“Witty and meditative by turns, the overall effect is like being shown around by a wonderfully self-effacing, but impressively erudite guide” The Sunday Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR”Nooteboom has achieved the impossible: to say something new about the ageless city about which everything has been said” ALBERTO MANGUEL”The whole book is the illuminating testimony of a man who cannot look away and so sees things that others, even those with more specialist knowledge, have missed” GREGORY DOWLING, Wall Street JournalVENICE: “A dream of palaces and churches, of power and money, dominion and decline, a paradise of beauty.” By the author of Roads to Santiago and Roads to BerlinWith this treasury of his time spent in Venice over a period of fifty-five years, Nooteboom makes himself the indispensable companion for all lovers of “the sailing, amphibious city”, and for every new visitor. Because he is a master storyteller with an inexhaustible curiosity, and always with a suitcase of books (to which new discoveries are added), he brings vividly and poetically to life not only the tumultuous history of the Republic but along the way its doges, its villains, its heroes, its magnificent painters, its architects, its scholars, its skies, its canals and piazzas and alleyways, and on his expeditions its “bronze voices of time”. Those who know and love this city and its literature will recognise Nooteboom – in Laura Watkinson’s fine translation – as the dazzling heir and companion to Montaigne, Thomas Mann, Rilke, Ruskin, Proust, Brodsky, and Donna Leon.
His homage to Venice is a generous introduction, learned and enchanting, and worthy of its magnificent subject. “His writing is lyrical and densely textured. He is a poet of time and memory” – COLIN THUBRONTranslated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson