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Venice for Lovers

2.61  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Every year for the thirty they have been married, Louis Begley and Anka Muhlstein have escaped to Venice to write. In Venice for Lovers, Begley and Muhlstein fashion their own personal homages to Venice, one with a novella, the other with a personal essay. In her contribution to the book, Muhlstein charmingly describes how she and her husband dine at the same restaurant ev ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1998)
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Patty
Earlier this year, when reviewing Anything That Moves, I mentioned that I had been reading a lot of books about food this year. Well, thank goodness that one of these essays was about food because otherwise this audiobook would have been a complete waste.

I have had this on my "to-listen" list for years and I can't imagine what I thought I was going to get. However, I am mostly disappointed.

The first essay was on eating in Venice. I would have left today, if I could be guaranteed to eat as Anka M
...more
Elaine
I liked the first part of the book which tells of the couple's experiences in Venice (especially with food). I like food, so I found that interesting. The second part was just weird and inappropriately sexual but not romantic in any way. The third part about Thomas Mann and Henry James and their books was just boring. I read it all but would not read it again.
Ron
May 04, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the back cover: "Every year for all thirty they have been married, Louis Begley and Anka Muhlstein have escaped to Venice to write." This collabration by the lawyer/novelist Begley and his wife, a noted historian, combines a novella by him and a personal narrative by her. An absolutely wonderful read, whether you have been to Venice or only dreamed about it!
Becca
Jun 01, 2014 Becca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I only picked up this book because I'm going to Venice next month. I like the first part written by the wife. The next two parts written by the husband were boring and pointless. That is all.
Jane
Jun 24, 2016 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to go to Venice. Soon. Perhaps in September. So, I was immediately interested in this book. Anka Muhlstein wrote the first section, a celebration of her life with her husband, the writer, Louis Begley, as they lived for long stretches in Venice while writing, walking and dining in this city. The descriptions of their four favorite restaurants were charming...but I soon got tired of every street name and building. It became tedious reading, though it might be fun to read while actually in ...more
Sonya L Moore
From Amazon: "Venice for Lovers is a memorable collaboration by two fine stylists who have fashioned their own personal homages to Venice, one with a novella, the other with a personal essay. Every year for all the thirty they have been married, Begley and Muhlstein have escaped to Venice to write. In her contribution to the book, Muhlstein charmingly describes how she and her husband dine at the same restaurant every night for years on end, and how becoming friends with restaurateurs has been a ...more
Ginger
Aug 26, 2013 Ginger rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ginger by: Nancy Pearl
Shelves: travel, italy
This short volume is made of of three parts -- the first by Anka Muhlstein I enjoyed, the second two by Louis Begley, not as much.

I enjoyed Muhlstein's exploration of their homecoming to Venice through restaurants.

I could have lived without Begley's detailed descriptions of his wife's - ahem - nether regions, but I suppose that's very Italian of him. For that reason, I don't particularly recommend it, but I do feel as if I have been to warm Venice on this snowy day in Virginia.

Begley, in his las
...more
Linda Harkins
Consisting of three essays--two by Begley and one by Muhlstein (his wife)--this little volume that I picked up last week in the UVA bookstore is not what I expected. I would describe it as part memoir and part literary critique. Muhlstein introduces the reader to Venice via food and favorite restaurants. Begley describes how he first entered Venice. It comes as no surprise that it was by gondola rather than the vaporetto and that a woman seven years his senior lured him there. This middle essay ...more
Donna
Aug 08, 2015 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first essay ONLY on restaurants (Anka's). And that's why this gets 3 stars.

A mini travelogue with a background on the restaurant owners. I felt I needed wine and a few tasty appetizers to go with the reading. Wishing I had someone knowledgeable to select and serve would have wonderful.

The next two essays were Louis. The second one, I did not care for the mild sex exploits, it added nothing at all to the story. As for the third, I found I was drifting and could not commit to read i
...more
David
Jan 28, 2010 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little too sophisticated for my tastes, I guess. It mentioned all sorts of places I never heard of, with words in Italian. It mentioned books I never heard of. The stories we're difficult to follow.

Really, the only compelling story was the one about the authors going to the same restaurants every week for a year. Unfortunately, this story could have been expanded and made much more interesting then it was made out to be.

I learned how little I know about Venetian/Italian literatur
...more
Helen
Apr 26, 2009 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first part was great. Talks about the culinary experience in Venice. The other 2 (a short story, comparing how different authors use Venice in their novels) was just ok
Satia
Apr 19, 2010 Satia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting concept that left me bored. For more and to know why I was so bored:

http://satia.blogspot.com/2010/04/ven...
Marilyn
Aug 11, 2009 Marilyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
I agree with the other comments on this book--the first 2 parts were really good. They should have quit while they were ahead--maybe they had a minimum number of words to hand in to their publisher.
Marta Pawlowski
Jul 06, 2015 Marta Pawlowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
Venice
Christi
Oct 09, 2009 Christi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected. I love Louis Begley. The sex seemed sordid. I did love the descriptions of Venice,the food and the fact that he and his wife return to Venice every year.
Helen Starmer-allen
An interesting read but It was a small amount of effort to read. It wasn't a book I couldn't put down.
lapidaryblue
lapidaryblue rated it it was ok
Feb 20, 2014
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Mar 22, 2011
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Niki
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Beverley Kaye
Beverley Kaye rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2014
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Venice for Lovers 1 7 Sep 09, 2010 12:50PM  
11577
Louis Begley is an American novelist.

Begley was born Ludwik Begleiter in Stryi at the time part of Poland and now in Ukraine, as the only child of a physician. He is a survivor of the Holocaust due to the multiple purchases of Aryan papers by his mother and constant evasion of the Nazis. They survived by pretending to be Polish Catholic. The family left Poland in the fall of 1946 and settled in N
...more
More about Louis Begley...

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