The House On Moon Lake
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The House On Moon Lake

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A prize-winning international bestseller, this gripping story by Francesca Duranti follows Fabrizio, an impoverished but aristocratic translator, on his obsessive quest to find a lost German novel -- The House on Moon Lake -- after he reads a reference to it in the book of a renowned literary critic. Fabrizio's quest and its solution transform his life as he searches for t...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 23rd 1992 by Flamingo (first published January 1st 1984)
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Fabrizio Garrone is a book translator. When he comes across a reference to an obscure novel, purportedly a manuscript, he sets out to find it; in fact, he becomes obsessed with it. After he translates the novel from German to Italian, he is also asked to write a biography of the author, Fritz Oberhofer. When he cannot find any information about the last three years of Oberhofer’s life, Fabrizio fabricates a mistress, Maria Lettner, for him. The fun begins when others substantiate the existence o...more
Wow. What started off as a rather dry novel, that I didn't think I'd enjoy, finished with a scary, Kafka-esque surprise. How much better to have a book start slowly and end with an amazing flourish than to read a book that starts well but fizzles out.

This novel won a lot of awards in Italy, was published in 1987 though the writing is so beautiful, it seems to have been written much longer ago. It centres on a fascinating, introverted handsome young man who translates books for a living. He beco...more
This is an okay story about a translator who finds an obscure German novel, translates it into Italian, wins instant literary recognition and fame, and then writes a biography of the unknown author of the novel in the hopes of receiving further recognition. When he can’t find out anything about the novelist and the affair he had that inspired the novel, the translator fabricates some stuff to finish the biography, and to his confusion, that stuff ends up being “real” and his ability to distingui...more
Nov 05, 2011 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
I have probably read this book four times. I love this book. I'm not really sure what attracts me to it so much. I think the literary fixation of the main character is one thing and they way he becomes obsessed to the exclusion of everything else in his life is well delineated. I don't usually go for novels that has any hint of the supernatural but I swallow this whole. I think that actually these elements are ambiguous and can be seen as a existing somewhere between dream and reality.
Not really what I expected. It won a bunch of prestigious awards so I thought I would read it. Fascinating - it gripped me most of the way through but seemed to fade and become slower at the end. Definitely not for children. I liked the earlier parts of the book most.
The concept of this book is an interesting one but the delivery is flat. I was gripped for the first 100 or so pages then had to try pretty hard to finish it. Nothing much happens in the second half of the novel and, by that point, I didn't much care.
Karen Hogan
An italian translates an obscure german novel and becomes obsessed with a fictional woman. I read 150 pages, but I just didnt feel the need to finish it.
Not sure what I expected but I am not sure I actually 'got' the ending of this book. Never really got comfortable with the writing while reading it.
Sarah Lee
I picked this up somewhat at random. While I'm not sorry I read it, I can't say it's good.
Janice Mcintyre
The title was the best thing about this book. It should have been called The Dismal House.
This will be quite difficult to review without spoiling the plot.
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May 27, 2014
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Francesca Duranti is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels and the winner of several of Italy’s most prestigious literary awards. She lives in New York City and Lucca, Italy.
More about Francesca Duranti...
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