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The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo's David

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  31 reviews
As a colossal statue takes shape in Renaissance Florence, the lives of a master sculptor and a struggling painter become stunningly intertwined.

Florence, 1500. Fresco painter Jacopo Torni longs to make his mark in the world. But while his peers enjoy prestigious commissions, his meager painting jobs are all earmarked to pay down gambling debts.

When Jacopo hears of a compet
Kindle Edition
Published May 31st 2020 by The Scriptorium
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  125 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Pamela Allegretto
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Laura Morelli treats the reader to her rare talent for weaving history, fact, and fiction into a well-written, unique, and memorable tale. Each word is a masterful brushstroke in this rich, expressive dialogue that engages all the senses. The protagonist: acclaimed painter, sculptor, and architect, Jacopo Torni, with all his flaws and virtues, steals the show.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://historicalfictionreader.blogsp...

Laura Morelli’s The Giant reads like a love letter to all fans of Renaissance art and the myriad of artists who produced it.

I am not well-versed in the subject matter and had not heard of Jacopo Torni before picking up Morelli’s work. That said, I quickly fell in love with Morelli's flawed characterization of the fresco painter and his quest to succeed despite his personal shortcomings. In a genre littered with heroines who
Deb Farrell
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was historical fiction but VERY interesting. It is the story of the creation of “The David” sculpture in Florence. Michelangelo is summoned back to Florence from Rome, by his friend, Jacopo Torini, a.k.a. L’Indaco, to compete for the commission to carve The David from a huge block of granite, which has been lying abandoned for a couple of decades in a church yard. Jacopo, is a painter, who is tormented by lack of confidence and feels always he is in Michelangelo’s shadow of fame. I peeked a ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Two and a half stars. While this purports to be a novel of Michelangelo's David, it's really a novel about Jacopo Torni, Michelangelo's friend. Torni is extremely jealous of Michelangelo's success. He spends the book gambling and constantly letting his spinster sister down. Sometimes Torni loves Michelangelo, sometimes he hates him. But Torni always wants to BE Michelangelo. I just didn't think there was much else to the plot beyond that. Then the book, which I thought had 40 more pages (but tha ...more
Alyssa Palombo
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a gorgeous and moving book. My blurb for it is below!

"Richly drawn and meticulously researched, THE GIANT tells the story of one of the most famous works of art in Western history through the lens of an intimate observer. Narrator Jacopo Torni guides us through the streets, taverns, art studios, and halls of power of Renaissance Florence with wit and heart, so that I've almost come to think of him as a friend of mine. A must read for those at all interested in the Renaissance or art his
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Big disappointment. Although I was forewarned, I still expected more about Michelangelo, the factor that drew me to this book, than I got. It was all about a virtually unknow artist that I have no interest in reading about. I did however enjoy being transported to Florence, in the 1500's, a time in history that I always love being immersed in, ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. The strong characters and the interaction and the plot were tremendous I felt as if I was part of the story. Don’t miss out once it’s released.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
As always, Morelli has produced an intriguing story set in post-Medici (1500's) Florence. I was a little surprised that although the statue of David done by Michelangelo gave the title to the story, Michelangelo was not the protagonist. But that probably made the story more interesting. The author's note reveals that Jacobo (a long time friend of Michelangelo) ended up living in Spain and becoming an architect, so I'm sort of hoping she might eventually explore his life here a little more. ...more
Karren Richards
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have had the pleasure of reading this extremely well written novel. As usual Laura never disappoints, the novel was easily read, whilst holding the attention of the reader, with fantastic story content. Amazing, once again, thank you Laura, I cannot wait to read your next novel. Many thanks Karren
Pat Mac
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting take from a different point of view on Michelangelo's sculpting the David from a flawed piece of marble. Seems tremendously well-researched, with a lot of insight into life in Renaissance Florence. At times the story flows evenly and quickly, but at others it seems a little forced. In general, an interesting read from an author who knows much of her subject. ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have two copies of this book. One is my pre-order purchase from Amazon and the other was given to me as a review copy by Laura Morelli's assistant. I didn't have the pre-order copy yet when I received the review copy, but I didn't have the time to review until now when I already had both copies.

The Giant is the story of how Michelangelo's David came to be. Creating an image of a shepherd boy from a huge block of marble appears to be an effort to make David as physically formidable as his giant
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The Giant" is the story of painter Jacopo Torni, who dreams of making a lasting mark on the art world with his painting. Instead, he is forced to take any job he can as long as it pays so he can pay down some longstanding debts. The jobs are not noteworthy and he finds himself jealous of the notoriety that so many of his fellow artists seem to be finding with ease. Suddenly he has the opportunity to hitch his star to his friend Michaelangelo, already famous in his own right, and Jacopo is ready ...more
Italy is one of my favourite holiday destinations. I’ve been there 3 times (2 were a day or so before a cruise so no time for a good look) and have never been able to spend anytime in Florence. But one day I will make it there, so this past week I was an armchair tourist around the years 1501-1504.

Laura Morelli is a new author to me, I’ve followed her on social media because of her love and passion for Italy. Click here to check out her website.

The Giant was released May 12th of 2020. It’s the s
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was honored to review a pre-release copy of THE GIANT. Had it not been for my family reminding me to get some sleep, I might have read it in a single sitting. The story was captivating, as were the descriptions of the streets of Florence, the artists’ studios, and more. Without hesitation, I give THE GIANT my highest recommendation.
Julianne Douglas
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest challenges in writing a historical novel about a figure as colossal as Michelangelo is finding the proper angle from which to view him, a perspective that will provide a dramatic narrative arc as well as insight into the man beneath the reputation. In her newly published novel, THE GIANT, art historian Laura Morelli examines Michelangelo's creation of the iconic statue of David, commissioned by the city of Florence in 1501, through the eyes of his friend and collaborator Jaco ...more
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I haved Laura Morelli's other books and was excited to read this one. Unfortunately it fell short of my expectations. The protagonist is a sad, desperate man who both admires and envies Michaelangelo. The story is more about him. I was anticipating a deeper connection to Michaelangelo and whatever emotion and perseverance when into carving arguably the most famous sculpture of all time.
Very disappointed.
Stephanie Cincotta
Jul 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Sophomoric at Best

I love a good historical novel with well developed characters. I also love Florence, Michelangelo and the hope and promise of the David. During a month in Florence, I went to sleep each night listening to Irving Stone's classic the Agony and Ecstasy until I knew the characters and locations intimately.

Morelli's 'main character lacks credibility in a historical sense unless of course it is a high schoolers first read. This is a book that fails to do justice to the period and wa
Måns Sunesson
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have a weak spot for novels set in renaissance Italy. Especially if they are well written. This one is, read it!

There's not a lot of action in this novel, yet it's still interesting all the way through! I liked the subtle yet ever present emotional tension between our main character and POV Jacopo Torni and the star of the book Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Renaissance Florence comes to life through the eyes of Jacopo "L'Indaco" Torni. And he himself is an intriguing character. If you don't mind the
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: italy
A beautifully written novel about the creation of one of the most famous works of art in history.
Norma Jean
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: I was gifted this manuscript in return for an honest evaluation.

Laura Morelli’s Art History Major background was well noted in “The Giant: a novel of Michelangelo’s David.” She chronicles the life and times of the 1500’s in Renaissance Florence, Italy through the eyes of Jacopo Torni, also known as “L’Indaco” or “Blue Boy,” a name given him by his childhood friend, Michelangelo Buonarotti (“Little Michael Angel”), the famous sculptor. As is Morelli’s way, we are introduced to quite a villa
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the title "The Giant" refers to Michelangelo's huge marble sculpture of David, the true story is about the friendship of Michelangelo and Jacopo. While Michelangelo is gifted with artistic commissions, his friend, Jacopo, is having lower level artistic success and falls into gambling debt. Additionally, Jacopo feels anxiety and pressure to save money because his parents have left his sister, Lucia, without a dowry to marry. I found myself caught up in the story as Jacopo struggles with ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it

The Giant: a novel of Michelangelo’s David by Laura Morelli as reviewed by Gail M. Murray
Art historian and novelist Laura Morelli brings the daily life of 16th century Florence vividly to life. When the Signoria announce a competition for an artist to sculpt a huge piece of marble, il gigante, that lies in the work yard of Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, Jacopo Torni (also called L’Indaco) notifies his boyhood friend Michelangelo. They had both studied under the painter Ghirlandaio. The former
Katherine Beaumont
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must read for anyone interested in Italian history and art

HUGE fan of Laura! And every book she has produced gives insight and a ‘voyeristic view into the lives and hearts of people who actually lived the history. Giant builds on this and provides historians and art lovers alike a ride that compels the reader to keep turning the page to devour more! Thank you for bringing this period of history to life and making it ‘real’. It has also helped me with my sons renaissance studies! Bonus.
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It started a little slow but I appreciated the depth of research Dr. Morelli invests in her work. It's an interesting concept - what happens when we are friends with a genius? Can we learn from them or do we get caught up in jealousy? It was also a very interesting way to understand the art world of this time - when da Vinci and Lippi and Michelangelo were all alive and in some ways competing. It also helps us understand the issues surrounding Florence at this time. Not a qu ...more
Zoe Disigny
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Laura Morelli does a superb job of setting the scene and placing the viewer in it. The gritty details of everyday life in Renaissance Florence are vividly revealed through the eyes of the hapless narrator, who happens to be Michelangelo’s close friend from childhood. I love how the author weaves the friend’s story with that of the great master, giving the reader a unique perspective on a very familiar icon. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read a prereleases copy of the Giant. I loved the characters. They grabbed me from the start. I wanted to get to know them better. I liked that they where so human with strengths and faults. I love the historical backdrop that was rich with detail. And I enjoyed the unfolding of the characters growing throughout the book. I highly recommend this book, and this author
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I delighted reading Laura Morelli’s story about Michelangelo’s David. This well-researched novel drops the reader into an intimate history of the time-period and lives of Jacopo "L'Indaco" Torni and Michelangelo "Little Michael Angel" Buonarotti. Captivated, I couldn't put this book down. I highly recommend! ...more
gj indieBRAG
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that THE GIANT: A Novel of Michelangelo's David by Laura Morelli is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money! ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Through reading this author's work, I have gained a greater appreciation for art and history. Well written and characters brought to life in each page. ...more
Jess Anne
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I thought this was a very well written historical fiction. I found it to be engaging and very interesting. This book is more about Jacopo Torni instead of Michelangelo, who I did not know much about. I found that made it a little harder for me to connect and understand the story. I found the story to be a little slow at times. But overall, I loved the story. If you’re a history fan, I would recommend this book!

Thank you Laura Morelli for the gifted book, in exchange for an honest review.
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