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Giovanni's Gift
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Giovanni's Gift

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this hugely entertaining novel, rich with suspense, and written with the delicate precision and lyrical resonance that have earned broad critical praise for his earlier novels, Bradford Morrow delivers a brilliant, mysteryladen spin on the classic myth of Pandora's box.A series of terrifying nocturnal visits to a solitary mountain ranch. The unexplained, grisly death of ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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Laura Rodd
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel. It was scary in the truest sense of horror when a retired couple living on a vast ranch in the SouthWest are awaken one night to the sound of earsplitting music and intruders on their property. What could be pleasing music of harmony and a natural rhythm was turned into something grotesque, violent and painful to the ears and mind. What had this quiet elderly couple done to incur such wrath? Shaken but hoping that it was a one-off occurrence and life quickly settles back to ...more
Gwen Johnson
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the writing style, I loved the setting - the author conjures up the beauty of this part of the US. The story was gripping and well told. I was disappointed in what I felt was a loss of moral compass in the ending of the book; it wasn't that it was unsatisfying - it was a great dramatic climax- it was more that people would have and should have been held more accountable. Saying that, a very good thriller, well told and well written.
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a literary--to my mind over-written--mystery of sorts. Heavy on nostalgia, sense-of-place, and the identity question. There is some fine writing in places, but an equal amount of not-very-necessary description. The point of view is first person but written as a memoir, so the narrator feels free to enter other character's minds. It's worth reading for Morrow's good stuff, but you will have figured out who's who and what's what well before the end.
C.J. Hill
Sep 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get past the first half of this book and had to keep re-reading the backcover blurb to remind myself that it was a murder mystery I was supposed to be reading.
Too much focus on atmospheric writing and lengthy descriptions while the plot was difficult to follow beneath it all.
Never like to give up on a book - but there it is.
Sharon Hardin
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at a resale shop and my expectations were low. I'm delighted to say I enjoyed it. The prose may be a bit overblown at times and the narrator spends a lot of time analyzing his failures, but its gothic vibe was entertaining and the characters interesting.
The author was a finalist for 2 awards (for other books): PEN Faulkner Award; and the Los Angeles TImes Book Award.

Beautiful writing: "wind fingers combed through the meadow grass" and "carnal gnarl". And a great mystery story romance packed with interesting characters.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was an easy read, but I wouldn't recommend it. It was a mystery of love and jealousy and, for me, the character motivation just wasn't there to justify all the crazy happenings.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
From Italy to the American West, family secrets from the past must be resolved before new relationships can be forged.
I really enjoy Morrow's style. I like his characters and prose. Read this too long ago to remember details unfortunately. If you like literature, you will enjoy it.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1fiction, box15
I normally do not read mysteries let alone Gothic style mysteries - not my kettle of fish, but written well enough to keep me reading
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Bradford Morrow has lived for the past thirty years in New York City and rural upstate New York, though he grew up in Colorado and lived and worked in a variety of places in between. While in his mid-teens, he traveled through rural Honduras as a member of the Amigos de las Americas program, serving as a medical volunteer in the summer of 1967. The following year he was awarded an American Field S ...more
More about Bradford Morrow...