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Que o fogo consuma esta casa

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  595 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Part Two Of Two Parts

The narrator, Peter Leverett, a government employee returning to the U.S., stops in the Italian village of Sambuco to see his old schoolmate Mason Flagg. But the next morning Flagg is found dead at the base of a cliff, a peasant girl has been beaten to death and Cass Kinsolving, a drunken American painter, is gone.

Though the case has been written off a

Published (first published May 12th 1960)
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Oct 14, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Huma Abedin
Shelves: got-rid-of, fiction

A heinous case of abuse. And by that, I mean an author abusing his readers. Sure, the novel is about rape and murder, but at any point in the book, from the first chapter to the last, you will feel more violated than any of the characters, whether it's due to grown men referring to other grown men as "dollbaby," scenes of alcoholic drunkenness that go on for dozens and dozens of pages, female characters treated as either pieces of meat or helpless elfin fairies, the author's (and characters') lo
Nov 27, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the TV's on, tuned to an early-morning movie I'm not watching. I'm trying to figure out what to read next, six books laid out on the coffee table before me. I eliminate William Styron's "Set This House on Fire," figuring I'd wait to re-read that excellent novel next year. I put it back on the bookshelf. The movie catches my eye. It's "Naked in New York," which I'd never seen or even heard of. Eric Stoltz points out to Mary-Louise Parker that the man across the room at the party is William Sty ...more
Carol Storm
Feb 27, 2011 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was young I felt this was Styron's richest, most entertaining novel, and I still enjoy it. But my perceptions have changed a lot.

I read this book when I was an undergraduate years ago. I gobbled up the lush Italian setting, the boozing and the brawls, the colorful supporting cast of millionaires and movie stars and barefoot Italian beauties. The central conflict was a classic man to man battle like MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. The dashing charm of the corrupt boyish American millionaire, Mason
Armin Hennig
Jul 15, 2016 Armin Hennig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Da der Inhalt im ausführlichen Klappentext hinreichend erläutert wird, beschränke ich mich dieses mal auf meine Reaktionen. Ich habe eine Schwäche für Bücher aus den Fünfzigern, die im Umfeld eines Drehs spielen und liebe Romane, in denen ein gönnerhafter Jugendfreund als manipulatives Arschloch entlarvt wird. Von daher war Styrons zweiter Roman ein Kandidat für mindestens vier Sterne, aber was der spätere Pulitzerpreisträger aus seinen Reiseeindrücken, Vorurteilen und Schuldkomplexen in diesem ...more

I read this as part of my Big Fat Reading Project and also because ever since I read Sophie's Choice so many years ago and had my mind completely rearranged, I vowed to read all of Styron's novels. In a way, it's a good thing he didn't write too many because each one is such a heavy dose of human anguish and Faulkner-like rambling complete with long philosophical passages run through some character's mouth. Reading too much Styron in a row could induce suicidal thoughts at least, maybe worse.

Russell Bittner
I must confess, this wasn’t the book I was looking for when I wandered out into the stacks at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library with my sights set on William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice . (I’d always enjoyed the movie immensely and wanted, finally, to give the author his due.) Unfortunately, my sights were not to be satisfied: Sophie’s Choice was out; and so, I settled for Styron’s Set This House on Fire, a book I’d never even heard of and consequently knew nothing about.

In spite of
A convoluted mess of a book, which was roundly panned when it came out after the incredible debut of "Lie down in darkness". I remember throwing myself eagerly on this book and giving up, totally puzzled, a third of the way through. The prose was excellent as always, but the characters felt totally flat and un-engaging. Fortunately Styron redeemed himself with Nat Turner and Sophie's Choice.
Hmmm...sophomore slump? This book is nowhere near as good as Styron's stunning debut novel, Lie Down in Darkness*, but it was interesting in a few ways. First of all, it's about writers and drunkenness and being artistically blocked and expatriate escapism, and if one is into those sorts of things (ahem) then one may find oneself folding down multiple page corners, or, if one is forced to get the book via digital e-library because one is in China and can't find a hard copy, highlighting multiple ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I see a lot of people here like this book, but I don't get why. The first half is unpleasant though absorbing. Styron seems to think it is interesting for characters to rant eccentrically about whatever is on their mind, but I would disagree, and I soon started skipping all rants. The story is intriguing, and for a while the book was kind of interesting, as we see the naive narrator come to see the truth of his pretentious friend. Half way through, the book becomes fairly unreadable as it change ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
William Styron has crafted an electrifying and deeply unsettling novel of rape, murder, and suicide -- a work with a Dostoevskian insight into the dreadful persuasiveness of evil.-- The New York Times Book Review
That's the first part of the novel -- absolutely brilliant writing.
But, the novel grinds down to an incredibly boring monologue - absolutely unreadable. Couldn't force myself to finish the book.
Chris Gager
Jun 09, 2011 Chris Gager rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not the cover of the edition I read. The one I had was an old paperback published after WS's preceding work. I picked this up because of the author but was not rewarded. Pretty much a total crap fest once the action gets to the Villa/movie set. Some interesting asides such as the depiction of rural poverty in post-war Italy but awful for the rest of it. Why the high ratings???
Nov 24, 2007 Loryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: styron lovers
he's a master framer. a raging alcoholic, an insatiable genius, a gullible observer, a rainbow of beautiful women--they all appear throughout his works, shades of each in the other.

part of it is set in italy.

i love his writing.
Tyler Smith
Styron takes on a decidedly purple hue in this gargantua. An additional 100 pages of philosophizing by a cop named Luigi doesn't help. But, when Styron hits, he hits hard. Macho page count, minor novel.
Beth Pelletier
Out of all of Styron's books, I just could not get into this at all. Moving on...
What I remember about this? Rolling my eyes, yawning, and looking forward to the end. Oh yeah, and there was a tepid orgy scene too.
Caroline Owens
Dec 17, 2014 Caroline Owens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say - I read this a while ago. William Styron is the bee's knees. He makes me feel drunk.
Jan 09, 2016 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A great deal of philosophical discussion concerning good, evil, and God's Grace set in post-WWII Italy. Some beautiful prose, just far too much of it.
Apr 12, 2014 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Styron, but still pretty darn good.

Styron writes well about guilt and its impact on how we live.
Mar 14, 2012 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: styron
This will only be the 2nd from Styron for me, the first Sophie's Choice, and I wish I could tell you if I saw the movie before I read the story, or not. I think I saw the movie first and I still can picture/see Meryl Streep (that don't look right?) saying "cocksucker" when she means "seersucker".

This one begins:
Sambuco. Of the drive from Salerno to Sambuco, Nagel's Italy has this to say: "The road is hewn nearly the whole way in the cliffs of the coast. An evervaried panorama unfolds before our
Strange, meandering, violent, drunken story. Not to my taste at all.
This book was exhausting. It took me months to read it. I struggled to gain momentum or find a rhythm as a reader. I really didn't have the itch to make time to read it, until the last quarter of the book, . It was the anti-page-turner, so to speak. But something in me doesn't sit well with starting books and leaving them unfinished. Many times I considered moving on, putting it down, but I kept with it and I'm glad I did. I'm not one to skim much either, but with this monster, I found myself sk ...more
Sinan Cetin
Feb 17, 2017 Sinan Cetin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set This House on Fire plays on the idea of salvation within the framework of crime and punishment. It uses the means of Gothic romance for developing this salvation story of Cass Kinsolving even though it does not follow Gothic conventions step by step. It borrows from the structure of confessional literature for presenting plot within a plot but not limits itself with the inner dynamics. It imitates Greek tragedy while presenting dramatic characters. All in all, it is, somehow, an experimental ...more
Даша Тихая-Печальная
Меня эта книга больше всего не отпускала из-за яркого персонажа Мейсона Флагга. Во время чтения он вызвал двойственные чувства и вместе с тем глубокий интерес, как нестандартная личность.
По логике, в первую очередь он должен вызывать презрение: молодой невероятно богатый американский тунеядец, богемный красавчик, красноречив и привлекает к себе людей невероятными историями, которые потом разоблачаются в своей лживости. Мейсон часто меняет девушек и каждая из них всегда без ума от него.Не смотря
Richard Jespers
Dec 11, 2014 Richard Jespers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps not the tour de force that Sophie’s Choice is, but then he’s twenty plus years younger here. Still . . . quite magnificent in its own right. Structure is complex in reality, simple in perception. The mind follows him along every crack and crevice of the mountain the character is climbing and then descending. He creates opinionated, moral characters. Not Sunday School moral, but humanistic moral—people who instinctively know right from wrong though they don’t always practice doing what is ...more
Nov 04, 2010 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent writer and does not disappoint in beautifully drawn vignettes and fabulous descriptions. A bit long and involved but writing carries you through.
So many references to issues of today even though set in post wwII time. The rule of mammon and the take over of political structure by appealing to the lowest denominator. Never read Lie Down in Darkness and may have to do so to add to Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie's Choice
Monte Dutton
Jul 12, 2010 Monte Dutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heavy read, one that requires concentration. Writing that it almost intimidating in its power. The story is seemingly known very early, and the bulk of the book concerns itself with explaining it and revealing that which was assumed incorrectly. Deep, dark and revealing.
Doug Hart
Melodramatic tale set in post-WWII Italy. Great writing here and there but an archetypal love triangle and incessant descriptions of drunkenness begin to grate after a while. For a similar setting and storyline but done real verve, read John Hawkes' The Blood Oranges.
Jun 07, 2009 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well told story, interesting and engaging. But it isn't a piece of work that cuts to your core like Nat Turner and perhaps Sophie's Choice.

The writer's talent deserved a more ambitious story.
Jun 08, 2009 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second Styron book I read; it kept me reading his books...
Lisa Powers
Jun 01, 2012 Lisa Powers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Human depravity on display. Styron is a master craftsman at the top of his game here.
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William Styron (1925–2006), born in Newport News, Virginia, was one of the greatest American writers of his generation. Styron published his first book, Lie Down in Darkness, at age twenty-six and went on to write such influential works as the controversial and Pulitzer Prize–winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and the international bestseller Sophie’s Choice.
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“What this country needs... what this great land of ours needs is something to happen to it. Something ferocious and tragic, like what happened to Jericho or the cities of the plain - something terrible I mean, son, so that when the people have been through hellfire and the crucible, and have suffered agony enough and grief, they’ll be people again, human beings, not a bunch of smug contented cows rooting at the trough.” 23 likes
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