Jody's Reviews > The Floating Book

The Floating Book by Michelle Lovric
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's review
Nov 23, 2008

it was ok

** spoiler alert ** I thought that this was a pretty confusing book. It went back and forth from 63BC Rome to Venice in 1540something. Of course, most of it was set in Venice which has to give it extra points. Unfortuantely, the city takes a back seat to the characters and a very twisted plot.

Maybe it was because I only got to read this book in small time periods - several chapters, maybe 100 pages at a time, but I just couldn't work up any reason to care about any of the main characters and their reasons for what they did were weird and didn't always make sense to me.

One of the main characters, Sosia who had almost been raped and was abused by Venician soldiers, goes on throughout the story, having sex with pretty much every Venitian in the city except her own husband.
In the last chapter, it's finally explained that when she had the
encounter with the soldiers, they didn't rape her because "she wasn't good enough for a Venitian". Ok, maybe I glossed over that fact, but in the beginning, it didn't seem to make much sense or seem of much importance, but it ended up to be her whole reason for living.

The arrival of the 1st printing press in Venice and the reaction to it (especially since they decide to print a set of poems from the Roman poet Catullus) who was considered extremely risque in the 1400's but would actually be more of a G rating these days, not that anyone young would actually like to read them. So anyway, we have a bunch of "love" triangles that include both those bound in Sosia's revenge and the attempt to sell the books.

Of course, she had to throw in a mad priest, who tried to stop the printing of not only the poems but blasted the inventiaon of the printing press itself. Of course there was the lonely but kind Jewish Dr. who was Sosia's husband (in name only), the lovesick apprentice, odd artisitc types who did weird things with both people and art, blah, blah, blah...

For me it was too many characters, few of whom I cared about and some interesting stuff on the effect of the printing press at the time of its invention. This book was the winner of the London Arts Writers Awards. Either they are really out of touch or I am!
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