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The City Of Falling Angels by John Berendt
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt uses a potential crime to tie together the story of a city. The city in The City Of Falling Angels is Venice and the crime is the mysterious fire that destroys the historic Fenice opera house in January, 1996. His real aim, though, is to present the history of Venice and the ordinary and eccentric citizens that populate this historic and romantic city. This is the Venice the tourists don't see, from the Curtises, an expatriate American family who emigrated to Venice over a century ago, to the Segusos, a family of glassblowers with their own family rivlaries, to the daughter of Ezra Pound and violinist Olga Rudge. to a man who's built a better rat poison, to those who catch pigeons with nets to lead them to their untimely demise. The City Of Falling Angels has received mostly positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Though he lacks a narrative of great urgency, he nonetheless delivers an urbane, beautifully fashioned book with much exotic charm."