Pure City
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (14.02 hours)
Product Number: Z10005183
Released: Nov 09, 2010
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781400197934
Narrator/s: Simon Vance
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc
Please log in to view pricing


The Venetians' language and way of thinking set them aside from the rest of Italy. They are an island people, linked to the sea and to the tides rather than the land. This latest work from the incomparable Peter Ackroyd, like a magic gondola, transports its listeners to that sensual and surprising city. His account embraces facts and romance, conjuring up the atmosphere of the canals, bridges, and sunlit squares, the churches and the markets, the festivals and the flowers. He leads us through the history of the city, from the first refugees arriving in the mists of the lagoon in the fourth century to the rise of a great mercantile state and its trading empire, the wars against Napoleon, and the tourist invasions of today. Everything is here: the merchants on the Rialto and the Jews in the ghetto; the glassblowers of Murano; the carnival masks and the sad colonies of lepers; the artists-Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo; and the ever-present undertone of Venice's shadowy corners and dead ends, of prisons and punishment, wars and sieges, scandals and seductions. Ackroyd's Venice: Pure City is a study of Venice much in the vein of his lauded London: The Biography. Like London, Venice is a fluid, writerly exploration organized around a number of themes. History and context are provided in each chapter, but Ackroyd's portrait of Venice is a particularly novelistic one, both beautiful and rapturous. We could have no better guide-enjoying Venice: Pure City is, in itself, a glorious journey to the ultimate city.

Author(s): Peter Ackroyd
Genre: History, Travel
Original Publish Date: Nov 09, 2010

This title is part of (or scheduled to be part of) the following subscriptions:

RBdigital Unlimited Canada Audio Subscription - ALL
RBdigital Unlimited Access Audio Subscription

All formats/editions

Author(s): Peter Ackroyd
Genre: History, Travel
Product Number EB00148963
Released: Dec 27, 2013
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: #9780385531535

Professional reviews

"Peter Ackroyd works his usual magic on this most majestic city. It's fascinating to learn that Venetians often feel they're not part of Italy. Narrator Simon Vance remains understated as he describes the glorious city and its influence on the works of Bellini, Titian, and Tintoretto. His sublime pronunciation of Italian words and names adds to the Venetian flair. It's exciting to realize that St. Martin's and St. Peter's churches have always had a rivalry, that there are multiple words to describe the fog that often shrouds the city, and that glassblowers were banished to Murano with fire safety in mind. Like Venice itself, the book and narration are multifaceted and are perfect for both tourist and armchair traveler. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"

Sign up for our email newsletter