The Age of Doubt Paperback – May 29 2012
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Praise for Andrea Camilleri:
“There’s a deliciously playful quality to the mysteries Andrea Camilleri writes about a lusty Sicilian police detective named Salvo Montalbano.” –New York Times Book Review “The books are full of sharp, precise characterizations and with subplots that make Montalbano endearingly human… Like the antipasti that Montalbano contentedly consumes, the stories are light and easily consumed, leaving one eager for the next course.”—New York Journal of Books “This series is distinguished by Camilleri’s remarkable feel for tragicomedy, expertly mixing light and dark in the course of producing novels that are both comforting and disturbing.” –Booklist “The novels of Andrea Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humor, and the sense of despair that fills the air of Sicily.”—Donna Leon “Hailing from the land of Umberto Eco and La Cosa Nostra, Montalbano can discuss a pointy-headed book like Western Attitudes Towards Death as unflinchingly as he can pore over crime-scene snuff photos. He throws together an extemporaneous lunch…as gracefully as he dodges advances from attractive women.”—Los Angeles Times “In Sicily, where people do things as they please, Inspector Montalbano is a bona fide folk hero.” –The New York Times Book Review “Camilleri as crafty and charming a writer as his protagonist is an investigator.” –The Washington Post “Montalbano is a delightful creation, an honest man on Sicily’s mean streets.” –USA Today “Camilleri can do a character’s whole backstory in half a paragraph.” –The New Yorker “…the humor and humanity of Montalbano make him an equally winning lead character.” –Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano mystery series, bestsellers in Italy and Germany, has been adapted for Italian television and translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish. He lives in Rome.
Stephen Sartarelli lives in upstate New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
"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.
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.
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.