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The shape of water by Andrea Camilleri
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The shape of water (original 1994; edition 2002)

by Andrea Camilleri, Stephen Sartarelli (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,561664,689 (3.63)418
Member:labfs39
Title:The shape of water
Authors:Andrea Camilleri (Author)
Other authors:Stephen Sartarelli (Translator)
Info:New York, N.Y. : Viking, 2002.
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, mystery, Italian

Work details

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri (1994)

Recently added byPoisonPine, gebenundnehmen, Tinwara, hubbidi, ninastephan, private library, jMitty, MrCurl
  1. 10
    The Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: The first two titles in the Montalbano series, with many of the same characters appearing in both.
  2. 00
    The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia (charl08)
  3. 11
    Death in August by Marco Vichi (Tom_D)
    Tom_D: Similar characters and a translator, Stephen Sartarelli, in common.
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» See also 418 mentions

English (55)  Spanish (6)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
This was a quick, pleasant enough read about a likeable detective based in Sicily where he doesn't just have to combat crime but also corruption and the influence of the Mafia. I had not encountered this series before, but can understand its appeal for fans - an easy, uncomplicated writing style, gets on with the story, with one or two entertaining diversions along the way. It reminded me a lot of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories - not in terms of the content (plenty of vice and bad language here) but in terms of the laid back style, the sense that the detective is the source of all sanity, and the fact that the setting is important - almost like an extra character. ( )
  jayne_charles | Feb 11, 2015 |
La forma dell'acqua was the novel that introduced the character of Salvo Montalbano in 1994 (some later novels and stories are set earlier in Montalbano's career). In the opening pages, a prominent local businessman and political figure is found dead in his car in an a bit of waste ground notorious for drugs and prostitution. Even though there's nothing in the physical evidence to suggest foul play, Montalbano isn't happy, and launches an investigation, much against the wishes of his superiors.

The humour, the constant subversion of authority (except for Montalbano's own authority over the Vigata police, of course), and the exaggerated food-worship are all very endearing. Camilleri's stage and TV experience show in the construction and execution of the story: generally in a good way, especially in the care he takes with the dialogue, which is always spot on and has to do most of the work of telling the story and defining the characters. But there are also some bits of "business" that didn't seem to work as well on the page as it would on screen: notably when he uses the old "gunfight with his own reflection" trick and we can see it coming a mile off. ( )
  thorold | Feb 7, 2015 |
2006, Blackstone Audiobooks, Read by Grover Gardner

Introduction to Series: from Amazon.com:
Andrea Camilleri's novels starring Inspector Montalbano have become an international sensation and have been translated from Italian into eight languages, ranging from Dutch to Japanese. The Shape of Water is the first book in this sly, witty, and engaging series with its sardonic take on Sicilian life.

Book Summary: from Amazon.com:
Early one morning, Silvio Lupanello, a big shot in the village of Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a rough part of town frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta's most respected detective. With his characteristic mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path to the real killer. This funny and fast-paced Sicilian page-turner will be a delicious discovery for mystery afficionados and fiction lovers alike.

My Review:
This first and fast-paced Montalbano novel I occasionally found somewhat difficult to follow on audio, probably for reasons expressed on Wikipedia.com: The translator Stephen Sartarelli has attempted to maintain the mixture of Italian and Sicilian dialect in the dialogues. In addition, he has added notes at the end of each of the novels, which give short explanations regarding many of the peculiarities of Sicilian and Italian society depicted in the novels. I may well download or borrow The Terra-Cotta Dog as I begin listening to the second in the series.

All of the above said, Camilleri’s humour and wit are unmistakable, and these shine through in his acerbic, amusing portrayal of Sicily. There is no shortage of crass language, but I did not find this offensive, and it fits the author’s purpose and story. Inspector Montalbano himself is a decent character, honest and loyal. He also has his own way of doing things, which results in his being regarded by supervisors as something of a loose cannon. He has, for instance, an uncanny ability to navigate the murky world of corruption where favours are done and owed. He is a character I am looking forward to getting to know much better. And, as this is my first foray into Italian crime fiction, I’m also looking forward to more of Camilleri and more of the series. ( )
3 vote lit_chick | Dec 26, 2014 |
A quick, enjoyable Italian mystery with plenty of twists and turns. The plot involved political corruption fuelled by sex. Fortunately we have Inspector Montalbano's suspicions, without which the crime would be regarded as suicide. This is the first in the series that I will definitely continue. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 9, 2014 |
A political mystery written out in a relaxed way, The Shape of Water was a quick, enjoyable read. The book deals with some very adult situations, but when you talk about a suspected homicide, that almost goes without saying. Some readers not used to Italian might become frustrated at the names of characters seeming so similar, but I think that most will be able to work out what is going on easily enough. The story comes complete with well placed humor and the ability to keep you turning the pages. Occasionally what I thought would be the answer to the mystery wasn't quite right, so you have that to look forward to as well. I certainly might pick up the next book in the series if I wanted a light, enjoyable read. ( )
  mirrani | Nov 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrea Camilleriprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, BarbroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Assemi, SchahrzadTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gracin, JurajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irizar, AnderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Τραϊκόγλου… Μαρία-ΡόζαTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kangas, HelinäTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mikołajewski, JarosławTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadruppani, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riu, XavierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simoniti, VeronikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Кондюриной… А.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
רפופורט, מירוןTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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No light of daybreak filtered yet into the courtyard of Splendor, the company under government contract to collect trash in the town to Vigàta.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142004715, Paperback)

Andrea Camilleri's novels starring Inspector Montalbano have become an international sensation and have been translated from Italian into eight languages, ranging from Dutch to Japanese. The Shape of Water is the first book in this sly, witty, and engaging series with its sardonic take on Sicilian life.

Early one morning, Silvio Lupanello, a big shot in the village of Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a rough part of town frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta's most respected detective. With his characteristic mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path to the real killer. This funny and fast-paced Sicilian page-turner will be a delicious discovery for mystery afficionados and fiction lovers alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:55 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The first English translation of the best-selling international mystery series follows Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano as he investigates the suspicious death of an engineer who had made a name for himself in a small town.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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