once its arched prow pushes off from the dock, the single Venetian at its oar just might break out in a barcarole, a popular Italian boat song. The best of these songs, as timeless as the allure of the gondola itself, are compiled into an accompanying CD.

A few words about book's author

Donna Leon is the author of the internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.

Biography

Donna Leons love affair with Italy began in the mid-1960s when she visited for the first time. She returned frequently over the course of the next decade, while working as a teacher in such far-flung paces as Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, England, Iran, and China. In the 1980s, the New Jersey native made the decision to move to Venice, where she still lives. Leons writing career began accidentally. One evening, following a performance at Venices famous opera house, Teatro La Fenice, Leon and some friends were discussing a certain conductor they all heartily disliked. Someone jokingly suggested killing him off; and when the conversation turned to how, where, and why, suddenly the idea for a dandy murder mystery took shape in Leons mind. Published in 1992, Death at La Fenice introduced Commissario Guido Brunetti, the melancholy Venetian policeman who would go on to star in a series of witty, intelligently plotted, and critically acclaimed detective novels. Brunetti is, indeed, one of the most appealing characters in crime fiction, and one of the pleasures of the series is the revelation of new and surprising facets to his personality. Intellectual, introspective, and world weary, he is also happily married, totally committed to his job, and a lover of classical music, good food, and jokes. But, above all, Guido Brunetti is Venetian to the bone — born into and shaped by a society filled with cultural contradictions. Through her detectives eyes, Leon illuminates the central paradox of Venice: Beneath the ravishing beauty and civilized veneer lurks a core of insidious and utterly pervasive corruption. Brunettis cynicism stems from his inability to stem the tide — although, bless his heart, he never stops trying. Elegant writing, deft characterization, and lots of local color elevate the Brunetti novels above run-of-the-mill series, and Leons reputation has grown with each installment. But although her books are international bestsellers, they have never been translated into Italian. The author explained why in an interview with National Public Radio: I do not take any pleasure whatsoever in being a famous person. The tenor of my life would change if these books were translated into Italian, because Im completely anonymous here. Anonymous in Venice, perhaps. Elsewhere, Donna Leon is a rock star!

Good To Know

An opera buff with a passion for baroque music, Leon has written the libretto for a comic opera entitled Dona Gallina. For a few years, Leon reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Times. In Germany, several of the Commissario Brunetti novels have been adapted into television mini-series. A woman of strong opinions, Leon reads voraciously for topical issues to use in her novels. Among the serious matters she has written about are industrial pollution, human trafficking, illegal adoption, and corruption in the Catholic Church.

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