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3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Written in a distinctive style reminiscent of Peter Carey, Gabriella's Book of Fire gives us a picaresque Romeo and Juliet tale that, like Armanno, is Australian with an unmistakably Italian flavor. Fresh, irreverent, and vividly passion-filled, this is a novel of two families at war, the unlikely couple in love caught in the middle, and an Australian neighborhood that fee ...more
Paperback, 401 pages
Published 2000 by Vintage (first published 1999)
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Writer's Relief
It’s difficult to review this as a single book, because it is split into two very different stories—the first which I enjoyed very much and the second which didn’t quite meet the standards of the first.

The first part of the book follows two teens, both Italian immigrants living with their families in Australia. The boy, Salvatore, is hopelessly in love with his neighbor, Gabriella, a tough but alluring redhead who takes full advantage of the power she has over him. The book is full of rich descr
Titus Burley
Jun 08, 2014 Titus Burley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1988 I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Love In The Time Of Cholera" and it immediately became the standard by which I judged unrequited love novels. The wisdom, understanding of longing, and depth of relationships in that novel were profoundly moving. Twenty-six years later I finally found a novel to match if not surpass Marquez's insightful novel and that is the beautiful, passionate, poetic novel Gabriella's Book Of Fire. I cannot say enough good things about this novel: it touched me, it mo ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and came so very close to giving it 5 stars although I was afraid I might have been biased because it evoked for me so thoroughly my years growing up in Brisbane, where it is set.
The story is engrossing, at times electrifying and almost heart stopping. What begins as a childish love story becomes a baffling mystery with a strong dose of pre-Fitzgerald Inquiry Queensland police corruption and politics.
My senses awakened as I read of the heat, the dust, the fat summer raindrops
Feb 21, 2013 Renessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book six years ago and have revisited it several times since then. The book is brilliantly written and evokes feelings I had no idea I could experience through written word. I have read several of Venero's novels and all are fantastic and paint a very vivid picture. This book contains mystery, adolescent romance and tragedy and the ending is just magnificent. Upon finishing this book, you feel like you have just been punched in the gut, yet want to stand up and ask Armanno to d ...more
Karen Dinte
Being set in Brisbane, in places I am very familiar with, made this book even more of a good read for me. I remember those times so well and admire the way that Armanno wove reality bites about people, places and events through his writing making it vividly real.
Hayley rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2011
Craig Peters
Craig Peters rated it it was amazing
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Dec 24, 2007
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Cassaundra Michael
Cassaundra Michael rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2016
Venero Armanno
Nov 21, 2016 Venero Armanno rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Venero Armanno, the son of Sicilian migrants, was born in Brisbane. He has travelled and worked throughout the world. In 1995, 1997 and 1999 he lived and wrote in the Cité International des Arts, Paris. He is the author of Jumping at the Moon, a book of short stories (equal runner-up in the prestigious Steele Rudd Award) and eight novels, including The Volcano, which won the Queensland Premier's L ...more
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