Barbara's Reviews > The Story of San Michele

The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe
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's review
Nov 08, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: memoir
Read in November, 2013

My father-in-law recommended this book after I'd visited Italy and taken a trip to Capri, and climbed the steps to Anacapri. The book was entertaining and well-written, but I was disappointed. I thought it would be more about the actual building of Munthe's house, San Michele, and his life in Anacapri. Instead, it was a memoir, mostly about the time he spent as a young and talented doctor in Paris and Rome. Many of the chapters are stand-alone "vignettes", in which Munthe writes about interesting patients, cases, colleagues, friends and foes, and the animals (which are some of the best parts) he met along the way. My main objection is that the book is too much like many stories I've read in writing groups, by older people who want to relate a funny encounter or coincidence that happened in their youth. I began to lose interest towards the end where Munthe only hints at things he has no intention of really writing about. It got to be annoying. I'm glad I read it but I feel compelled to put it into my "enjoyed it but can't think of anyone I'd pass it on to" pile. Actually, now that I think of it, I do have one friend who reads absolutely everything...

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11/08/2013 marked as: read

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