Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
First published as Il Gattopardo in Italian in 1958. English translation by Archibald Colquhoun published in 1960.

One of my WorldReads from Italy

Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from /
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Purchased at a charity shop

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found my copy of The Leopard in the OXFAM shop in Hailsham months ago and took a while to get around to reading it. I liked the cover art and was interested to learn more about the Garibaldi period of Italian history. The eponymous Leopard, Don Fabrizio, is an Italian aristocrat in a fading family and, through his eyes, we see how family reacts and adjusts to the new political climate. The main arc of the story is a love triangle between Fabrizio's daughter, Concetta, his nephew and ward, Tancredi, and a nouveau riche village girl, Angelica.

Tancredi goes off to fight with the Garibaldini, but only ever offstage from the main story and Lampuseda doesn't explore the aims of this army - the reader is expected to already know - so I didn't get my history lesson! I did appreciate his descriptions of the towns and countryside of Sicily, the characteristics of her people and how they have been moulded not only by their unforgiving climate, but also by waves of invaders over the centuries. I felt that the writing came alive far more when about Sicily itself than about the family we were following. They appeared to me as always aloof and detached so I didn't really get into their story and finished the book feeling let down.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa / Historical fiction / Books from Italy

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