Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yes, yes, yes!!

Have I been looking for a mystery series with loads of published books?
Have I pined for the comfort of a series with a strong sense of place?
Have I yearned another detective in my life? Let’s-start-as-polite-acquaintances-and-see-where-it-leads-us-type-thing?

Has this seemingly endless quest found a happy conclusion in Comissario Guido Brunetti’s first mystery “Death at La Fenice”? I shall respond with a contended YES!

First I must apologize for having been sure Donna Leon was dead (I swear I read it somewhere…) but I’m very happy she’s not. Just read she’s a Camilleri and Sciascia fan, therefore I am feeling quite legitimised in my appreciation.

Lately I haven’t felt like bothering about synopses, so…there’s a murder, a satisfying resolution and a lot of meandering through Venice’s canali. I feel pretty sure Venice is actually like an hysterical theme park most of the time, but Leon makes it sound gritty, sombre, ominous.
Me like it.

And take a look at the great answers the author gave in a 2003 interview:

Q: Why won’t you allow your books to be translated into Italian for publication in Italy?

Leon: I don’t want to be famous. I don’t like being famous and I don’t want to be famous where I live. I just don’t like it. It doesn’t do anyone any good to be famous. I have enough. I don’t care. See this is what people find so confusing. I don’t care. I don’t care if the books get published in America. I don’t care if they get published. I just don’t. I have enough. I’m not interested -- the idea of more has no importance to me. I don’t care.

Q: Have you been asked by the Italians to get them translated?

Leon: Yes, all of the Italian publishers would kill to have them. I don’t want to be famous. I am spotted on the street by German, Austrian, French, Danish, everything... at least 3 or 4 time a day, and it’s always very nice and always very respectful; but I don’t like it. And the people in my neighborhood know that I am the American who lives opposite Nando and above Angelo Costantini and it would just change the tenor of my life. The unfortunate thing is that it has somehow percolated into the Italian Press that I am afraid to have my books published because the Italians may be offended by what I say about Italy. But, I am not afraid, if people don’t like the books, read another book, don’t read it, don’t finish it, give it somebody, throw it away.

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