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3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  408 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Michelangelo's statue of David is famous around the world. Millions flock to Florence to admire the Renaissance masterpiece -and to gaze upon the physical perfection of the young man captured in the marble. But the identity of the model has never been known. . . until now.
In this epic story Mary Hoffman imagines the story of Gabriele, a handsome eighteen-year-old who is h
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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The Book Queen
Apr 08, 2016 The Book Queen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
I love Mary Hoffman's work. Troubadour is one of my all-time favourite standalones, and I've re-read the City of Masks series four times. Every book by her that I've read, I've rated 5 stars... besides David. I really, really wanted to love this one, but unfortunately, this is definitely Hoffman's weakest book.

Like City of Masks, David is set in medieval Italy, but this time in Florence, and this time is an interpretation of a true story. The book revolves around Gabriele, a young peasant boy wh
Jul 04, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-review
David is a vivid historical novel; it is both a coming of age story and an exploration of the Florentine politics of the sixteenth century. It is a wonder of a book and refreshingly different.

David is actually the story of Gabriele, the milk-brother of the famous artist and sculptor Michelangelo. Gabriele is eighteen when he leaves his home, Settignano, a small village, and arrives in the city of Florence in search of work as a stone-cutter. Gabriele is a naive young man who lacks a practical un
Jul 11, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
David is set in Florence, Italy at the beginning of the 16th Century and is about a young man called Gabriele who leaves his home in the countryside to hit the city and make some money so he can return to his village and marry his sweetheart. His plan is to find his ‘milk brother’ Angelo, more recognisable to us as Michelangelo, the famous sculptor.

Gabriele’s story is narrated by the man himself in his senior years and at points through the story he’ll talk about something Gabriele or Angelo ar
Oct 22, 2014 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is probably considered an edgy read, and it is certainly not without its content. Gabriele is an all-out womanizer and sleep-around. He's in Florence for one day and he's already found his way into a woman's bed, and she isn't the last. Thankfully, his interests stop at women, but there are plenty of men to make googly-eyes at him, as well, and the Author doesn't shy away from stating that fact. One patron specifically asks a painter to use Gabriele as his nude model because he (the pa ...more
SJH (A Dream of Books)
This book combines beautiful imagery, vivid descriptions and sensuous detail. 'David' by Mary Hoffman vividly recreates the sense of what Italy and Florence in particular must have been like in 1501 when the city was split by two warring factions: the pro-Republicans and the pro-Medici supporters. Hoffman uses this period in time as a backdrop for her novel which combines historical detail with fictional imaginings. I'm a massive fan of historical fiction and Mary Hoffman is the queen of this ge ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Miki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-and-kids
As a past inhabitant of Italy and lover of historical fiction, I was thrilled to see this title at BEA. It was on of the first ARCs I picked up at the expo and I am so glad I did. Hoffman does a great job of keeping the language modern enough for YA readers yet old enough to keep with the period in the book. I also love that Hoffman came up with such a great idea. I have never once thought about who the David could be. I enjoyed the story and the history in this novel.
Jul 27, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I really like historical fiction. I mean, love it. Especially when fictional characters are used to bring actual historical events to life. So I was enormously happy to realise that Mary Hoffman employs her fictional narrator Gabriele to showcase this volatile period in Florence's history. For me, this enables real empathy with the situation, and I can identify with the motives of the actual personages who peopled the time.

Here we have a Florence that is being overcome by the rifts between the R
Aug 14, 2012 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In lieu of a review, allow me to share a chat transcript wherein I discuss this book:

(view spoiler)
Mar 09, 2016 Leah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This seemed like the kind of book I would like, but I didn't like it at all. It was boring. I lost interest about a quarter of the way through this book. The best thing I can say about this book is that I finished it.
Jade Walker
Jul 17, 2011 Jade Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review at

I requested this book as I am a massive fan of Hoffman's Stravaganza series and was so excited to see how she dealt with recreating Italian history. I was intrigued by this book because she wasn't writing about a different world based off Italy, she was writing about Italy and with that she had to deal with actual historical events, which obviously involved a whole lot of research.

I was very impressed with the depth of knowledge that Hoffman di
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
This review was originally posted on Fluttering Butterflies

David by Mary Hoffman is the first book of hers that I've read, but it certainly won't be the last.

This book really just felt very different from anything I've read lately. It isn't just that it's historical, which is a genre that I don't often read, but the combination of political intrigue, scandal, art and descriptions of an Italy I'd be desperate to see made this book hugely exciting and fascinating. I couldn't wait to find out what
Lane Gutowsky
Jan 13, 2016 Lane Gutowsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David discussed the early 1500s, Gabrielle has just traveled to Florence, Italy with no intention of the greatness his beauty was capable of achieving, simply to see his milk brother, Michelangelo. While he was there, his stunning looks engaged people to interact with him on political measures and promiscuous manners. As a result of the many political groups at this time, their relationships with one another were very chaotic. Much of the chaos between political groups was caused by lust occurri ...more
Ali Randel
Jan 13, 2016 Ali Randel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David is a good historical fiction story about the Italian Renaissance. Mary Hoffman does a good job of conveying the importance of appearance and the strictness of the time period. The main character's name is Gabriele and the story is written from his perspective. It is interesting that we are able to see inside someone's mind during this time because I have not been able to do that in any other book I have read. The story follows Gabriele on his journey to Florence, Italy and goes with him o ...more
Sophia Washer
Mixed Times, Mixed Emotions
The renaissance age was a wonderful but also hard time in the world. Art and culture started to begin to establish and grow. It was also more accepted by the public. More and more artist were getting commissions each day. The artist from this time are looked upon as being some of the most influental artist in history today. Their art is still looked at today all over the world. But in exchange, you have to take the good with the bad. As much as the renaissance was a t
Jan 13, 2016 Dom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Florence Italy was very interesting and complicated during the Renaissance. Art was becoming a prominent part of the society and so was politics. Mary Hoffman portrays Florence during the Renaissance in the book “David” as being divided and a time of rebirth for the interest in the arts. But this book was a single story and I did not find that enjoyable.
To begin with, the book “David” shows Florence as a very divided city during the Renaissance in many ways. Split into the “Frateschi”, su
Wallowing Hippo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth La Lettrice
Great fictional account of the making of the statue of David with it's fictional model as the main character. This book does a great job of depicting the political turmoil of 15th/16th century Florence as well as the artistic energy and relevance that pervaded the city at the time. The artists that are weaved into this story as regular working men will later become the legends that would help lay the foundation for establishing Florence as a city of masterpieces that is visited by millions today ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Gabby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book David was a story about the Renaissance. The Renaissance as many know was a time period of when great art was developed, along with many political battles as well. Through Mary Hoffman's book readers can see multiple perspectives of people in different classes during this time period. Readers take a journey with Gabriele who is a young innocent boy who goes to the big city of Florence. But does he stay innocent throughout the book? Does he become a murder? Does he become a thief? Reader ...more
Jessie Percival
Mar 13, 2016 Jessie Percival rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy Assassin's Creed, specifically Assassin's Creed 2 and Brotherhood, then you are likely to enjoy this book. This book takes the same idea of putting a fictional story in the middle of real events and runs with it.

David is set in the same time period as Assassin's Creed, but is located in Florence, rather than Rome. We follow a fictional character through the political turmoil that held the city captive during the years it took Michelangelo to carve his master piece - the marble Davi
Feb 03, 2015 SculderLover rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that starts slowly but packs a major punch at the end. I was literally racing through the last chapters. A wonderful book at about the man who could have been David.
Jan 19, 2016 Taylor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
David is a story set in the Renaissance time period. At first you are lead to believe that the book is only about the sculpture, David, being made by Michelangelo. He has his friend Gabriele, the book's narrator, pose for the statue's figure. We soon learn that there is a huge political war happening in Florence. Everyone in Florence must choose a side whether it is the Frateschi or the Medici. All the while Gabriele is torn apart between two lovers, a rich woman named Clarice with whom he has a ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Jackson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To be frank, I did not like this book. I read this, (and have to write a review about it), for school. The book is pretty boring, and compared to other books I read, there is not any good action scenes and I didn't like Gabrielle, the main character. He is very uneducated, which makes the other characters explain it again, and also makes the book boring. Also the main character does sleep with a lot of women, not like James Bond, he is a very stupid and emotionless character. Even though I can s ...more
The book David written by Mary Hoffman, was a book with potential. The beginning of David was very slow and did not poses much interest. It showed the main character's, Gabriele, life story before he moved to Florence. In Florence he lived with family and became a well know person for modeling for sculptures and paintings. Throughout the book he becomes involved in much personal conflict and love. He is also involved in a lot of politics throughout the story. Near the end of the story Gabriele's ...more
Aria Henneman
David is a very intense and romantic novel. A boy named Gabiriel goes to Florence in search for his milk brother. Along this journey he meets many ladies and learns a lot about himself as a person. I really recommend reading this book. Not only do you get a great understanding about the Rennisance, but you also get a great understanding of the overall culture in Italy. Gabriele learns a lot about growing up. One thong that was crucial to this was learning all the diffrent factions. overall,i thi ...more
Ava Getz
This book, by Mary Hoffman, really interested me. I am very interested in this time period, so this book was right up my alley. It was full of information about the politics during this era, the art, and the lifestyles. I loved how all of the characters were tied together in a way that made sense to me. One thing that I found confusing about this book was all of the factions and who was on what side. Even though that was confusing, the positives out weighed the negatives. Overall this was a grea ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Joyce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had hoped for a really good historical fiction, something to pull teens into Michaelangelo's world, but it really isn't. Seems like the focus is on how the boy who is the model for David has such physical attraction that he can't help but be pulled into various dangerous liaisons. Yes, we do get a sense of the political machinations happening, but there's a lot more focus on how beautiful he is and how attracted various people are to him. Anyway, I got about half-way through and decided I was ...more
Benny Fellows
David, by Mary Hoffman, was not my cup of tea. I would recommend it to a history buff, or a romantic, but I am not either of those things. I do not enjoy watching a documentary on the past, or a romantic movie. It was well written, with a very good plot with many twists, but I was not interested with the idea of Michelangelo and his life outside of being a famous Renaissance artist. This book did not confuse me, although at many points I lost interest only because of my likes and dislikes. Overa ...more
Mar 23, 2014 Róisín rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know it's only March but I have to say this is one of the best books I've read this year. As someone studying the art history, I was intrigued on the interpretation the writer would have of the mysterious model for the infamous Michelangelo sculpture and Hoffman captured it, in my opinion, perfectly! It's not overrun with romance and doesn't romantise it too much, giving the main character flaws that most would relate to, as well as incorpreting the history of Florence at that time into the st ...more
Izzy ⭐️
Jan 13, 2016 Izzy ⭐️ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel David follows the story of a young man named Gabriele that comes to Florence from his country town he grew up in, Settignano, in the 1500s. He becomes the model for one of the most well known statues in the world, David, by Michelangelo and ties himself up into the bitter rivalry between the two warring political factions of Florence, the compagnacci and the frateschi. David occurs during the Renaissance, the efflorescence of arts and ideas in Europe that coincided with the rediscovery ...more
A.R. Collins
Jun 16, 2015 A.R. Collins rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is well written (bar the odd lapse in sentence structure) and, so far as I can tell, very well researched and historically accurate. For me, however, it lacks spark and I whilst reading I found myself only mildly interested - by the information about the Renaissance artworks being discussed and created, more than anything else. I found the storytelling bland and the characters uninteresting. I also thought it a shame that Gabriele had to grow older than the novel's target audience, as ...more
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The Young Adult H...: David by Mary Hoffman - October Group Read 11 42 Nov 17, 2012 05:40AM  
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Mary Hoffman is a bestselling British author and reviewer, born in 1945. She is a true enthusiast of Italy and spends a lot of her time there, which shows in her Stravaganza novels: a series currently in publication. In total, she has written over 80 books, including the aforementioned Stravaganza series and the bestselling picture book, Amazing Grace. Mary is also the editor of a review magazine ...more
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“How can you tell when a piece is finished?'I asked.

'You can't,' he said flatly. 'All you can tell is when you can't do any more to it. And then you need to stop because if you don't, you will spoil it.”
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