Death and the Devil
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Death and the Devil

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,079 ratings  ·  76 reviews
In the year 1260, under the supervision of the architect Gerhard Morart, the most ambitious ecclesiastical building in all of Christendom is rising above the merchant city of Cologne: the great cathedral. Far below the soaring spires and flying buttresses, a bitter struggle is underway between the archbishop of Cologne and the ruling merchant families to control the enormo...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by William Morrow (first published 1998)
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Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Romanzo datato 1995 ed opera prima di Frank Schätzing. Libro pessimo. Personaggi abbozzati, storia noiosa. Si salva un poco e dico solo un poco, l'ambientazione. I bei libri storici e soprattutto ambientati nel medioevo sono altri.

La storia è davvero banale e si capisce immediatamente sia il complotto alla base della narrazione che il finale pessimo: un assassinio per il potere (caspita che originalità), dove l’assassino viene smascherato all’inizio, facendo cadere immediatamente l’interesse per...more
Andrea Cefalo
“In the year 1260…the most ambitious…building in all of Christendom is rising above the city of Cologne. Far below the soaring spires and flying buttresses, a bitter struggle is underway between the archbishop of Cologne and the ruling merchant families to control the enormous wealth of this prosperous commercial center–a struggle that quickly becomes deadly.”

Death and the Devil begins when the protagonist, street-smart vagabond Jacob the Fox, accidentally witnesses Morart being pushed to his de...more
Monica
I finally got around to reading “Death and the Devil” after having it on my book shelf for a few years. While the plot was interesting, the writing and dialogue was a bit awkward and really isn’t what I look for in an historical novel. The story takes place in Cologne in 1260 and is all about what happens when one man witnesses the murder of another. This is a fast paced book with the points of view of different characters all melding together to give the reader a clear insight into what is happ...more
Jennifer
Duller than the dullest ditchwater after it's been run through a Dull-O-Matic. Literally took me a year to read (iRead once prompted me to remove it, on the grounds it had been sitting untouched in my Reading pile so long), and I would have gleefully chucked it at the wall and given up if I hadn't paid for the stupid hardcover. A huge disappointment after the layered treat that was Schatzing's Swarm. I'd like to say that the dashes of history added to the narrative help redeem it, but since the...more
Nilo Di Stefano
Un po' lento poi appassiona
Un libro interessante la cui unica pecca è una certa lentezza iniziale, ma la trama è avvincente e dopo un po' il libro parte ed è difficile frenare la voglia di leggere ancora un'altra pagina.
Un tuffo nel medioevo, in una Germania selvaggia, fra poveri e ricchissimi, fra Chiesa e nobiltà. Un thriller medioevale come pochi in circolazione non per niente vincitore del premio Bancarella.
Matteo Pellegrini

Colonia, 1260. Gerhard Morart sa bene che non potrà mai completare la costruzione della "sua" cattedrale prima di morire. Quello che non sa, purtroppo, è che la morte non tarderà ad arrivare: qualcuno infatti gli tende un agguato su un'impalcatura dell'edificio e lo fa precipitare a terra. Un delitto a sangue freddo, che tuttavia ha avuto un singolare testimone: Jacop, un ladruncolo che si trovava su un melo lì accanto, intento a rubare i frutti succosi per placare la sua eterna fame. Anziché da

...more
Maddy
PROTAGONIST: Jacob the Fox, beggar
SETTING: 13th century Cologne
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 2.75

The Cologne Cathedral is renowned as a monument of Christianity and Gothic architecture. The cathedral is one of the best-known architectural monuments in Germany, and Cologne's most famous landmark. The church's architect was Gerhard Morart, who fell from its roof in 1260. It took over six hundred years for the construction to be completed after his death.

In Death and the Devil, Morart's death is portr...more
Inga
Hörbuch-Rezension:
Frank Schätzing hat, ähnlich wie bei Der Schwarm, selbst mitgemischt bei dieser Hörspielproduktion. Die Sprecher (Adorf, Engelke, Köster, Matic (letzterer Synchronstimme von Ben Kingsley, passt wunderbar zur Rolle!).,..) sind angenehm und abwechslungsreich. Mir hat auch die musikalische Gestaltung gut gefallen, Flötentöne als Motiv für Jacop, der Fuchs, Dramatischeres für die Gruppe der Verschwörer und den Mörder.
Die Geschichte selbst ist ein mittelalterlicher Krimi zur Zeit de...more
Bludhaven
This is technically well written and I'm sure the research is all pretty great, but sadly it didn't make a particularly compelling mystery (or general crime novel) and not even a compelling historical novel. The characters aren't bad, actually, but the plot is meandering and at times the way things are told are a bit annoying. It story never really picks up steam and gets to the point where I really want to know what happens next.

Then there is the "historical" aspect. The characters all feel lik...more
Alex Telander
DEATH AND THE DEVIL BY FRANK SCHATZING: With the runaway success of The Swarm originally in Europe and now in the United States, Death and the Devil, Shatzing’s first novel, has been translated and published. It’s a medieval thriller; a murder mystery set with the back drop of thirteenth century Cologne. This is a completely different genre and story line for Schatzing after the sci-fi/horror of The Swarm, nevertheless he delivers his unique storytelling style in Death and the Devil.

It is the ye...more
Oscura
Dall'autore de "Il quinto giorno" mi aspettavo di più. E' vero che è un'opera precedente, ma il libro è piuttosto noioso, ripetitivo, con le continue elucubrazioni dei protagonisti che parlano, parlano, ma l'azione è carente, la trama è prevedibile, non ci sono colpi di scena ed i personaggi sono po' macchiette.
Laurel
Picked this up on the kindle for 99p thinking: medieval cathedral building? murder and intrigue? what's not to like for a fan of Ken Follett's 'Pillars of the Earth'??
Well, I have to say I was not particularly impressed with 'Death and the Devil', the writing was poor (unsure if it is like this in the German or if he has been let down by a bad translator), the characters were all 2-dimensional and there was nothing especially likeable about any of them, and the plot was boring - by about halfway...more
Vivienne
Feb 11, 2010 Vivienne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vivienne by: vivienneor@yahoo.com

I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this. It was one of those library books where I figured I would begin to read and see if I was engaged by the plot.

Well I was. Before I knew it I was a hundred pages in and found the story of the conspiracy and the central death. I don't have much background in medieval German history and I did appreciate the sections of exposition, even though these did somewhat challenge some of the pacing. I also felt in a few places the translation might have been...more
Diego Colombatto
The first part is really well written, good plot and character. In the end I found it a little bit slow, but always captivating

In my opinion, not the best Schatzing book, but a well worth reading
Spock
sullo sfondo della costruzione del Duomo di Colonia e nello spazio temporale che vede l'emergere impetuoso della borghesia mercantile e lo scontro inevitabile con i privilegi nobiliari ed ecclesiastici, si dipanano la storia di personaggi apparentemente minori che si trovano invischiati in cospirazioni alte e che devono loro malgrado combattere.
Un libro che ha quindi il vantaggio di essere un racconto architettonico, storico e con venature di thriller. Nel suo ambito avevo preferito, per motivi...more
Astrid Falkenberg
Death, intrigue and conspiracies, where the rich have all the power and the poor have nothing to say....funny how things haven't changed in 900+ years....:)
Biggi
Normalerweise tue ich mich mit historischen Romanen eher schwer, aber diesen hier habe ich regelrecht verschlungen.
Zum Teil liegt dies sicherlich daran, dass es - wie der Titel des Buches schon erahnen lässt - um Mord geht. Um Mord und um Jacob, der wegen seiner roten Haare auch Fuchs genannt wird, einen jungen Burschen, der den Mord zufällig beobachtet hat und von nun an um sein Leben und das seiner Freunde fürchten muss.
Eine rasante Hetzjadt durch das historische Köln nimmt ihren Lauf.
Sehr spa...more
Alessandro Amadesi
Piaciuto molto di più di 'Limit', forse perché qui i personaggi sono molto più umani e molto meno freddi. La tiratina esplicativo-moralistica il buon Frank te la fa sempre, ma forse proprio perché si tratta dell'opera prima, non esagera. Credo che renda bene il clima di una Colonia medievale anche se con momenti action e serial killer armati di balestra. L'ho gradito e seguito con un certo affetto nei confronti della strana coppia Volpe / Jaspar. Ironico a tratti, il che mi fa sempre molto piace...more
Ann
In vergelijking met 'De zwerm' van dezelfde auteur vond ik dit boek een heel stuk minder 'pakkend'. Normaal lees ik graag romans met een historische inslag maar in dit boek waren de geschiedenislessen in de geschiedenis een beetje teveel van het goede.
Het boek leest voor de rest wel als een trein maar het kon mij niet altijd boeien. De spanningen tussen de kerkelijke en wereldlijke macht, tussen ambachtslieden en patriciërs in de middeleeuwen was wel interessant beschreven.
Rhonda
to be honest, i didn't get very far with this one. i loved schatzing's other book, the swarm ( all 1000 pages of it), but i couldn't get into this one at all. there is nothing similar about the two books - one current day and one set in the 1200's . i just felt really bored, and there are too many books on my list to stick with one that bores me. i had high hopes and will continue to look for any new releases that he puts out, but i'm movin' on.
Callie S.
Chioso il titolo originale (La morte e il diavolo, appunto) per rivolgere una spassionata preghiera all'autore: Frank, te ne prego, smettila di raccontare trame da dieci righe in fiumi di pagine. Dispensaci dalle tue macchiette spacciate per caratteri, dai tuoi dialoghi surreali, dai tuoi ammiccamenti gigioni, e liberaci dall'inconsistenza delle tue eroine.

Amen
Izzybizzy
Nach der Hälfte des Buches habe ich aufgegeben. Eigentlich fand ich das Thema ziemlich interessant. Aber der Autor befasst sich so sehr mit den (in meinen Augen meist unwichtigen) Details, dass mir einfach irgendwann der Überblick abhanden gekommen ist. Das Lesen macht keinen Spaß, wenn man immer wieder mehrere Kapitel zurück blättern muss, damit man den Zusammenhang versteht.
Beth
I'm a bit on the fence about this book. I did enjoy it, the pace was good and kept the story moving, but as I'm not familiar with the period or geography I won't vouch for it's accuracy.

I appreciated the dialogue and the way the author discussed God and religion which did feed into the plot. So all in all I'd up my rating to a 3.5.
Eva
I read this book about 10 years ago in German, and was fascinated by it; the first historical thriller set in Cologne that I read, I loved its closeness and exploration of Cologne's and its cathedral's history.
Now, I still love the story, but was a little disappointed by the English translation, the sublime humor didn't come across.
Sage Streck
I didn't dislike this book, but it was a little awkward to read and sometimes very dense. Such a long time was spent building up to the ending, that it almost felt anti-climactic by the time I finally got there. I did enjoy the medieval history, but there were times when I felt the author got a little lost in all the historical minutia.
Julie
I wasn't aware until I got partway into the book that it was a translation. That explains a lot. This is an awkwardly-written book, so much so that I was about to give up, but knowing it's a translation will, I think, allow me to approach it from a different angle.

Edited to add: Terrible translation. I can't go on!
Chandra
A great historical mystery that takes place in Schätzing's beloved city of Köln, during the construction of its famous cathedral. He brings 13th century Köln to life, while weaving in his exquisite talent for suspense and intrigue. Not quite as engaging as Der Schwarm, but still a thrilling read.
Angelo Vassallo
I really enjoyed this historical novel, since the writer is able to use some of the people involved to tell you about the real facts happened during the period when the novel is located (Cologne 1260). As well the storyline is pretty interesting.
Karla Romero
It's really interesting, a really good story, well built characters, but it goes on, and on, and on, with the same thing through pages and the autor tends to leave context behind to talk some other facts that has nothing to do with the story.
Jessica
Great history of Cologne and its cathedral, but the vernacular style seems oddly disjointed when contrasted with the book's high-minded themes. Not entirely sure if it's the product of authorial intent or a poor translation into English.
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Schätzing was born in Cologne and studied communication studies; he later ran his own company, an advertising agency named INTEVI, in Cologne. Schätzing became a writer in 1990, and penned several novellas and satires. His first published novel was the historical Tod und Teufel in 1995, and in 2000 his thriller Lautlos.

Schätzing achieved his greatest success in 2004 with the science fiction thrill...more
More about Frank Schätzing...
The Swarm Limit Lautlos Nachrichten aus einem unbekannten Universum: Eine Zeitreise durch die Meere Mordshunger

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