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Lampedusa: A Novel
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Lampedusa: A Novel

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Like Colm Tóibín’s The Master or Michael Cunningham’s The Hours , a novel about art and writing in the life of one of the greats

Set in a sun-drenched Sicily, among the decadent Italian aristocracy of the late 1950s, Steven Price’s Lampedusa explores the final years of Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of Lampedusa, as he struggles to complete his only novel, The Leopard.

In 1955
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  85 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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The descriptions of Sicily in here are genuinely transporting, and this is one of those rare books that earns its sentimentality. Elegant and precise and very, very sad.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc, can-con
The past seemed a great flowing passage through which his bloodline passed, back through the wastrel grandfathers and great-grandfathers, to the saints and holy men of the eighteenth century, to the legendary civic figures of the seventeenth and the royal granting of Lampedusa in 1667 and the first Tomasi's wedding to the heiress of Palma, and deeper, back up the coast to Naples, to Capua, and further back to Siena, and then into the fog of an almost time, to Lepanto or Cyprus or the age of Tib
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
A very literary story - as in both it's a story about Giuseppe Tomasi and his writing of The Leopard and written in a literary style. This wasn't a book to race through, the story and style of writing is excellent, but it is definitely one where slow reading must happen.

Lampedusa is longlisted for the 2019 Giller Prize and while it's extremely literary, it sits outside of the others on the list perhaps? It just has a very different sense to it - if I'm explaining that properly. It will be interesting
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fictionalized tale about a real historical figure, the writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. He only wrote one novel, The Leopard, which wasn't published until after his death but was celebrated as one of the greatest Italian works of literature. Giuseppe was also the last Prince of the island of Lampedusa, situated south of Sicily. I have to admit that going into this book I knew nothing about Lampedusa, the writer or the place. I suspected it might be based on a real man but I wasn't ...more
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Price’s fictionalized account of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s final months is a pleasure to read. So many aspects of this book are notable: the style of writing, the characters, the setting. I am now officially inspired to read The Leopard!
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5* Steven Price is becoming one of my favourite authors. I love his writing which I find so elegant, and he is a master at creating setting and atmosphere. He has the ability to transport me right into the book and he did that many times over the course of this novel. Lampedusa is one of the reading hi-lights of my year.
I think I might have read this at the wrong time. I picked it up because it's on the 2019 Giller shortlist, but also because I loved By Gaslight.

Like Gaslight, this oozes with atmosphere, and Price (also a poet) really knows how to turn a phrase. Characters are finely drawn, and I feel like I've been to Sicily. But, fitting to the subject matter, this is a slow, elegaic book, full of regret and sentimentality. It's never trite or unearned, but this leisurely, rather elegant book didn't capture m
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am pleasantly surprised and very glad that this book was long-listed for 2019 Giller Prize--One of Canada's many literary awards. One may argue its biggest. Canadian book prizes love 'canlit', literature about Canada and the Canadian 'experience'. Canlit books also tend to be quite inward looking, impressionistic, and lacking in plot; this is not. It's, therefore, a welcome change and addition to the prize-lit roster, as all books are that look outward to other countries and experiences as wel ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Masterpiece.
I had such a hard time getting into this story, not sure why. It was well written but my interest lagged throughout.
Steven Langdon
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: super
Steven Price's "By Gaslight" was a complex, textured mystery story, set in the gloomy fog of urban London. This novel is very different, set mostly in Sicily, tracing the melancholy life of Giuseppi Tomasi di Lampedusa, a local prince, as he reviews his experiences over the years, in the process of setting to write an epic novel which became "The Leopard," the most popular book in postwar Italy, with wide international sales.

Lampedusa's life started from a position of privilege in th
Graham McKenzie
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Lampedusa’ is an impressive achievement indeed, exploring the origins of ‘The Leopard’, and the influences on Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s life and sensibility, as well as offering a reconsideration of the great novel’s themes. One after another, the scenes are finely and deftly drawn, making this an immersive experience. The non-linear narrative works extremely well, focusing readers’ attention on the thematic concerns rather than a biographical plot. An added pleasure was the favourable men ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is shortlisted for the Canadian Giller Prize to be awarded in the fall of 2019. I like to read as many of the nominated books as I can so that I can enjoy the awards show and the various talk shows/podcasts that dissect the nominees.

Based on the cover synopsis I probably would not have picked this book up to read. Did I care about a dying Italian royal wanting to leave a legacy of his life? I love that the annual writing awards push me to read books that I would not naturally gravita
Geoffrey Kelley
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is an imaginative trip into the creation of a famous Italian novel, “The Leopard”, published in 1959. Steven Price takes us into the imagined world of Giuseppe di Lampedusa , the last of a long line of aristocrats living out the end of his life in reduced circumstances in Palermo, Sicily. Price uses rich descriptive language to explore the life and times of the Tomasi family, its entanglements with two world wars and the arrival of modernity. In his final years, Tomasi writes a novel ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A biographical novel that seeks to chronicle the last months of Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa as he suffered failing health and was inspired to write his novel "The Leopard", one of the best-selling Italian novels of the last century. Lampedusa lived through so much change -- as a prisoner of war in WWII; through the loss of several ancestral palaces and homes from bombing; living with his wife in near poverty in the decayed portion of one of these; and being childless, thus being the end of his ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
Nominated for the Giller Prize Short list 2019
I think there should be a suggestion for readers: Read "The Leopard" before beginning this book as this book is about the life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. Although this book was set in Italy, there didn't seem to be any of the passion and spontaneity which make up so much of the Italian character (thankfully Gugno has a fit of pure passion as he murders Julia). Must admit that Steven Price has a wonderful way of describing mankind's fears
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read because it is Longlisted for the Giller.

It took me a while to get into this book. Maybe because I was reading it on the bus and it needed more of a long sit down? I don't know. It gave me a lot to think on in terms of mortality and it definitely is a read that pulls on your emotions as you watch a man at the end of his life struggle to leave something behind. It was an average read for me. A nice one, but average.
Laurie Burns
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
I tend to prefer contemporary stories, and this is mostly set in the 1950s.
I also find it interesting that is the only book of the Giller short list that is not set in Canada.

I thought it was okay, I guess the subject matter was new to me and I felt like I spent the whole time trying to get into it.
Caroline Gray
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book. Beautifully conceived and written. A wonderful reading experience.
This is not bad as an audiobook, but it was a melancholic tale. The second part was so depressing as he awaited his death, I could only listen in small doses.
Rudy Seifert
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steven Price is a brilliant writer, with I hope a prolific future. This book was so different from "By Gaslight", but not a page was without melancholic beauty.
Gail Barrington
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful classic read. Nothing really happens and yet, a masterpiece gets written. The protagonist is fading fast but he manages to complete his great work. It was surprisingly engaging.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: can-lit, read-2019
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