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The Revolution of the Moon

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  507 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
From the author of the Inspector Montalbano series comes the remarkable account of an exceptional woman who rises to power in 17th century Sicily and brings about sweeping changes that threaten the iron-fisted patriarchy, before being cast out in a coup after only 27 days.

Sicily, April 16 1677. From his deathbed, Charles III's viceroy, Anielo de Guzmán y Carafa, marquis o
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Europa Editions (first published 2013)
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Eric Anderson
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently I was discussing with someone what makes good historical fiction. The kind of historical novels I love most are those that build stories out of footnotes in history to give you a different perspective on a particular time period. There are often little intriguing details you come across in historical accounts which obviously have larger stories to tell. It provides such a tempting jumping off point for an author to fictionally fill in the gaps within history books. Pursuing the question ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Camilleri is amazing: using the minimal information recorded, he writes a wonderful historical fiction novel about Donna Eleonora di Mora, who governed Sicily as its Viceroy for just one month in 1677, following the death of her husband. She is strikingly beautiful, compassionate, and courageous and does a remarkable job rooting out corruption, bribery, and debauchery among the ruling council and Church. Eleonora brings new laws, helping the poor city and unfortunates, becoming beloved by the pe ...more
Paul Bk
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Revolution of the Moon - Andrea Camilleri

A delight to read, The Revolution of the Moon is rich in humour and pathos but equally intellectually rewarding and thought provoking. A beautifully imagined recreation of seventeenth century Sicily. Donna Eleonora Di Mora, is named as Viceroy when her husband dies. The ruling Council is forced to accept her authority until the king either confirms her position or sends a replacement from Spain. Donna Eleonora knows that Palermo is poverty stricken an
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italia
Avrebbero potuto essere quattro le stelle per questo ultimo libro di Camilleri, perché mi è piaciuta l’idea di narrare un fatto scritto nelle cronache della storia siciliana in una o al massimo due righe, e cioè l’incarico di Vicerè svolto per circa un mese nel 1677 da una donna, la vedova del Vicerè don Angel de Guzman, Donna Eleonora di Mora, unico caso di una donna al vertice del potere politico in Sicilia, introducendovi vicende che espressamente richiamano quanto accade oggi: vi troviamo qu ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One obscure Sicilian event from 1677 becomes the vehicle for a parable of good and evil as a female steps into a ruling role for 27 days of reform and a touch of revenge. Camilleri's particular talent for farce comes into play, though I missed his usual tolerance for bad acts. There was a tad more vulgarity than I would have liked, but this man remains one of my favorite authors. Happy to know another English translation of one of his original books will arrive in December.
The brief slice of history explained in this book was interesting, so I'm glad I listened to it. I was impressed by Dona Eleonora and the reforms she made during her brief time as acting Viceroy (in late 17th-century Sicily, following her husband's death). I also enjoyed the bits of Spanish language in the text. (Sicily was under Spain's rule at the time.) I just didn't find the writing enthralling enough to rate the book higher.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-novel
A little know historical event treated with the wry humor we all know from the Inspector Montalbano series. If you enjoy that series, you will enjoy this book. In 1677, a woman becomes viceroy of Sicily upon the death of her husband. For the next 27 days (a revolution of the moon), she institutes sweeping changes while being undermined at every turn by the misogyny of the narrow-minded Holy Royal Council. Camilleri evokes the "palace intrigue" with perception and wit.
Women rule, OK!

Andrea Camilleri takes a break from his popular Montalbano crime books to bring us his imagining of a tiny slice of Sicilian history: an enjoyable mix of 17th century feminism meets House of Cards.

In 1677, Sicily is ruled by Spain. When the Viceroy don Angel de Guzmán dies during the course of a Council meeting with his ministers, these horribly corrupt bigwigs take it upon themselves to sweep through a mass of orders that will favour only themselves. Then arrives the stunning new
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's 1677 in Palermo, and the Sicilians have just lost their Spanish Viceroy. The Viceroy's council takes advantage of his death, by agreeing a variety of profitable payoffs to themselves, fully expecting that one of them will succeed to the title, however, to their collective horror, they quickly learn that the Viceroy has 'left' the Viceroy's title to his wife, Eleonora, in his will.

Based on an historical event, Andrea Camilleri has woven a bittersweet, if often very wry and funny, parable of
Marita Conesa
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gran historia la de Doña Eleanora, que consiguió en su momento marcar una gran diferencia y a la vez, mostrar al mundo que el papel de la mujer en esta sociedad machista, está infravalorado.
Audrey Terry
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Sally Edsall
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A parable for the modern day. About misogyny, corruption and sexual abuse perpetrated by "seniors of the church".

There's Camilleri's trademark sardonic humour, including the phrase "don't bust my balls" more usually employed by Commissario Montalbano.

An easy read based on historical fact - the 27 days Eleonora, a woman, was, under the King of Spain who ruled Sicily at the time, the Viceroy, upon the death of her husband.

Eventually the church had her deposed, but in the meantime she managed to d
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are familiar with Camilleri, it is probably because of his Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily (one of my favorites). This is one of Camilleri's historical novels that have been translated into English and is full of his trademark wry humor and moral indignation. Based on a little known event, the year is 1677, and the Spanish Viceroy to Sicily has just died transferring power in his will to his wife, Donna Elenora. Her reign will be only 28 days, the cycle of the moon, but her enli ...more
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finito
Un critico ha definito quest’ultima opera di Camilleri un “romanzo perfetto”. Concordo assolutamente con tale definizione perché la trama è avvincente, ha i giusti punti di attrazione e di suspence, l’eroina ed l’antagonista sono ben delineati, i comprimari caratterizzati da pochi ma giusti elementi. Camilleri ha veramente una penna felice quando mette a nudo una società dove i vizi superano di gran lunga le virtù, e fustiga con grande humor ma anche con indignazione tutti gli aspetti e i person ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digital
Non si può non vibrare della stessa indignazione di Donna Eleonora davanti ai soprusi commessi dai consiglieri corrotti, e non si può non schierarsi dalla parte di lei, come il protomedico Don Serafino. Forse lettori e lettrici non saranno colti dalla vampa d'amore che avvolge il solo amico fidato che la Viceré anomala avrà nei 28 giorni del suo governo sulla Sicilia, ma non è difficile immaginarne l'effetto come lo descrive l'autore, e poiché ci piace figurarci dalla parte dei giusti, non potre ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gem of a book!
This is the only book of Camilleri's that I know of that isn't in the Inspector Montalbano series.
Montalbano is a great character, and I enjoyed so many of the novels in the series, but must admit that a few made me snarl in disappointment at their superficial treatment by their author. Were vacation days being used to phone in the stories? I don't know the reason why some books come crashing down while others-- from the same hand, mind, soul -- soar.

This stand-alone novel i
Tra i pochi libri di Camilleri che abbiamo letto, "La rivoluzione della luna" è quello più fastidioso. Sembra di leggere una cattiva traduzione perché il vocabolario è pseudo dialettale mentre la struttura del periodo è italiana. Prendiamo una frase qualsiasi:

"Ma accussì facenno, il sò corpo pirdiva l'appiombo, si sbalanzava e viniva a gravari supra alla gamma avanzata epperciò chi s'attrovava a reggirlo da quel lato doveva essiri capaci di sostiniri il piso di tutta quella gran massa di carni".
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Featuring some of the most masterful plotting I've ever encountered, this short novel (inspired by a true story) is set in 1600s Sicily. A Duke dies and in an unorthodox move names his wife, the Duchess, to take his place as the head of local government (under the Spanish crown). There the noble and righteous woman comes up against a council of deeply corrupt men. We know from the outset that her term lasts only about a month (hence the title), and the contest for power between these two sides i ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this book through GoodReads Giveaway.
What a fun and entertaining novel. It is mix of Don Quixote and The Queen of Hearts from Alice in the Wonderland. At least it felt like it to me. I was laughing at all the absurd and grotesque situations and characters. It is historical, fiction novel, based on a true story, set in Sicily 1677.
After the death of viceroy, Angel De Guzman, his successor become his wife Eleonora. She is intelligent, skilled women, with political and administrative knowle
It is a fascinating story of politics, corruption and gender, based on an actual historical incident – the single month in 1677 when the Spanish king’s viceroy in Sicily was a woman, the widow of the previous viceroy, whom he named to succeed him in the event of his death.
Dona Eleonora di Mora immediately begins to use her office to right the wrongs she sees on the streets of Palermo, cutting the price of bread, providing relief to overburdened families, shelter for abused women and children, an
Glen U
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrea Camilleri, of Inspector Montalbano fame, takes a little known incident in the late 1600's and turns it into a wonderful short historical fiction novel, filled with the wry humor and "good over evil" that is in his detective tales. The writing is sparse but direct and the story is well paced and easy to read. We follow Dona Eleonora trials and tribulations as the Viceroy of Sicily for her short but highly effective reign and her campaign against the corruption of the then ruling class. A c ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads giveaways.

I enjoy historical fiction and would recommend The Revolution of the Moon to those who enjoy this genre as well. I was very intrigued by the main character Donna Eleonara, known as the most beautiful woman. I wasn't sure if she was being inspired by her Catholic upbringing or by revenge. I'm still not 100% sure, but I am leaning towards her religion. I loved how she put the men in their places in such an intelligent
Domenico Cinalli
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magari il ciclo di Montalbano può mostrare qualche (ovvio) segno di logoramento, ma quando si insinua nei fatti della storia e ne tira fuori una versione romanzata, Camilleri sbaglia di rado. Come al solito (non) stupisce (più, in realtà,) la sua maestria nel tratteggiare i ritratti di protagonisti e coprotagonisti, tanto che anche i più infami suscitano interesse se non empatia. E poi non smentisce mai la sua capacità di creare episodi altamente 'teatrali', durante i quali è impossibile non rap ...more
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While based on an actual incident in 1677, the author reveals that the historical record of Eleonora de Moura’s month as viceroy of Sicily is sparse. His recreation of the historical moment is fascinating and is recommended for readers who appreciate even a transient victory of good over evil. His Eleonora is highly intelligent and able to outmaneuver her opponents at almost every turn. The problem is that these opponents are so venal and corrupt and downright evil that the book has little of th ...more
Gina Dalfonzo
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A disturbing book in a lot of ways. The descriptions of the depth of the corruption and abuse among the city's leadership are very hard to read, especially as so much of the book they're countered only by a character who seems like a complete cipher. At last, it's revealed what makes Donna Eleonora tick, a simple but profound revelation that truly resonated with me, and I started to like both her and the book a lot better. I still can't help wishing the revelation had taken place a little earlie ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book, beautifully written. It tells the absorbing story, based on a historical character, of a woman in 17th century Spanish-ruled Sicily who becomes Viceroy when her husband dies unexpectedly in office. She is surrounded by venal, corrupt men, but proves to be no easy pushover, though her rule lasts but one cycle of the moon. Very pleasing, with themes that strongly resonate today. I enjoy Camilleri's Montalbano books, but this is completely different.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who needs to deal with a "basket of deplorables"
Shelves: italy, new
A very well crafted imagining of an incident in 17th century Sicily, in which the Viceroy died and, for 27 days, was succeeded by his widow, Dona Eleonora di Mora, who managed to enact several reforms in her brief reign. Camilleri shows her adroitly circumventing (and eventually imprisoning) the corrupt members of the Royal Council, who resemble nothing so much as Donald Trump's Cabinet. A fun, suspenseful read.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Translated from Italian, the writing is melodious and story fascinating. It’s a quirky book told by a third-person narrator who observes, and sees into the minds, of everyone. Lots of “dons” and desires to keep track of, but worth it. What might make this novel truly stellar is to hear the story from donna Eleanora’s point of view. Even though the novel is about, and revolves around, her, she remains somewhat of an enigma.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story of the first vicereine (insofar as I know) of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, doña Eleonora di Mora, is full of her cleverness in outwitting the venal scoundrels of the Holy Royal Council. In only twenty-seven days, she manages the unthinkable. While Camilleri admits to fictionalizing parts of the story, it's an entertaining read. 3.75 stars, but recommended.
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Andrea Camilleri (born september 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) is an Italian writer. He is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of both 20th and 21st centuries.

Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. Around this time he joined the Italian Communist Party.

More about Andrea Camilleri