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Beastly Things: (Brunetti 21) (originale 2012; edizione 2012)
di Donna Leon (Autore)
Beastly Things di Donna Leon (Author) (2012)
Books Read in 2020 (743)
Donna Leon (19)
Books Read in 2022 (2,441)
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It's a long time since I read a Commisario Brunetti novel, and though this would've been written 10 years after the last one I read, the characters remain familiar and I soon slipped back into the Venetian world of beauty and corruption. This was a comforting read. ( )
El cadáver de un hombre desfigurado aparece flotando en un canal. No hay denuncias de desapariciones, el hombre no lleva documentación, ha perdido un zapato, y Brunetti sólo cuenta con el informe del forense para su investigación: el difunto sufría una extraña enfermedad. Sin embargo, el comisario tiene la rara intuición de que conoce a la víctima; inexplicablemente, sabe que tiene los ojos claros. Siguiendo el rastro de una posible pista, Brunetti llegará hasta el matadero de Preganziol, en Mestre, fuera de su territorio habitual. ¿Quién es este hombre sin rostro ni pasado? ¿Quién y por qué lo eliminó?
As always, a clever and humane story connecting Brunetti's work and inner lives to the greater human story. The ending chapter seemed notably touching.
Review of the Penguin paperback edition (2013) of the Atlantic Monthly Press hardcover original (2012)
I am continuing to enjoy the Brunetti series, especially for the Venice atmosphere created by writer Donna Leon, who lived in the city for 30 years until retiring recently to a small village in Switzerland. I am trying to read them in chronological order as best as I can source them, but I chanced on a copy of Beastly Things (Brunetti #21) and couldn't resist it.
Beastly Things finds Brunetti investigating the murder of a seemingly well-respected animal veterinarian whose body is found in the Venice canals. I don't know if Donna Leon overdid that as a body site, but I've now read 2 books in succession, after Brunetti #2, where it was also used. Brunetti discovers that the veterinarian moonlighted at a slaughterhouse in order to observe and maintain animal safety protocols. The actions of various characters at the abattoir provoke Brunetti's suspicions and the game is afoot!
See photograph at https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BOTkzOGZkODItNmY3ZC00YmFiLWFkMWYtMDgwZDQ3...
Actor Michael Degen as Vice-Questore Patta and actor Walter Kreye as Maurizio de Rivera, with a view of Santa Maria della Salute (Saint Mary of Health), Venice, Italy in the background in a film still from the German television adaptation of "Beastly Things" (2015). Image sourced from IMDB.
Trivia and Links
There is a really fascinating interview with author Donna Leon at ItalianMysteries.Com even if it was done 18 years ago. She discusses all sorts of background to the books and characters and also gives the reason that she won't allow the books to be translated into Italian (and it wasn't because she feared criticism by her neighbours in Venice).
Coincidentally Beastly Things, as the 21st Brunetti book, was filmed as the 21st episode "Tierische Profite" (Animal Profits) (2015) of the German language TV series (2000-2019) based on the Donna Leon / Commissario Brunetti series. The series was otherwise not filmed in the order of the books. That entire episode (German language, but you can turn on auto-generated English subtitles) is available on YouTube here.
An English language summary of the German language Commissario Brunetti TV series is available at Fictional Cities (Spoilers Obviously). As explained in the above interview, the TV-series was a German production as the books took off in popularity the most in the German speaking countries of Europe as Leon's publishing agent was Swiss-German and knew that market the best.
Donna Leon's Brunetti series is justly famous for its philosophical detective and its wonderful evocation of Venice. Beastly Things continues the series with what amounts to a well written police procedural, as Brunetti unravels the mystery of a murdered veterinarian. The atmosphere in Venice plays a starring role, but the most bravura moment in the book is Brunetti's visit to an animal slaughterhouse.
I must confess that I am a big fan of Montalbano, the Sicilian detective, but Leon does such a good job with this book that I may move my reading to the North.
1-5 di 46 (prossimo | mostra tutto)
In Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti’s hunt for clues during a murder investigation in Beastly Things, he makes his way to a meat company’s slaughterhouse on the mainland. There, the sounds and smells of the animal butchering cause Brunetti to feel helplessly faint at heart. Even though there is much sleuthing time left in the day, he hurries home for a long shower and glasses of wine. This treatment brings little relief to his delicate sensibilities, and next day, he continues to avoid the office, ignoring his duties in the case that took him to the slaughterhouse.
Can anyone imagine any other homicide cop, Harry Bosch for example, behaving like such a fragile flower? Dragging his feet on a murder case just because some cows were turned into steaks? The way it’s supposed to work, not even dead two-legged creatures should deter homicide guys. Four-legged corpses wouldn’t give Bosch a pause in his hunt for murderers.
But cops do things differently in Venice. Brunetti is famous for rarely passing up the sumptuous lunches and dinners his spectacular wife Paola prepares. And he punctuates each day with leisurely visits to bistros for coffee and pastries. Much of his work day, it’s true, is taken up with the necessary manipulation of his immediate superior, the very political Vice Questore Giuseppe Patta, and he must forever tiptoe around his country’s rampant corruption. Nevertheless, Brunetti seems seldom far from a snooze or a soothing glass of wine, especially when his sensitive nerves are threatened.
The 21st novel in Donna Leon’s series has all the familiar elements, but unlike other recent Brunetti books, this one offers an authentically puzzling case and some brilliant grilling of suspects. The story gets under way when a male body turns up in a Venice canal. Medical examination reveals that the victim was stabbed three times and stripped clean of all identification. Brunetti starts the case from scratch, without even a name for the body.
The usual shortcuts to vital information are provided to Brunetti by the Internet-savvy police receptionist, Signorina Elettra. (That’s another area where Bosch must operate differently, not having a secretary who saves him from pounding the pavement in the interests of answering the case’s smaller but essential questions.) Still, it’s Brunetti who shines on his own in the sessions of cross-examination. These exchanges are vastly entertaining, and show Brunetti, rallied from his spell of faint-heartedness, as a sleuth at the top of his game.
Auch in Brunettis 21. Fall wirkt die nackte Gier als mörderische Triebkraft. In den Verhören der Beteiligten läuft der Kommissar zu großer Form auf, die Autorin konstruiert Dialoge voll Esprit und psychologischer Raffinesse.
Bei keinem Kommissar stimmt die Work-Life-Balance wie bei Guido Brunetti: Im 21. Fall lässt Donna Leon ihren Ermittler wieder an der Lagunenstadt leiden und Müßiggang, Familie, Essen, Wein genießen.
Appartiene alle Serie
Appartiene alle Collane Editoriali
El balancí (Edicions 62) (666)
È contenuto in
When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. Where was the crime scene? And how can Brunetti identify the man when he can't show pictures of his face? The autopsy shows a way forward: it turns out the man was suffering from a rare, disfiguring disease. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside of his usual sphere. From a shopkeeper, they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals. At the same time, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, and in Brunetti's home, where conversation at family meals offer a window into the joys and conflicts of Italian life. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead.
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Sistema Decimale Melvil (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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