What I’m Reading: The Leopard

It’s vacation week (sort of) and that means time to dust of the books that deserve some concentration and not a quick skimming. After having my curiosity piqued by the Sunday NYT travel section a few weekends ago, I ordered a copy of Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) from Amazon and waited for it to come off of back order. I have not seen the 1968 Visconti movie starring Burt Lancaster, but will save that for after Beijing.

I spent this afternoon on Dead Neck covered in 30 spf and zinc oxide, listening to an iPod filled with Dylan, drinking diet Moxies and really getting into The Leopard. I give it a strongest recommendation if you’re in the mood for some great historical fiction about an interesting transition in Italian/Sicilian history (the Risorgimento — the rise of Garibaldi and the decline of the House of Bourbon). Lampedusa wrote this in his late 50s and died before it was published. It is definitely a masterpiece and a case of a literary talent realized too late, but gratefully at all.

I need to start thinking about Beijing reading — two massive flights generally eat books — and I guess I blew it by not saving David Maraniss’ fine Rome: 1960 for the flight. Anyway, it was good and it gave me some interesting perspective on the history of Olympic media.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Leopard”

  1. One of my all time faves. There are a couple of descriptions that use anachronisms and the first one I came across really jarred me because it was so out of place but the second one convinced me I was in the hands of a master. It got me interested enough in the Risorgimento to go and read about Garibaldi who was a truly strange person.

    Two reading suggestions oh falsely accused book thief:

    In the empire of Genghis Khan : a journey among nomads — Stanley Stewart. Truly wonderful book about a journey via horse across Mongolia from west to east.

    The Yiddish Policeman’s Union — Michael Chabon. An amazing noir/alternate history/exploration of the soul. Substantial and a page turner at the same time.

    Try not to have too much fun while you are there. Some of us are envious enough.

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