Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La palabra se hizo carne” as Want to Read:
La palabra se hizo carne
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La palabra se hizo carne

(Commissario Brunetti #21)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  4,534 ratings  ·  570 reviews
El cadáver de un hombre desfigurado aparece flotando en un canal. No hay denuncias de desapariciones, el hombre no lleva documentación, ha perdido un zapato, y Brunetti sólo cuenta con el informe del forense para su investigación: el difunto sufría una extraña enfermedad. Sin embargo, el comisario tiene la rara intuición de que conoce a la víctima; inexplicablemente, sabe ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Seix Barral (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,534 ratings  ·  570 reviews

Sort order
Alex is The Romance Fox
This still remains one of my favourite crime/thriller series.
From the 1st line..............I was hooked once again!!
A man lay still, as still as a piece of meat on a slab, as still as death itself.
Beastly Things, the 21st mystery in Donna Leon's Commisario Guido Brunetti Series starts with a body of a man stabbed to death is found floating in one of Venice's canal, whose identity is only revealed half-way through the story.

Brunetti and his side-kick, Vianello The dead man is identified as a
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I put these Commissario Brunetti novels in the same category as I do the TV series "Midsomer Murders" - a kind of comfort food for the mind. In neither case, nothing outstanding - just gentle humour and human kindness in a beautiful setting contrasted with the ugliness of real life. This is No. 21 in the Brunetti books I own, and as usual, Donna Leon did not let me down.

Once again, Brunetti pursues in his rather casual way his major interests: family, food and meting out justice (in that order).
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WHEW, the funeral at the very ending gave it the 5th star. A Mass with the creatures honoring their doctor. This is a shock- my giving a Donna Leon Brunetti (#21 in the series on top of it) a 5 star. But this one meshed. Totally.

It's early to mid spring and Venice and its canals, the tides which carry a body, the columns and the water gates-all are cored completely into the story. Patta, Elettra, Vianello- and all of the Brunettis become defined in such dialogue! From literary asides of comparis
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Donna Leon
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: browing my local bookstore
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Leon has written a sombre book exploring themes of aging, death, and ethical choices. The sombre note is sounded with a two-page opening which leisurely inspects a nameless corpse in the police morgue. Despite his damaged condition and physical impairments he is viewed with hushed dignity, a mood created by the pronoun 'he' rather than 'it' and the many reminders that this man was recently alive. “It was cold in the room, the only sound the heavy wheeze of the air conditioning. The man's thick c ...more
Lewis Weinstein
As she often does, Donna Leon raises issues of social and personal responsibility in a way that supports her exciting story and gives the reader much to think about. The political corruption and governmental incompetence strikes close to home for American readers.

All people are weak some times, and Leon positions those who love them to choose whether to accept/forgive that aspect of humanity or whether the offense is egregious enough to end the relationship. There are consequences.

For the faint
Donna Leon's "Beastly Things" is one among a long standing series of mysteries revolving around Commissario Guido Brunetti, taking place in the heart of Venice, Italy. It's my first novel in the progressive series, but from what I understand, it's a mystery that's self-contained, so readers who are just joining the series can partake with it without feeling like they've missed anything. For me, I didn't have as intimate a connection with Guido Brunetti as perhaps other readers who've followed th ...more
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
BEASTLY THINGS. (2012). Donna Leon. ****.
When you hear the name Donna Leon or the title of one of her mysteries, what’s the first thing you think of? VENICE! Close, but that’s not it – even though all her mysteries are set in that city and presided over by Commissario Guido Brunetti. Another try? How about his wife and her superb cooking? That’s it. It is common for Italian men to make their way back to their home to have lunch with their family. We’re not talking peanut butter and jelly sandwic
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Naomi

I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Publication date: April 17, 2012.

This is the first book I read by Donna Leon and I really liked it.

The plot is about a murder investigation when the body of a man is found in a canal without any kind of identification.

Commissario Brunetti is in charge of this crime and the police takes at least two days in order to find the true identify of the unknown victim since nobody claims for his dis
Gloria Feit
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There usually are three common elements in any Guido Brunetti mystery: The City of Venice plays a central role. Then there is the crime for the Commissario to solve. And, lastly, there is a significant social issue running through the novel. This, the 21st novel in the series, is no exception. A man is fished out of a Venetian canal, having been stabbed in the back. Brunetti sets off to find the murderer, and witnesses corruption on a massive scale among public officials and private business.

First Sentence: A man lay still, as still as a piece of meat on a slab, as still as death itself.

It starts with a body found in a canal; stabbed to death, no wallet and wearing only one shoe. His physical structure should make him fairly easy to identify, and does. A man who loves animals and is separated from his wife who seems not to particularly care that her husband is dead. But it is the man’s secondary profession which raises questions, not only about the murder, but about the politics and
Beverly Swerling
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Leon's Brunetti series for the writing, the superb characterization, and the exquisite evocation of beautiful Venice. If her stories display cracks it is in the area of plot, and in Beastly Things that fissure is a bit wider than usual. It isn't that the events that create incident in BT are illogical or forced - sometimes what we mean when we talk of a less than wonderful plot. The problem here is predictability. Everything fits too well.

Leon writes with no foreshadowing, that's part o
Toni Osborne
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 21 in the Commissario Brunetti series

The appeal in this series has been the leisurely approach Commissiario Brunnetti has in solving crimes, it was refreshing to see him pick up the pace and exert himself with a lot more hands on action this time. The structure has not change a whole lot, we still experience Venice through the eyes of Brunetti and of course his wonderful family and their customs always play an important part in the staging of the mystery. This novel explores the dark side o
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
This series is one of the books I read time to time. Though they are under the category of mystery/crime, I see these books more like fiction novels.
I like how author presents the social and emotional sides of each event. It is not just solving the crime, it is reasons, effects, before and afterwards.
* Though I like meat a lot, I am seriously considering going vegan.
* At the end the funeral, so touching..
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, viihde
Nopealukuinen ja ihan ok Brunetti-kirja, jossa tällä kertaa keskityttiin enemmän juoneen kuin Brunettin perheen tai ruoan kuvaamiseen. Näitä lukee aina mielellään, vaikkei näissä sen syvällisempää monesti olekaan. Tämänkin kirjan eläinsuojelullinen anti jäi aika ohueksi.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very exciting to go to the library and find the latest Donna Leon novel, set always in Venice. The author chooses a contemporary Italian problem as the nexus of each novel; in this case the safety of the meat industry. Commissario Guido Brunetti will find a way to deliver justice, but maybe not the legal way--in Italy, that could take too long. In this book Brunetti enters the 21st century--when he enters his office, there is a computer on his desk. Usually he relies on Pucetti and Signorina Ele ...more
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike several of Donna Leon's most recent Brunetti mysteries, this one has a very clear-cut position on exactly who is guilty of what, and the matter is resolved in pretty much the traditional mystery way. The title refers both to the murder victim, who is a veterinarian, and to a slaughterhouse and meat-processing plant where he worked. At one point Brunetti visits the killing floor, and I will not be surprised if he follows his daughter in becoming a vegetarian in the next book. Perhaps I'm j ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading a Guido Brunetti novel is like meeting up with an old friend. You know what to expect, but it's always enjoyable, usually stimulating and sometimes surprising. Based broadly around issues of animal welfare and ethical food production, Beastly Things has the usual mix of Byzantine Italian politics, power and privilege. This one is a little more mainland-based than usual, but still provides a Venice fix for fellow Italophiles. There's more sexual politics than usual, and the novel has a ha ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favourite Brunetti novels so far. The characterisation of this one is more varied with all the characters being drawn well. It is another insight into Venetian life, this time also drawing on issues of the mainland. I have just come back from from a wonderful trip to Venice which made Venice even more vivid. Great background stories as well as a really interesting crime. Would really recommend this book.
May 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Workmanlike police detective novel based in Venice, Italy. Inspector Brunetti is on a case of man found dead in the canal and uncovers a plain little ruse in an abbatoir in Mestre. So in fact, most of the case occurs in Mestre, one of the dullest places in the world.

Frankly, there are better things to read.
L.E. Fidler seems i've reached an impasse with this series (only my second book in but the 21st in the lot).

i like guido - he's a gentle presence in a detective story. there's a lot of thinking and drinking coffee and dealing with his wife and the politics of venice and more coffee and then a tidy wrap up to his mystery. it's a little like the "midsomer murders" series - you could pretty much fall asleep for parts of it but still enjoy it and not miss anything crucial.

these aren't "try to solve them
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This might have been the installment of one of my favorite series that broke through to five stars, and there is so much to recommend it. From the tight plotting of the mystery, to the nuanced prose (with a lovely allusion to one of Paul's letters), to the satisfying conclusion and tear-inducing funeral for the murdered man, along with the strong moral fiber that underlies each Brunetti book.

But here is also where it fell short for me. Brunetti's deep sense of ethics, informed by his constant r
Ich bin immer etwas zwiegespalten beim Lesen der Brunetti Bücher. Zum einen kann ich mich aufgrund von regelmäßiger Rückkehr ins Brunetti Universum über einen Zeitraum von bald 20 Jahren sofort in Brunettis Venedig verorten. Kaum eine Welt ist mir vertrauter (vielleicht abgesehen von Harry Potters’), kaum eine Wohnung gemütlicher als die, die ich für Familie Brunetti in meinem Kopf entworfen habe. Zum anderen habe ich in den letzten 20 Jahren so viel mehr gelesen, so viel mehr reflektiert und mi ...more
2.5, rounded up for Christmas. The story is slight, and Leon draws it out languorously, but Brunetti's wife and children make only brief appearances, so the charm quotient is low.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vianello, Signorina Ellettra, and Guido Brunetti's daughter all gave up eating meat, especially beef, some time ago, for humanitarian reasons and also because so many diseased animals end up in the food chain. The topic is beginning to give gourmand Brunetti serious pause. When he's assigned to the case of a veterinarian whose body, punctured with stab wounds, is found floating in a canal, he'll soon have even more reasons to watch what he eats.

Beastly Things is a fine police procedural, in whic
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Comissario Guido Brunetti understands all too well the depth of corruption in the government of his native country. He is saddened by a culture that is whipped to a frenzy by the death of a pretty young girl while ignoring the more important issues. (Sound familiar?) When a veterinarian's body is found in a canal, Brunetti's investigation leads to a corrupt slaughterhouse that is allowing sick and diseased animals to be processed for meat. There are some uncomfortable scenes that may enforce veg ...more
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Commissario Guido Brunetti is the main character in all of the Donna Leon books. Ms. Leon has lived in Venice for thirty years now and her books just get better and better. None of her books, not even "Beastly Things" ever cross the line of decency. They are the kind of books I could lend to my daughter or my mother. Venice is the setting and of course the Commissario, as a lead Venice detective, is a decent and likable character, as are most of the rest of his cohorts. Of course his boss is a n ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? I just LOVE Guido and his family; Vianello grows so much more intersting and wise; Pucetti expands into the picture.. and Ms Leon manages to keep things current and intesting even as I become more and more a part of Venice! I can even remember, when the books started, no telefonino and Senorina Eletra was THE wunderkind of the computer. Now Guido has his own machine and dips his toe into browsing on his own...not the main thrust of the story, of course, but some things that just ...more
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting reading this after the recent earthquake in Italy and the findings that many of the buildings were not reconstructed correctly due to corruption. Corruption is something that Brunetti deals with in every case. The mystery that begins this book is the death of a veterinarian , which leads to a slaughterhouse which leads to corruption. The mystery is never really the important parts of these books it is Brunetti and how he thinks, and what is going on in Venice that makes this b ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Donna Leon is better than ever in her twenty-first novel, Beastly Things, in the Commissario Guido Brunetto mytery series. As stated in the Globe and Mail (Canada) "Leon's characters are more interesting now than they were eighteen years ago." A dead man shows up in the canals of Venice, the territory of Commissario Guido Brunetti. With the help of Inspector Vianello and Signorina Elletra, Brunelli detects the influence of the administrators of the slaughterhouse were the dead veterinarian ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A man is pulled out of a Venice canal with stab wounds in his back and Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate. From the beginning this book is a disappointment in a usually fine series. The man is given a rare disease that seems to serve no other plot purpose than to shorten the investigation into his identity. The solution to the murder is clear from about the middle of the book. It appears that the author’s purpose in writing the book was to convince readers to become vegetarians. If so ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Track of Sand (Inspector Montalbano, #12)
  • Deep Waters (Cetin Ikmen, #4)
  • Black Diamond (Bruno, Chief of Police #3)
  • Una brutta faccenda (Il commissario Bordelli #2)
  • The Honey Guide (Mollel, #1)
  • Il giorno dei morti. L'autunno del commissario Ricciardi
Donna Leon (born September 29, 1942, in Montclair, New Jersey) is an American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional hero Commissario Guido Brunetti.

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for over twenty-five years. She has worked as a lecturer in English Literature for the University of Maryland University College - Europe (UMUC-Europe) in Italy, then as a Professor

Other books in the series

Commissario Brunetti (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)
  • Death in a Strange Country (Commissario Brunetti, #2)
  • Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti, #3)
  • Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti, #4)
  • Acqua Alta (Commissario Brunetti, #5)
  • Quietly in Their Sleep (Commissario Brunetti, #6)
  • A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti, #7)
  • Fatal Remedies (Commissario Brunetti, #8)
  • Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti, #9)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, dear friends and companions: we are here today to say goodbye to our brother Andrea, who to many of us was far more than a friend. He was healer and helper, someone who comforted us when we were worried about our friends and who dedicated himself with love and devotion to taking care of them, and of us, for he knew that we are all children of the same God, who delights to see the love we bring to one another. He cured us all, he healed us all, and he helped us all, and in those instances when his powers could not heal our friends, it was Andrea who advised us when it was time to help our friends make their last journey, and who always stayed with us so that neither we, nor they, would be alone when they started on their way along that road. Just as he helped us bear the unhappiness of their parting from us, let us hope that our friends will help us bear the unhappiness of his parting from us.” 0 likes
More quotes…