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The Glorious Ones
Francine Prose
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The Glorious Ones

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  10 reviews

The Glorious Ones travel the length and breadth of seventeenth-century Italy, playing commedia dell'arte in the streets and palaces with equal vigor. Founded by the ingenious madman Flamino Scala, the small company of players endures kidnappings and passionate affairs, cabals, riots, disgrace—all manner of triumph and hardship. Pantalone the miser, sunny Armanda the dwarf,

Paperback, 175 pages
Published January 28th 2000 by Bamberger Books
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I loved this book! Makes me sorry that I missed the musical at Lincoln Center. Prose tells the story of a commedia troupe as the shift from improvised theatre to scripted drama is happening. Each chapter is narrated by a different troupe member and fills in another part of the story. The issues and the artistic struggles were so interesting - and the characters were vividly drawn.
Jul 09, 2009 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kelly by: Lisa
Shelves: 2009, italy
I would have probably liked this book more if my imagination hadn't cast Jeff as the lead character (Flaminio Scala). It just didn't work that.
Doug Gordy
I actually bought this book back in 2007, after having seen and very much enjoyed the Broadway musical version of the story - but never got around to reading it. It brought back memories of that terrific production, but is a very good novel in its own right. Unless one has an interest in theatre history in general, or the commedia dell'arte in particular, I doubt one would find it all that intriguing though. My one quibble is that each of the characters narrates one of the seven chapters, yet al ...more
Justin Howe
It's set in 17th century Italy but you wouldn't know it from reading it. The Glorious Ones are a troupe of actors made up of archetypes and each tells their story, parading forth their dreams and obsessions. It's one of those books about stories and the power of stories. Probably not for everyone, but a refreshing read just the same.
Jane Mackay
Wonderful journey through Italy in the time of the Commedia dell'arte. Was a little disappointed in the ending; the narrative power fizzled out. Ending was sappy compared to the rest of the book. I was expecting something more feisty.
A wonderful romp through commedia dell'arte from the different points of view of the players in a small troupe wandering around Italy and France. Turned into a Broadway musical that I can't wait to see on dvd.
Jessica Kwasniak
The Glorious Ones was an excellent first novel by the prolific Francine Prose. Set in 17th century Italy, it tells the tale of a theatre troupe. Each chapter is a different person's perspective. A great, quick read.
Meh. I could have skipped this one. I can recognize how clever some of the writing is, especially how Prose pokes fun at the useless, bumbling doctor with his own voice. But overall, quickly forgettable.
I had hoped for something much different. But it was intriguing. If you are interested in commedia dell'arte, as I am, then this might appeal to you.
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Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN/Newman's Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is now teaching at Bard College.

More about Francine Prose...
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them Blue Angel Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 Goldengrove Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife

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