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November 10, 2005

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

Posted by barry

The PassionI started reading this short book - I'm not sure it can really be classed as a novel, divided as it is into four parts - while flying between Dublin and Italy. As luck would have it, I didn't expect that a good half of the book would be set in early nineteenth century Venice - the next day day I was to visit Venice. And so, the tale of the Henri, and his worship of the that military deity, Napoleon Boneparte - to whom he serves chicken, and the parallel account of Villanelle, a beautiful web-footed Venetian girl with a penchant for cross-dressing set a scene for my experiences in what Henri describes as 'A city of madmen'.

But, even if you're not planning on going anywhere, it's still a fantastic story - with characters like Patrick, the sometime Irish priest with prodigious and often improbable eyesight, the innocent, lovelorn Henri, and the ruthless, yet fragile Villanelle - who loses her heart to the wife of a Venetian merchant... It's a tale of passion, love found and lost, and a search for inner peace in the chaos of life. Beautiful, magical, sorrowful and very funny.


The Passion (

The Passion (

Posted by barry at November 10, 2005 7:05 PM

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