Casanova in Bolzano by Sandor Marai

MaraiCasanovaInBolzanoWhy I Read It: It looked like a fun historical fiction.

Where I Got It: Paperbackswap.com.

Who I Recommend This To: If you like a really drawn out silly romance, and not much else, maybe give it a try.

Narrator: Simon Prebble

Publisher: HighBridge Audio (2004)

Length: 8 CDs

Set in 1700s Italy, Giacomo Casanova has recently escaped from a Venetian prison. He is a scruffy, potbellied man who still commands some kind of mojo over women. Hanging out at an inn in Bolzano on the Austrian border, he learns that the Duke of Parma is nearby. This Duke was his successful contender for Francesca’s hand. The Duke learns that Casanova is loose and nearby and either wants him dead or for him to seduce Francesca and break her heart. He believes this will cure her of her lingering fixation on the Italian playboy. At any rate, things don’t go according to plan.

This book was a snoozer. Yep. I put it out there bold and blunt. It was such a snoozer that when I inadvertently skipped 2 CDs while changing out the CD while driving, I DID NOT NOTICE. Yeah. Granted, the same character was talking as one CD ended and the next (that I put in) started up, but still I should have noticed within 10 minutes. This story was basically a silly, mopey love story. There was very little history built into it. Sandor Marai set the scenery and then ignored it the rest of the book. This tale was all character driven and I found the characters to be very boring and only motivated by weepy love or lust.

Narration: Simon Prebble did a decent job. Given such a boring book, I think even he was starting to nod off during the narration as parts of the book lack any enthusiasm. His female voices could use a bit more femininity but over all, each voice was distinct.

What I Liked: The cover – simple design.

What I Disliked: Very boring novel; lack of character growth; minimal plot; no real historical bits.

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