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Il diavolo nella cattedrale

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,308 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Colonia, 1260. Gerhard Morart sa bene che non potrà mai completare la costruzione della "sua" cattedrale prima di morire. Quello che non sa, purtroppo, è che la morte non tarderà ad arrivare: qualcuno infatti gli tende un agguato su un'impalcatura dell'edificio e lo fa precipitare a terra. Un delitto a sangue freddo, che tuttavia ha avuto un singolare testimone: Jacop, un ...more
Hardcover, 459 pages
Published 2006 by Nord (first published 1995)
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3.63  · 
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 ·  2,308 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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A thief in Cologne, circa 1260 sees a murder and gets involved in a coup. Of course, the assassins come after him.

A good conspiracy thriller, and the medieval setting makes this a lot different than most of its kind.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about 10 years ago in German, and was fascinated by it; the first historical thriller set in Cologne that I read, I loved its closeness and exploration of Cologne's and its cathedral's history.
Now, I still love the story, but was a little disappointed by the English translation, the sublime humor didn't come across.
Andrea Cefalo
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“In the year 1260…the most ambitious…building in all of Christendom is rising above the city of Cologne. Far below the soaring spires and flying buttresses, a bitter struggle is underway between the archbishop of Cologne and the ruling merchant families to control the enormous wealth of this prosperous commercial center–a struggle that quickly becomes deadly.”

Death and the Devil begins when the protagonist, street-smart vagabond Jacob the Fox, accidentally witnesses Morart being pushed to his de
Jan 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got around to reading “Death and the Devil” after having it on my book shelf for a few years. While the plot was interesting, the writing and dialogue was a bit awkward and really isn’t what I look for in an historical novel. The story takes place in Cologne in 1260 and is all about what happens when one man witnesses the murder of another. This is a fast paced book with the points of view of different characters all melding together to give the reader a clear insight into what is happ ...more
Duller than the dullest ditchwater after it's been run through a Dull-O-Matic. Literally took me a year to read (iRead once prompted me to remove it, on the grounds it had been sitting untouched in my Reading pile so long), and I would have gleefully chucked it at the wall and given up if I hadn't paid for the stupid hardcover. A huge disappointment after the layered treat that was Schatzing's Swarm. I'd like to say that the dashes of history added to the narrative help redeem it, but since the ...more
The beginning was a bit "boring" but it got a lot better and in the end I thought it was quite a good book altogether
Mar 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you looked up "paint by numbers" in the dictionary, you'd find "Tod und Teufel". Forgettable characters, cliché-ridden plot. Plus, I hate it when people use historical settings without proper research - that's how you end up with a character using the word "pogrom" in 12th century, because, of course. Schätzing has never been really good, but this book is embarrassing even for his low standards.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Book was very exciting. İ read it curiously from begining to end. This book was second book from Frank Schatzing that i read and i can say he have fluent spelling. (Ps: İ read the book in Turkish translation)
Violeta Hernandez Suarez
Entertaining and easy to read. A bit of time travel to medieval times, a bit of love a bit of death. Recomended for a light lecture on a train or plane.
Dec 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads
PROTAGONIST: Jacob the Fox, beggar
SETTING: 13th century Cologne
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 2.75

The Cologne Cathedral is renowned as a monument of Christianity and Gothic architecture. The cathedral is one of the best-known architectural monuments in Germany, and Cologne's most famous landmark. The church's architect was Gerhard Morart, who fell from its roof in 1260. It took over six hundred years for the construction to be completed after his death.

In Death and the Devil, Morart's death is portr
Alex Telander
DEATH AND THE DEVIL BY FRANK SCHATZING: With the runaway success of The Swarm originally in Europe and now in the United States, Death and the Devil, Shatzing’s first novel, has been translated and published. It’s a medieval thriller; a murder mystery set with the back drop of thirteenth century Cologne. This is a completely different genre and story line for Schatzing after the sci-fi/horror of The Swarm, nevertheless he delivers his unique storytelling style in Death and the Devil.

It is the ye
Dec 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vivienne by:

I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this. It was one of those library books where I figured I would begin to read and see if I was engaged by the plot.

Well I was. Before I knew it I was a hundred pages in and found the story of the conspiracy and the central death. I don't have much background in medieval German history and I did appreciate the sections of exposition, even though these did somewhat challenge some of the pacing. I also felt in a few places the translation might have been
Picked this up on the kindle for 99p thinking: medieval cathedral building? murder and intrigue? what's not to like for a fan of Ken Follett's 'Pillars of the Earth'??
Well, I have to say I was not particularly impressed with 'Death and the Devil', the writing was poor (unsure if it is like this in the German or if he has been let down by a bad translator), the characters were all 2-dimensional and there was nothing especially likeable about any of them, and the plot was boring - by about halfway
Sandra Guerfi
Welcome to thirteenth century Cologne in Germany where one of the greatest cathedrals ever to be built is under way. In this city lives Jacob the Fox a red haired thief who makes a living by not being noticed, until the night he sees a man pushed off the scaffolding of the cathedral. Was it a man or was it the Angel of Death punishing the victim for the temerity of reaching for the skies. Pride goeth before a fall after all. Now Jacob is on the run from a killer that seems to be supernatural and ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This isn't the kind of book I would normally read, but I inherited it from a friend who was trying to rid herself of some books in preparation for a move, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed. There were certainly some aspects of the book that I enjoyed, especially having visited Cologne and its magnificent cathedral on several occasions myself. However, I couldn't help feeling that the story got bogged down in a lot of historical detail that read far too much ...more
Miss Sophie
I really had to get into the style (and reading in german xD) at first, it took me more than a year to read this. It's ridiculous, seriously.
This book is set in Cologne during the middleages and it follows a pickpocket who witnesses the murder of the master builder of the cathedral. It was very thoroughly researched and a lot of conflicts of the time are adressed such as the crusades or the squabbles between the patricians and the guildes. The beginning was a bit slow but the end definately had
Mar 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
to be honest, i didn't get very far with this one. i loved schatzing's other book, the swarm ( all 1000 pages of it), but i couldn't get into this one at all. there is nothing similar about the two books - one current day and one set in the 1200's . i just felt really bored, and there are too many books on my list to stick with one that bores me. i had high hopes and will continue to look for any new releases that he puts out, but i'm movin' on.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Schätzing I consumed as an audio book. If I remember correctly it was read by the author himself and he did quite a good job. Oftentimes I forgot that it was only one person giving life to the characters. The story was a nice crime novel in a medieval setting, something I've always had a soft spot for.

Like for Der Schwarm the rating here reflects how I remember listening to the audio book ten years ago.
Sage Streck
I didn't dislike this book, but it was a little awkward to read and sometimes very dense. Such a long time was spent building up to the ending, that it almost felt anti-climactic by the time I finally got there. I did enjoy the medieval history, but there were times when I felt the author got a little lost in all the historical minutia.
Beth Levitt
I'm a bit on the fence about this book. I did enjoy it, the pace was good and kept the story moving, but as I'm not familiar with the period or geography I won't vouch for it's accuracy.

I appreciated the dialogue and the way the author discussed God and religion which did feed into the plot. So all in all I'd up my rating to a 3.5.
I wasn't aware until I got partway into the book that it was a translation. That explains a lot. This is an awkwardly-written book, so much so that I was about to give up, but knowing it's a translation will, I think, allow me to approach it from a different angle.

Edited to add: Terrible translation. I can't go on!
Jul 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This definitely ranks among the most boring books I've ever read. I loved Schätzings "Der Schwarm" and thought I couldn't go wrong in buying this for €0.99 at a kindle daily deal, even if it was the English translation. I was so wrong. The book was tedious, the characters were blank and I couldn't have bothered any less about the story.
Andrew Owen
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely for a german audience in its love affair of Cologne, yet it made me very curious both about the city and its history. The characters are very finely drawn and are set on a rollicking good adventure plot.
Karla Romero
It's really interesting, a really good story, well built characters, but it goes on, and on, and on, with the same thing through pages and the autor tends to leave context behind to talk some other facts that has nothing to do with the story.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great historical mystery that takes place in Schätzing's beloved city of Köln, during the construction of its famous cathedral. He brings 13th century Köln to life, while weaving in his exquisite talent for suspense and intrigue. Not quite as engaging as Der Schwarm, but still a thrilling read.
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good story. I visited the Koln cathedral during my trip to Germany. It was awesome to hear some history about the city and life in the early days of the 800 years it took to finish this cathedral.
Great history of Cologne and its cathedral, but the vernacular style seems oddly disjointed when contrasted with the book's high-minded themes. Not entirely sure if it's the product of authorial intent or a poor translation into English.
Kathleen Wells
I read this for my Historical Book Group. I found it quite hard to get into at the start, and would have liked the big explanation about the Patrcians vs the Archbishop to have been a bit earlier than it was. Overall it was okay.
Angelo Vassallo
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
I really enjoyed this historical novel, since the writer is able to use some of the people involved to tell you about the real facts happened during the period when the novel is located (Cologne 1260). As well the storyline is pretty interesting.
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was awesome it had excelent story pacing and the characters were rich and well fleshed out plus the added bonus of at the end finding out that the events in this book are historicly acurate!
it's great
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Schätzing was born in Cologne and studied communication studies; he later ran his own company, an advertising agency named INTEVI, in Cologne. Schätzing became a writer in 1990, and penned several novellas and satires. His first published novel was the historical Tod und Teufel in 1995, and in 2000 his thriller Lautlos.

Schätzing achieved his greatest success in 2004 with the science fiction thrill
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“Betreffs des Mauls, da solltet Ihr das Eure vielleicht halten.” 0 likes
“Ich bin drei Jahre älter, und der Ältere ist immer weiser als der Jüngere. Da ich mich nicht für Weise halte, könnt Ihr ungefähr ermessen, wo Ihr steht. Und jetzt Ruhe!” 0 likes
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