Synopses & Reviews
Venice, 1468. The beautiful yet heartless Sosia Simeon is making her mark on the city, driven by a dark compulsion to steal pleasure with men from all walks of life. Across the Grand Canal, Wendelin von Speyer has just arrived from Germany, bringing with him a cultural revolution: Gutenberg's movable type. Together with the young editor Bruno Uguccione and the seductive scribe Felice Feliciano, he starts the city's first printing press. Before long a love triangle develops between Sosia, Felice, and Bruno who has become entranced by the verse of Catullus, the Roman erotic poet. But a far greater scandal erupts when Wendelin tempts fate by publishing the poet and changes all of their lives forever.
Sosia, the heartless sensualist; Felice, a man who loves the crevices of the alphabet the way other men love the crevices of women; Lussieta, whose anguish gives the story its soulful heart: these and many other characters make The Floating Book an unforgettable experience for lovers of romance, history, and the printed word.
"Lovric's big, lush novel follows a vibrant cast of characters in the bustling Venice of 1486....Meticulous historical detail and a splendid, complex story make this portrait of Venice and its denizens memorable and moving." Booklist (Starred Review)
"In this age of 'creative' writing courses, lowest-common-denominator fiction and the staggeringly overrated 'art' of the screenplay, it is refreshing and heartening to read a book by a writer who is genuinely interested in words." The Washington Post
"Readers looking for a good yarn will get lost in the window dressing, while those seeking a novel of elegance and depth may not feel rewarded enough for their perseverance." Publishers Weekly
"The novel is rich in sensual descriptions of the city and its citizenry. Maddeningly over the top and self-important, but as seductive as Venice." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] richly textured tale of love and learning, lust and superstition that is at turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, exhilarating and terrifying....It is a book that demands a reader's engagement. But the payback is well worth the effort." Philadelphia Inquirer
"[A] bloated historical romance of 15th-century Venice, interspersed with ancient Rome, [that's] hard to classify. A hybrid of fiction and nonfiction, it's an unsettling blend of Shakespearean intrigue and bodice ripper." San Diego Union-Tribune
This ravishing historical novel is set in the alleys and canals of 15th-century Venice as the revolution of movable type captivates and terrifies the city.
Venice, 1468. Wendelin von Speyer has just arrived from Germany with the foundations of a cultural revolution: Gutenberg's movable type. Together with the young editor Bruno Uguccione and the seductive scribe Felice Feliciano, he starts the city's first printing press. While Bruno and Felice become entwined in an obsessive love triangle with a beautiful Dalmatian woman named Sosia, Wendelin tempts the fates by publishing the first edition of the erotic Roman poems of Catullus a move that will enrage the church, scandalize the city, and change all of their lives forever.
The Floating Book is a ravishing novel of letters and lust, intrigue and betrayal a chillingly beautiful debut that few readers will soon forget.
This novel centers on the erotic poetry the Roman poet Catullus wrote to a notoriously heartless woman named Clodia in 63 B.C. Years later, in the 15th century, the poems turn up in Venice, where a German printer named Wendolin von Speyer publishes them and they set into a motion a sequence of events that involve secret loves, witchcraft, marital troubles, and the downfall of a Clodia-like woman.
About the Author
Michele Lovric is a student of European literature and Venetian culture. The editor of the New York Times bestseller Love Letters, she divides her time between Venice and London, where she lives in a Venetian-style house on the Thames near Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The Floating Book is her first novel to be published in the United States.