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The Age of Doubt Paperback – May 29 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 29 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780143120926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143120926
  • ASIN: 0143120921
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 31 2012
Format: Paperback
It is always a treat to have a new Chief Inspector Salvo Montalbano novel to devour, and "The Age of Doubt," the 14th in the series by Andrea Camilleri, is no exception. After an unsettling dream in which Montalbano is dead but Livia can't make it to the funeral, our Chief Inspector is summoned to the port, because a body in a dinghy has been towed in by a visiting yacht. At the same time, a cruiser is pulling in to port because of engine trouble, and the crew of that cruiser seems a bit...odd. The body intrigues, the yacht's owner is voracious, and the Navy officer in charge of the port, Lieutenant Belladonna, is the most beautiful woman Montalbano has ever seen - and she seems to like him, too! Or maybe she doesn't; she seems to blow hot and cold, and Montalbano is helpless in responding to her moods. But there is serious business going on here, one murder and then another, and although they seem unrelated, there must be a connection, if only Montalbano can find it in time.... I've always enjoyed Camilleri's books, they are terrific windows into Sicilian life (and food; he's an author who loves describing the food that Montalbano loves to eat). I enjoyed this one too, although I found Montalbano being a bit more baffoonish than usual, a little bit more, well, comedic I suppose. His attitudes toward women have always leaned more toward the neanderthal than the modern, but here I found the women's reactions to him just a bit less believable than usual. So I'm a little conflicted with this entry into the series; overall, I love the Montalbano books immensely; this particular one is not the best among them, though. I would recommend any reader who hasn't met Chief Inspector Montalbano yet to start with the first novel ("The Shape of Water") and proceed from there; and I would recommend any long-time reader to, of course, read this one too, but possibly with a slightly jaded eye.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has followed the Montalbano series will easily devour this book (I always make sure I have a free day when I get my hands on a new Montalbano book so I can read it in one go), yet this one feels a little bit formulaic. He lies to the Commissioner, and makes excuses. He fights with Livia. And he drinks a lot of several points in the story. Despite the fact that his interactions with Laura almost have more importance than the mystery itself-- it still contains all the elements we love about Montalbano, right?

The fact is, even if it isn't the best Montalbano novel, it still is a Montalbano novel-- alive with the sights and sounds of Sicily, the frustrations of a bureaucratic position and the absolute delight of how Montalbano responds to them (always worth a couple of gleeful chortles). The mystery is intriguing and resolved in a complete and resounding manner. All our favourite characters are there.

Almost wanted to give it three stars but then realized that it's Camilleri and a three-star Camilleri is still better than a lot of other mysteries, particularly this far into a series. Plus I read the book in one sitting (after purchasing it on the day it was released). Not a common occurrence.

I'd also suggest, for those in Montalbano withdrawal after reading this book, to check out Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen novels. You won't be snorting with laughter in public while you read, but they are enjoyable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 75 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Montalbano in love June 6 2012
By Patto - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspector Mondtalbano is fifty-nine, and alternately miserable and elated. He`s fallen in love with a younger woman, and Laura is seductive and elusive by turns. This yields some high comedy. His brain is so turned, that he starts embracing his subordinates instead of yelling at them, shocking both them and us. This is not the Montalbano we know!

But he does have a case in hand, and it's as important to him as Laura. Two murders take place in the harbor. Montalbano's investigation is both methodical and inspired.

But for me the crimes and mysteries afloat are less interesting than Montalbano's behavior. We watch him tell his bureaucratic bosses some of the biggest, most shameful lies of his career. We see him perform a heroic, athletic rescue that would be amazing even for a young man. And we share his joy in numerous heavenly Sicilian dishes, and feel his pain over a meal that's overcooked, flavorless and over-salted.

Montalbano's staff add hugely to the fun, as usual. Catarella garbles names delightfully whenever he answers the phone. And Montalbano sends Mimi off to seduce a major suspect, and learn her secrets - the nymphomaniac owner of a certain suspicious yacht in the harbor. Mimi's haggard condition after these information-pumping sessions is hilarious.

Andrea Camilleri has a rare comic genius. I laughed my way through The Age of Doubt. But it's also a poignant love story, like nothing I've encountered before in the Montalbano novels. I loved every minute of this book, and never stopped marveling at the craft and charm of the writing.

The atmosphere is also wonderful. The sea is a strong, brooding presence - it washes out roads in a storm, setting the scene for Montalbano's loss of his emotional bearings. And it aids and abets illicit passion and crime.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Salvo discovers that passion for mullet is safer than passion for a younger woman - 3+ June 7 2012
By Blue in Washington - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Age of Doubt" finds the redoubtable Inspector Montalbano increasingly preoccupied with the aging process. Into his pondering of the cycle of life drops a murder case connected to two luxury yachts that have turned up in Vigata's small harbor. The subsequent investigation leads to the Inspector's meeting of a stunningly beautiful young harbor official. Salvo is poleaxed with love by the encounter and much of the rest of the story is taken up by his struggles to cope with the uncomfortable infatuation. His legendary focus on police business suffers; his relationship with long-time girlfriend Livia becomes seriously at risk; and he is pushed into a manic binge on seafood at the local trattoria.

"The Age..." has some of the usual great moments that come with the Montalbano series, including a slam bang ending, but for me, the love crisis that is the center of this episode was a bit too drawn out and led to some events that were out of character for the Inspector and for the series. Still, a midlife crisis arguably makes even the most rational and responsible people do improbable and irrational things, so maybe even the Inspector....

In sum, a good read, if not the best book in this very high standard series.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Camilleri and Sartorelli never fail to please June 1 2012
By jwalcott - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have been waiting anxiously for the release of this segment of the Inspector Montalbano series. While they are certainly somewhat formulaic, that is half of the pleasure. Salvo Montalbano retains his own sense of right and justice while battling self-doubt coupled with his fears of aging. As always he thwarts authority, but because of his prowess, his superiors grudgingly have to lengthen his leash.

I must say his long relationship with Livia seems to be running its course, but then, that has been a constant throughout all of the books. Again, he is attracted to another woman, but the outcome remains in doubt, ergo the title. Montalbano eats, drinks, and smokes with relish, his few pleasures in a solitary life. Cannot wait for the next installment. Have read that Camilleri has written the final installment some time ago, so he continues to taunt and tease his fans. Sicily remains yet another protagonist in this gritty series.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
How brilliant is the writing of Andrea Camilleri? by ULS Jan. 10 2013
By Janie Harvey - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a huge fan of Andrea Camilleri's series of books, set in Sicily about the wonderfully touching and very funny Inspector Montalbano, I was very eager to read the 14th installment. Camilleri is brilliant - the fun he is having as he gallops through the pages, visiting havoc and calamity on Montalbano's life, is evident - and full marks to Stephen Sartarelli for a translation that somehow manages to keep those impressions intact.

The first 13 books were all wonderful, and The Age of Doubt (No.14) is no exception. Montalbano is still experiencing attraction to women other than Livia, doubt about his advancing age, humorous jousts with Dr Pasquano, and the horrors of having to deal with the Commissioner - that 'colossal pain' Bonetti-Alderighi - and his excruciating pest of a cabinet chief, Dr Lattes. Also present are his team - the suave Mimi, the records-complex afflicted Fazio, and the simple and devoted Catarella.

After decades of reading the work of many authors in a range of genres, I've given them up! Not just 'Crime' or 'Mystery', these books of Camilleri's are philosophical, knowledgeable, beautifully written, touching, wise and very funny.

Long may Mr Camilleri and his wonderful characters reign! And long may Mr Sartarelli's skill allow us to share them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great, like all the rest Sept. 21 2012
By John L Pendley - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have devoured all the Montalbano novels in translation since I first discovered them and this one is on a par with the others. As I have gotten to know Salvo, Mimi, Catarella and the rest, I enjoy spending time with the characters almost as much as I enjoy watching the Inspector solve cases. Camilleri is a deeply humane writer and Stephen Sartarelli is an excellent translator. His notes at the end of many of the novels are also especially helpful in explaining aspects of Italian and Sicilian cuisine, culture, and politics that figure in the stories but which may not be as well known to readers outside Italy. I recommend this book, but more importantly, I recommend them all. Read them in sequence.

And Mr. Sartarelli, get busy. There are several that haven't yet been translated into English. I can't wait.

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