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The Leopard
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Moderator's Choice > The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (June 2019)

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message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited May 31, 2019 11:38PM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8432 comments Mod
This thread is to discuss....


The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa


If you want to discuss spoilers there's a separate thread

Click here for the spoiler thread


The Leopard came second in our Group Read poll for a book set in, or about, Italy

This thread will open on or around 1 June 2019

A bit more about The Leopard...

The Leopard is a story of a decadent and dying aristocracy threatened by the forces of revolution and democracy. Set against the political upheavals of Italy in the 1860s, it focuses on Don Fabrizio, a Sicilian prince of immense sensual appetites, wealth, and great personal magnetism. Around this powerful figure swirls a glittering array of characters: a Bourbon king, liberals and pseudo liberals, peasants and millionaires.




message 2: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8432 comments Mod
Let the discourse commence......


message 3: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val | 1710 comments I'm relieved this is still a five-star book. I have read a lot more literary fiction since I first read it and was worried it might not stand up against them, it does.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I found it just 3 stars. I wanted to like it more. There is a wonderful story lurking in the background and the author failed to tell it.


message 5: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val | 1710 comments I thought he told exactly the story he wanted to tell. I will enjoy discussing our interpretations in detail later, but I don't want to go into detail this early.


message 6: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited May 31, 2019 01:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elizabeth (Alaska) I have trouble with the no spoilers aspect of our discussions. By the time we get to where we can actually discuss the book, I'll have moved on to something else.

EDIT: It's not just this group, it's the nature of groups on GR, I think. Some are ready to discuss on Day 1, and others later in the month, some of them *much* later.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
This book has just come in at the library for me, and I'll be picking it up tomorrow. I did try the audiobook but found it impossible to follow, so am looking forward to reading it in print.


message 8: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val | 1710 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I have trouble with the no spoilers aspect of our discussions."
I accept that a lot of people don't like spoilers, so I try not to give them. My personal opinion is that if a book can be spoilt by a revelation it can't be a very good book (with a partial exception for crime mysteries). I am not going to start upsetting the majority, so no spoilers.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Val wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I have trouble with the no spoilers aspect of our discussions."
I accept that a lot of people don't like spoilers, so I try not to give them. My personal opinion is that ..."


You missed my point, but I'll wait (or not) until later to discuss.


message 10: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
I can set up a spoiler thread for this in the next couple of days so we can discuss the later plot developments.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Thanks, Judy.


message 12: by Nigeyb (last edited May 31, 2019 11:05PM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8432 comments Mod
Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I have trouble with the no spoilers aspect of our discussions. By the time we get to where we can actually discuss the book, I'll have moved on to something else.

EDIT: It's not just this group, it's the nature of groups on GR, I think. Some are ready to discuss on Day 1, and others later in the month, some of them *much* later."


Yes, an interesting issue. I prefer not to read in advance. I feel I have much more to say if I share my thoughts and ideas with the discussion as I read. If I've already finished the book then I find I have far less to contribute. But, everyone has their own preference.

Val wrote: "I accept that a lot of people don't like spoilers, so I try not to give them. My personal opinion is that if a book can be spoilt by a revelation it can't be a very good book (with a partial exception for crime mysteries)."

This resonates with me Val. I rarely feel the need to go into specific plot details to discuss a book and never add spoilers in my reviews. I completely agree with your comment that....if a book can be spoilt by a revelation it can't be a very good book (with a partial exception for crime mysteries).

Right, back to The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa


message 13: by Nigeyb (last edited May 31, 2019 11:37PM) (new)

Nigeyb | 8432 comments Mod
Judy wrote: "I can set up a spoiler thread for this in the next couple of days so we can discuss the later plot developments."

I've done it for you Judy

Here's the spoiler thread for, this, our June 2019 moderator's choice book....

Click here for the spoiler thread




Susan | 8916 comments Mod
I am halfway through this. Very rich, decadent and atmospheric. I am enjoying it so far.


message 15: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
Nigeyb wrote: "Judy wrote: "I can set up a spoiler thread for this in the next couple of days so we can discuss the later plot developments."

I've done it for you Judy

Here's the spoiler thread for, this ..."


Thanks, Nigeyb!

It will be a little while before I plunge in over there as I am only just starting the book, but hopefully will be over there for some spoiler talk soon. :)


message 16: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 3995 comments Mod
I'll definitely be reading this, hope to start tomorrow. Like Nigeyb, it can be fun to discuss thoughts as we read.


Elizabeth (Alaska) But the discuss thoughts as you read means you're discussing parts that others haven't yet gotten to, and, thus, spoilers.


message 18: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
Has anybody come across any good notes about The Leopard? I have some factual queries which are cropping up as I read, and could do with a few notes to refer to - but the only ones I've found so far are more along the Cliffs notes lines, aimed at people studying for exams.


message 19: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
I'm not very far in yet, but am enjoying the atmosphere of "shabby grandeur" and the depiction of the characters.

The translator, Archibald Colquhoun, has a great writing style - I've just looked up some details about him and see that he is a highly acclaimed, award-winning translator. It really doesn't feel "translated" at all to me.


message 20: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jun 01, 2019 07:10AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elizabeth (Alaska) Judy wrote: "Has anybody come across any good notes about The Leopard? I have some factual queries which are cropping up as I read, and could do with a few notes to refer to - but the only ones I've found so fa..."

There is a great introduction in the copy I read which includes some factual background material. I'd be happy to transcribe and post if that would be of use. It is about a page and three-quarters in my paperback.


message 21: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
Thanks, Elizabeth, but I do have a short factual introduction to my copy too, so I am fine with the background - I was just thinking it would be nice to have numbered notes about references in the text, like a lot of Penguins have.

I haven't read the longer introduction about the author yet as I usually prefer to read those after finishing the book.


Susan | 8916 comments Mod
Some introductions tell you everything about the book, including the ending, which can be a bit defeating. Of course, many are written with students in mind, but I agree, Judy, that it is often wise to leave them until after you have read the book. Saying that, if an introduction is well written, it will give you more background about the author and the writing of the book, which is good to know.


message 23: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jun 01, 2019 07:31AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elizabeth (Alaska) This introduction provides historical background. But Judy has it, so further for her I can't provide. I did google "Sicily 1860" to get a bit more if that would be helpful. There were a couple of footnotes in the text, but only toward the beginning.


Susan | 8916 comments Mod
Thanks, Elizabeth. I didn't get much reading time yesterday, but am looking forward to some time in Sicily this afternoon. It is certainly hot enough here to give me some atmosphere :)


message 25: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4196 comments Mod
Has anyone seen the Visconti film from 1963? After now having finished the book, I would like to see the film - I see it is more than three hours long though! It is available for a fee from Amazon Prime and is also on blu-ray.


message 26: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val | 1710 comments I haven't seen it, but the introduction to the book does mention it, which suggests that it is true to the book (although I would guess it gives more emphasis to the romance than the politics).


message 27: by Ella (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ella (ellamc) Judy wrote: "Has anyone seen the Visconti film from 1963? After now having finished the book, I would like to see the film - I see it is more than three hours long though! It is available for a fee from Amazon ..."

Thanks for that info. I've been slowly reading this between the avalanche of library books I have, and every time I pick it up I think "I must look into the movie" then forget. Now I know!


Brian Reynolds | 377 comments FINISHED CHAPTER 4

I have mixed feelings about the book so far. The writing is beautiful, very descriptive and poetic . However the prose is so flowing that sometimes I find my focus wandering and my mind drifts. I haven't been engaged as much as I hoped in the characters and plot.
Thus, despite the beautiful prose, I had been thinking the book was only so-so and a 3 star read when I came to the Chapter 4 dialogue of Chevalley's visit to request the Prince's participation in the Senate. I was engrossed in the conversation, especially the Prince's description of Sicilians. Maybe my brain just prefers more concrete rather than flowing prose.


message 29: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8432 comments Mod
I snapped this up as a Kindle deal of the day (thanks Susan)


I'll be back to update the discussion when I read it


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