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The Leopard

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,472 Ratings  ·  905 Reviews
Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and pl ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Pantheon (first published 1958)
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Elanna I actually read it at high school. It was in the compulsory reading list, as a subject of assessment. Maybe a 14 year old would be too young, less…moreI actually read it at high school. It was in the compulsory reading list, as a subject of assessment. Maybe a 14 year old would be too young, less because the book is inappropriate than because teens are fed so much watery bulls**t nowadays, that they won't digest anything else. We HAD to STUDY Saffo (lesbian love poetry from the old Greece) in the original version when we were, like, fifteen.
However, if the teen is not Italian it may be hard for them to understand the context.(less)
The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di LampedusaIf on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioZeno's Conscience by Italo Svevo
Notable Novels by Italian Authors
2nd out of 227 books — 187 voters
The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareIf on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoThe Divine Comedy by Dante AlighieriThe Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Italy
5th out of 631 books — 264 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 29, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-to-film
”Among his friends Don Fabrizio was considered an “eccentric”; his interest in mathematics was taken almost as sinful perversion, and had he not been actually Prince of Salina and known as an excellent horseman, indefatigable shot and tireless womaniser, his parallaxes and telescopes might have exposed him to the risk of outlawry. Even so the did not say much to him, for his cold blue eyes, glimpsed under the heavy lids, put would-be talkers off, and he often found himself isolated, not, as he t ...more
Aubrey
Let's make one thing quite clear. I do not in any way claim to be objective, nor am I interested in ever being so. On the contrary, I delight in my opinions, and more importantly taking great lengths in ameliorating and deconstructing them in what I am aiming to be a neverending endeavor. What I wish for are thoughts and ideals that I both explicate upon and hold fast to, as well as an inherent sensitivity to what a particular occasion calls for. Panderings at neutrality can take a hike.

This boo
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 06, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, 501, history, europe
You have a stable job. You own your house. You drive your own car. Your daughter is studying in an exclusive school. You can buy any book you take fancy on. You can dine at any restaurant anytime. You can buy any clothes you want. In short, you have a comfortable life.

What if all these are taken away from you? Let’s say your company closes shop? What if you are stricken with cancer and you have to spend millions for your operation? What if you run over a man who is crossing the street on one ra
...more
Miriam
Nov 06, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it

The Leopard.
One of the four "big cats," it is a fierce predator: fast, voracious, strong enough to crush a skull with its jaws and to drag an animal almost as heavy as itself into a tree. Fearsome.
(view spoiler)
Like most felines, the leopard expends energy in massive bursts and must sleep for the most of the day to recoup its strength for the hunt. Do these long stretches of dormancy make the leopard lazy? Would it, free from the demands of hunger, wile away day after day in sl
...more
Eric
What complaints I have about The Leopard are minutely stylistic; and because "to present any writer in translation is to present him bereft of his style," as Clarence Brown, one of Mandelstam’s English avatars, reminds us, I won’t dwell on the elaborate clunkiness and awkward extensions of Lampedusa’s metaphors, especially those applied to the inner emotional states of his characters. In Italian this figurative language may be impossibly smooth. What I love in this novel is its morbid and pessim ...more
J
Mar 29, 2010 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I. Nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Thus begins Lampedusa’s masterpiece, his paean to death. Sensuous, insightful, subtle, The Leopard is a work of absolute beauty.

In 1860 Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, is watching the lifeblood seep from his world: the power and the prestige, the unquestioned honors are all fading away, being bled out by revolution. He simply watches it go. He is resigned to it as he is resigned to his own nature. Sated ease tinged with
...more
Hanneke
Feb 01, 2016 Hanneke rated it it was amazing
A book full of the deepest melancholy and feelings of loss, poetic language and irony. I loved this book. Other people have written beautiful reviews about it, to which I have nothing to add. I refer in particular to the review of Jeffrey Keeten or the review in Dutch of Sini. Both reflect my sentiments completely.
Nickolas the Kid
Πολύ δυνατό βιβλίο... Ο Γατόπαρδος είναι ένα κλασικό ανάγνωσμα για όλους τους βιβλιόφιλους.

Μέσα στις σελίδες αυτού του βιβλίου περιγράφεται η πορεία του Οίκου Σαλίνα κατά την διάρκεια των μεγάλων αλλαγών στην Σικελία και σε ολόκληρη την Ιταλία. Ο βασικός χαρακτήρας είναι ο Ντον Φαμπρίτσιο ο οποίος βλέπει την παλιά εποχή να φεύγει και υποδέχεται την καινούργια με στωικότητα...

Ο Λαμπεντούζα μιλάει για το παλιό, το νέο, το μέλλον και το παρόν. Οι χαρακτήρες πολλοί και ενδιαφέροντες, δίνουν σίγουρα
...more
Ademption
Aug 08, 2014 Ademption rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sinister adults
The quintessence of melancholy, The Leopard, lets the reader try on the skin of the titular character: the last prince in a declining aristocracy. It reminded me of Under the Volcano . I was pushed to empathize with the last leonine lord of Sicily as intimately as I did with the alcoholic diplomat in Under the Volcano, despite never having aspirations towards being crowned or pickled. Both novels deal with cornered people doing their best while their world turns to dust. The Leopard is beautifu ...more
Barry Pierce
What do I think of this? On one hand I want to laud it as being a classic of Italian literature, imbued with the essence of Lermontov and breadth of Tolstoy. However, on the other hand, this is essentially just one long episode of Downton Abbey but with less Maggie Smith and more Garibaldi. I'm conflicted about this one a bit because it does have some really boring parts but then it has some just magical passages. Eh, I liked it, but it's barely clinging on to those three stars.
Teresa
Jun 27, 2013 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Unlike in many other novels of historical fiction, Tomasi makes no secret of the fact that he is writing from the vantage of hindsight. And though they were few, I enjoyed his narratorial asides, some ironic, some sobering. But what I loved more than anything else is the elegant writing; you are in a dream as the sentences flow by. Two sections stand out as especially beautiful: the young couple playing amongst the closed-off ruins of rooms in the palace and the main character facing death -- su ...more
[P]
Mar 21, 2015 [P] rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bitchin
The other day I found a grey hair, by which I mean on my own head, of course, not on the floor. If I was in my forties, or upwards, I may have anticipated such a thing, but, in my naivety, I didn’t think it possible at my age. Yet there it was, gesturing to me in an offensive manner; it was like staring at a crowd of people and suddenly spotting, deep in their midst, a child looking my way and insouciantly giving me the finger. I’ve been, it is fair to say, somewhat perturbed ever since; I keep ...more
Carla
Feb 20, 2016 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quem me dera que este livro nunca terminasse…


Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Whitaker
It is no coincidence that The Leopard is bookended by two corpses: a decomposing one at the beginning, and an embalmed one at the end. The middle is filled with the story of a third corpse whose slow decomposition and putrefaction make up the meat of the novel. Rigour mortis first sets in, as traditions rigidify the body. It gets devoured internally, its body bloating, consumed by its own bacteria—the peasants that require the pacification and gifts demanded by noblesse oblige, the expensive pom ...more
Stefania T.
Dec 25, 2015 Stefania T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite

Di una tale chirurgica (ed ironica) luciditá e di una tale struggente bellezza - narrativa, stilistica, psicologica e poetica: in grado, nel medesimo fulmineo istante, di essere tanto divina quanto disperante - da essere doloroso.
È doloroso voltare l'ultima pagina, lasciarlo andare ha lo stridore opprimente di qualcosa che ti venga strappato via.
Bryant
Apr 15, 2008 Bryant rated it it was amazing
Someone from Sicily once told me that Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s "The Leopard" is the "Gone with the Wind" of southern Italy. For that very comparison, I had foolishly avoided it. Now I see that while it indeed may be a “Gone with the Wind,” it is also a “Fathers and Sons,” a “Palace Walk” (Mahfouz’ Cairo Trilogy), a “Grapes of Wrath,” and a “King Lear,” only with a more rational leading man. It is also, quite appropriately, its own glorious thing, the only novel of a once-prince who observes the d ...more
David
Aug 13, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Another classic I can cross off my "to read before I die" list. It's one of those books that has a definite low-key charm throughout and that ends up affecting you to an unexpected degree by the end. It tells the story of the decline of an aristocratic Sicilian family following Garibaldi's unification of Italy in 1860. The entire narrative spans half a century, but the vast majority of the action takes place in the months immediately surrounding the dissolution of the Bourbon monarchy of Sicily ...more
Andrei Tamaş
Jun 16, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ghepardul" are o valoare simbolică. El este o frescă a societăţii aristocratice siciliene din timpul şi de după unificarea de la 1860.
Pe fundalul întâlnirii cu pitorescul sicilian, cititorul ia contact cu don Fabrizio, principe de Salina, care se rezemneaza în faţa istoriei, concretizând un raport tragic între clasa socială şi avântul ideologic al societăţii.
Dacă privim criteriul persuasiv al romanului (intenţia autorului), aceasta nu se poate descifra (ceea ce arată caracterul lui neorealist
...more
Paul
Jul 14, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: european-novels
A rich and luscious novel about a decaying aristocratic family in nineteenth century Sicily. The main protagonists are the Salina family and especially Don Fabrizio (the Leopard of the title) the head of the family. Most of the novel takes place in the early 1860s and there is great descriptive detail throughout capturing the heat and dust of the Sicilian countryside. Lampedusa's descriptions of scents and smells and a decaying grand house are sublime. Religion and the ritual of the Catholic chu ...more
Adam
Mar 15, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intimate but detached, almost portraiture, of history of Sicily through the eyes of one of its fading aristos (and written by one). Immersing you into the bourgeois unification of Italy without loading you with information of the era, and telling the story through character interaction and garnered details. Showing the break down of the established order through a range of events from nouveau rich wearing evening dress to casual dress party to a disemboweled corpse in a garden. Beautiful pros ...more
Simona
Feb 29, 2016 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sicilia, 1860.
Sub tăvălugul revoluţiei lui Garibaldi, aristocraţia italiană înţelege că este nevoită să îşi cedeze averea și privilegiile în favoarea burgheziei. Fabrizio, ultimul Principe de Salina, asistă la declinul familiei sale şi al unei lumi întregi, din care a făcut parte însuşi autorul.
Pentru a redresa situaţia materială a nepotului sau Tancredi, Fabrizio pune la cale căsătoria lui cu Angelica, fiică de plebeu, chiar dacă ştie bine că fiica sa Concetta este îndrăgostită în taină de ace
...more
Luís Miguel
Dec 25, 2013 Luís Miguel rated it really liked it
O filme, o livro... os dois? Se por um lado Visconti quis dar toda a graça e dignidade ao Príncipe, Lampedusa apenas faz por lembrar que ele já a tinha. O autor mostra-nos a vida da "família Leopardo", da perspectiva do patriarca da Casa di Salina, aos 46 anos, no começo do seu declínio físico e social. Com tanto para dizer e para explorar, este romance parece demasiado curto ao ver as páginas voar. Do que trata mesmo? - como já vi noutro comentário: há três cadáveres, um no início (quase parece ...more
Luís Blue Coltrane
"Everything will continue as before, only more wealthy. The people had neither land reform nor Republic, or autonomy. The aristocracy gentrifies up and the bourgeoisie purchase titles of nobility. The stagnation, the cyclopean immobility, an ancient people and that intended as ever. a backdrop for a powerful novel."

I'm delighted with the richness of language and sarcastic speeches of Don Fabrizio

The adaptation for cinema was made by the principal actors/actresses:

-Burt Lancaster
-Alain Delon
-Clau
...more
Maria Thomarey
Nov 14, 2015 Maria Thomarey rated it it was amazing
Το γκρέμισμα του παλιού δεν φέρνει πάντα καλύτερο νέο , και μοιάζει σαν το πάτημα του γατοπααρδου. Αρχοντικό που όμως στον πέρασμα του τα κάνει όλα γης μαδιάμ
Simona Bartolotta
Aug 29, 2015 Simona Bartolotta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 1900
"Del resto il nome di Salina basterebbe a render conto di tutto."

Questa per me è stata un po' la settimana delle sorprese. Come mi è da poco successo per La famiglia Manzoni, già dopo aver sfogliato le prime pagine de Il Gattopardo ho capito di essere davanti a un romanzo psicologico, prima ancora che a un romanzo storico, uno di quei romanzi il cui valore risiede nel percorso dei personaggi prima ancora della ricostruzione storica, per quanto inscindibili, nella fattispecie, possano essere ques
...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Jun 04, 2015 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2015
**Ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-rilettura annuale: La meraviglia :')
QUANTO AMO QUESTO LIBRO!!!!**


Il gattopardo rientra tra i cinque classici più belli che io abbia mai letto. E, senza voler esagerare, anche tra i venti libri in generale. E, diamine, conoscendomi vuol dire che è un signor libro.
L'ho letto nel lontano 2004, in prima liceo.. Ovviamente non consenziente: mi era piaciuto, ma l'avevo trovato lento in modo esasperante.
Ecco. Credo che il fatto che sia un testo OBBLIGATORIO in molte scuole lo rov
...more
SCARABOOKS
Apr 30, 2013 SCARABOOKS rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La Sicilia io l’ho sempre vista come la terra degli eccessi: ciò che è gentile o spietato, saporito o scialbo, dolce o amaro, profumato o fetido, innocente o sensuale e via aggettivando in Sicilia lo è moltiplicato per enne volte. Mi piace per questo, come pochi altri posti al mondo. E quindi tutte le virtù e tutti i vizi nazionali e non solo possono essere individuati e studiati nella storia e nel carattere dei siciliani come sotto una lente di ingrandimento. Aiuta più il Gattopardo a comprende ...more
Tim Pendry
A truly magnificent novel, appropriately regarded as a classic of not merely of Italian but of modern european literature. Where to start with the praise! Perhaps with the style which is limpid and evocative, crisp and detached, and yet able to convey emotion and feeling.

But it is the content that is the core of the novel and, as so often, you have to ask not only about the ostensible period of the story but the context of the writing. This is a story written in the post-war era about the Risorg
...more
Spiros
Sep 19, 2007 Spiros rated it it was amazing
"If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change" is the keynote paradox propounded by Tancredi Falconeri to his uncle, Prince Fabrizio Salina, as the young impoverished noble goes to join the Garibaldini, to fight for an independent Sicily and a unified Italy. Don Fabrizio is taken aback; he after all lives his life on a Copernican paradigm, with himself at the center of the universe. Tancredi is representative of a Darwinian world, with his ability to adapt to circumstances, ...more
James
The Leopard, 1958, (filmed in 1963), is sometimes compared to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. It drew on the author's family history and described the reactions of a noble family to the social and political landscape following Sicily's appropriation by Garibaldi in 1860. Lampedusa published nothing during his lifetime except for three articles that appeared in an obscure Genoese periodical in the 1920s.
"The Prince was depressed: "All this shouldn't last; but it will, always; the human 'a
...more
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Tomasi was born in Palermo to Giulio Maria Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa and Duke of Palma di Montechiaro, and Beatrice Mastrogiovanni Tasca Filangieri di Cutò. He became an only child after the death (from diphtheria) of his sister. He was very close to his mother, a strong personality who influenced him a great deal, especially because his father was rather cold and detached. As a child he studied ...more
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“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” 105 likes
“Love. Of course, love. Flames for a year, ashes for thirty.” 68 likes
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