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Imprimatur: O Segredo do Papa

(Atto Melani #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,703 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Imprimatur é um thriller histórico apaixonante, de grande intensidade detectivesca, que veio agitar o universo literário europeu pelo efeito sísmico que as suas revelações corroboradas por documentos históricos produziram. Esta obra lança uma nova luz sobre a nossa visão de um dos séculos mais ricos da história da Europa, e sobre as personalidades de muitos daqueles que o ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published 2004 by Editorial Presença (first published March 2002)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,703 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Harry Allagree
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Throughout this very lengthy, but absolutely intriguing novel, I couldn't figure out why this book had been banned in Rome. Sure, it deals with Innocent XI whom it took centuries to finally get beatified, and sure, despite the consistency of historians of the Papacy in depicting him as a simple, humble, saintly figure, he obviously had a few flaws. After 500 or so pages, I just couldn't figure out why it'd been banned. Until...the Addendum, the Notes, & the other historical documents at the ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
I bought Imprimatur by Rita Monaldi and Francesco Sorti a while back, but totally forgot about it. I discovered and read it last month. I wouldn't go so far as calling it a page-turner but it was an interesting book to read. The fact that the authors did a lot of reasearch before publishing this novel was obvious but they could have done a better job presenting their finds. Long story short, it is an enjoyable read but it lacks dept. What Monaldi & Sorti wrote is not a bad book, but in opini ...more
Al Bità
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was apparently popular in Europe. Its initial boycotting in Italy no doubt added to its popularity. Set in Rome in the late seventeenth century it deals with the events of nine days in that city, when a number of strangers are quarantined in an Inn. The motley group potentially holds spies, maybe assassins, etc, and as the events unfold there is more than an innuendo that the Church was very much involved in shady and undercover political operations.

As I am very much aware
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was hard to read this book. Pages would be devoted to obscure history lessons and conjecture, as if the authors had returned from the library determined to show off everything they've read.

While there is a detective type story at the heart of the book, it is simply surrounded by too much other stuff (junk) to make for an enjoyable read.

Perhaps this book would only be enjoyable for those that truly believe the Church can do no wrong. Then, the allegations contained with
Sep 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not worth losing time for that one, I have been trying to finish it but it's so boring I can't stand it anymore. You might think this has the same style as the Da Vinci code but it's not, it's just a book made by some historians who think they can write a novel by just spitting out all their knowledge of the middle age
Ana Petrina
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That is what I call a mystery novel!
A great mix of history, facts, nuanced characters, murder and betrayal, truth and lies. I was amused the whole time, I learned a great deal on history of France and the catholic church and I could almost smell the sewers and catacombs of old Rome!
I can't wait to read the other two books in the series!
Irene Soldatos
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult book to rate. And it wasn't an easy book to read, either. If you're all for fast-paced action, this isn't for you. This unfolds slowly, with a great deal of mystery, and a great deal of attention to historical detail. I read it slowly, but I enjoyed reading it. Up until the last 100 pages or so, that is. Since the book is huge, a 100 pages from the end is practically nothing. But the thing is that, by that point, I was already tad disappointed. The mystery (for me) had been solve ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book of the series by Monaldi and Sorti has an interesting publishing history as it was not appreciated by the Catholic church in Italy. An engaging mystery, and as with Secretum, the characters actually existed, with the exception of the narrator in the two books so far published. A tight close read which leads one into interesting, historical spaces in Rome and a study into the politics of the 17th century preceding the second book. It is not a fast read, or you will miss something i ...more
Jelena Grujić - Lieutenant of Barad Dur
One of the most boring books I've ever read.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give it 10 stars, I would. Forget Dan Brown, here are some real mystery writers in the pure tradition of Mr. Umberto Eco. Be prepared to have : a:) a dictionary handy b:)cozy sofa c:)day off the morning after and d:) pen and paper to note those recipes! I mean, anybody even heard of cooking lettuce root?
I highly recommend to history fans, this is a brainy book, not a train station one.
Nothing so delightful as a eunuch on adventure! Atto Melani in Imprimatur, posted to Disruptive Dissertation

I am a big fan of the Latinate vocabulary and word play, especially given the challenge of translation from the original Italian into English. Bravo.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About halfway through I asked myself if I was actually enjoying this book, which should be a red flag normally, but I did ! The denouement (if that's the word) was fantastic and I felt that frenzy to read quicker than my eyes could manage.

The detail could be overwhelming if I was reading while travelling or late at night, but I appreciate the great effort that went into it - truly amazing !

The book is around 500 pages over 9 days and nights, but it doesn't drag as I expected it woul
DG Rampton
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love!!! That's not to say it was love at first sight. I had to work hard to make my way through the first few chapters and get used to the dense, rich rhetoric, crammed to overfull with historical details, names, tangents etc. And I admit, at times I just had to tell myself to keep reading without worrying too much about taking in all the information being thrown at me, otherwise I would have lost sight of the story and given up. That said, this is a book definitely worth the effort. ...more
Louis Verbrugghe
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it in Dutch. Enjoyable book to read, has certainly suspense in it. but sometimes too excessive in its descriptions. An 'illness' more hostorical-fiction authors suffer, but Monaldi and Sori exaggerate it. I read the other books in this series as well, and at that point they don't improve theirselves.
Still it's a readable book, with everything in it a fan of historical fiction desires.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has given me mixed feelings. Maybe I was expecting an exciting thriller too much and thus found this book to be too long and too immersive in details. That being said. I loved discovering what facts were actually true and how much of this story is based in actual history.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rianne Werring
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Slow, tedious. This novel is all over the place, except where it should be: somewhere in the vicinity of a plot.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: used-to-own, reviewed
My history teacher at school would be stunned to see the number of historical fiction books I've been reading recently. He would be even more surprised to discover that I've mostly enjoyed them. Whilst I've always loved reading, history was a subject for which I showed great ineptitude and disinterest in my younger years. How times change.

Strangely for a historical novel, ''Imprimatur'' starts in 2040, with a letter from a Bishop to a contact in the Vatican, discussing how the manusc
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Le Monde calls this novel “gripping”, I have to confess I found it a difficult book to get into, and really had to push hard to get past the first third of the book, after which things began to gel for me and the action started to speed up. Part of the problem might be that this was a translation from the Italian (though a good one). Another was that there is a large cast of characters introduced very quickly at the start, and to keep them all straight I had to literally make a list of thei ...more
This book was given to me as a Christmas present by Adèle. She specifically wanted to give me some historical fiction.

so on page 102 and things have gotten incredibly complex - i am worried I will not be able to keep up with all the twists and turns for the next 500 pages.
this book is a mystery middle ages detective story set in Rome in the late 17th century. A group of people at an inn are quarantined when one of their bunch mysteriously dies. With this part of europe nervousl
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This starts as it continues as a bit of an unfolding mystery, somewhat of an Italian version of Clue. Was it Melani in the kitchen with the candlestick?

I found it somewhat convoluted, but the gist of the story is the uncovering of a plot involving Pope Innocent XI and his support (financial and other) of William of Orange to overthrow King James leading to the Revolution of 1688. It's surprising of course since Innocent is Catholic and William Protestant, so the underlying motives are in questi
A group of people are quarantined in an inn in Rome in 1683 as one of the party is suspected of having the plague. While in lock down for some it becomes apparent that there is more at stake and an investigation commences that hints at the involvement of high powered individuals to undertake an act of treachery.
I have to admit I am finding this book difficult to review. The research undertaken to place you in 1683 is quite amazing. However, it also can tend to drag the story down as some inform
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
Imprimatur has been on my to read list fir six years but never found a copy. While I was reading it I felt fir a long time a bit disappointed because id the story but it seems to be one if those books which feel good only when you have read it all.
In Rome the people are waiting to know the outcome of the battle of Vienna while there is the threat if the plague which hits a tavern when it is placed under quarantine. The story includes Atto Melani, secret passages under the city, an apprenti
Did the banker Pope Innocent XI (Benedetto Odescalchi, 1611-1689) finance the Protestant William of Orange's invasion of England, also known as the Glorious Revolution of 1688, to stick it to Louis XIV? The historiographical and archival research behind this claim is appended to the novel, a mystery set in Rome beginning on the night of September 11, 1683, the day the Turks were finally turned back from the gates of Vienna (though the characters anxiously await news of the battle's outcome throu ...more
The book presents quite an amuzing detective story. The main actor is a young boy - a servant in the tavern in Rome. Strange death of one of the tavern visitors starts a story. The novel is a mix of funny and adsurd events together with attempts of the main actors to find solution for all strange happenings in their surrounding.
And all this is developing on the background of 17th century Rome, fate of the Pope Innokentius XI and all christian Europe as ottoman army is near Vienna.Secrets of Fre
Lee Paris
A fascinating murder mystery set in 17th century Rome during the pontificate of Innocent IX. A famous castrato singer and friend of the disgraced French financier Nicolas Fouquet teams up with a clever scullion boy to try to solve the sudden death of a French guest at the inn which has been locked down by authorities who suspect the plague as the cause. Their investigations lead to uncovering a plot against the Pope himself and international intrigue involving the contesting powers of Protestant ...more
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the authors did an excellent job to evoke the period, they weren't modern characters somehow transported back in time. Although when I read the book I found it to be a bit convoluted, when I read the Addendum it put the historical context into better perspective and I ended up liking the story more. I liked it more because it combined two of my favourite genres, history and mystery. It was both an excellent historical book and an original mystery.

I didn't give it a 5 mostly b
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With cogent period details, this book deals with the onset of the plague in the Holy City and the various reactions by a group of travellers barricaded in an inn by the authorities. This is a revolutionary historical novel in that it approaches the events of the time from the point of view of the inhabitants of the time, rather than the author looking backward through the eyes of History.
Cover notes indicate that publication was opposed by the Holy See, and that much controversy accompanie
I had high expectations for this book and to be honest I was disappointed. As the story itself is interesting (if one like historical books or at least books where history is the background), the way of writing spoils everything. It's very 'square', rigid and sometime hard to follow, let alone purely boring.

I gave it two stars because in the end I liked the history behind it and tried to find some positive side of the book. However, I am not sure I will try to read the other parts. Well, if I h
Just my kind of book. Though, I feel like I ought to know all the popes and the background setting much better. Brushing up on history in order to fully enjoy this detective story.

Have lent it out to many people, they generally feel too daunted by the size of the book and the many characters introduced here to really like it. I can relate.

It's a challenging series, but I'm hanging in there. Probably will have to re-read this book for a third time in order to get back on track.

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Rita Monaldi majored in classical philology and specialized in the history of religions. She is an Italian journalist who, in collaboration with her husband, Francesco Sorti, wrote a series of literary-historical books called Imprimatur, Secretum and Veritas. They both live with their two young children in Vienna.

All the book titles of the series will create the sentence Imprimatur sec

Other books in the series

Atto Melani (4 books)
  • Secretum (Atto Melani, #2)
  • Veritas
  • Mysterium (Atto Melani, #4)