Vaporetto 13

By Robert Girardi
Publisher:Delacorte Press, (9/8/1997)

Average Rating:
Mildly Unleashable
2.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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vaporetto, n:  A motorized water-taxi; steam engine.  Commonly used in Venice, Italy.

In a city sustained by a miracle,a woman with an unfathomable past and a man with an uncertain future are about to engage in a romance that will transcend the ordinary boundaries of love and life.

Venice is echoing with the voices of all its old ghosts.  Beneath the city's exterior beauty--sundappled canals, charming gondolas, and splendid piazzas--is a world of bone-chilling cold, dank alleyways, and a tradition that yearly marks a Holiday of Death.  Cloaks and masks, disguise and intrigue, are a time-honored way of life in this familiar yet unknowable city in which Jack Squire, a currency trader on assignment from Washington, D.C., has taken up residence.  On one particular autumn night, swirling with damp mist and moving shadows, Jack finds himself in a campo teeming with stray cats.  There he meets Caterina, a woman bearing the sadness of centuries, whose strangeness immediately possesses him and whose past eludes and controls him.

Vaporetto 13 is a relentless and mesmerizing novel of one lover's search for truth and the haunted city in which he finds it.
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Roz Morris's thoughts on "Vaporetto 13"
updated on:7/13/2012

Disappointing. The protagonist is drawn to a mysterious woman he meets feeding stray cats in Venice at night and spends much of the novel wondering about her. But to us she seems a cardboard cut-out - not mysterious but deliberately vague. There are some lovely visual descriptions and it's full of Venice atmosphere, but I couldn't feel any fascination for the woman - and also I didn't particularly engage with the deeper issue the main character was grappling with. However, there was a nice scene near the end where it all came into focus - although I still can't see why the Venice stuff was necessary.

Mildly Unleashable

"Vaporetto 13"
By Robert Girardi

Average Rating:
Mildly Unleashable
2.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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