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La pazienza del ragno by Andrea Camilleri
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La pazienza del ragno (2004)

by Andrea Camilleri

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Salvo Montalbano (8)

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9092915,061 (3.68)94
Still recovering from his gunshot wound, Inspector Montalbano is feeling the weight of his years, and of his solitude. He's getting softer, more introspective, and critical of his life choices. But if withdrawing from society has become natural of late, he'll soon be forced to interact with others, compelled to intervene as a web of hatred and secrets threatens to squeeze its victims to death. This is Montalbano's most unusual and challenging case yet - and the one that will either change him or break him.… (more)
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English (22)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
The Publisher Says: Winning fans in Europe and America for their dark sophistication and dry humor, Andrea Camilleri's crime novels are classics of the genre. Set once again in Sicily, The Patience of the Spider pits Inspector Montalbano against his greatest foe yet: the weight of his own years. Still recovering from the gunshot wound he suffered in Rounding the Mark, he must overcome self-imposed seclusion and waxing self-doubt to penetrate a web of hatred and secrets in pursuit of the strangest culprit he's ever hunted. A mystery unlike any other, this emotionally taut story brings the Montalbano saga to a captivating crossroads.

My Review: Montalbano's near-fatal wound in the previous book is the reason this story could work at all. This is Sicily, after all, and revenge tales must be told. This one, like all the best revenge stories (eg, [book:The Count of Monte Cristo|7126], [book:Gone Girl|19288043]), is a slow-burn simmering of malefactors and miscreants in the deep waters of their indifference's costs to innocent souls around them.

Since Montalbano is recuperating from an undeniable wound, he is the only one fit to pursue the consequences of wounding so very deep it saps the will to live. He is his crusty self, irking Livia (come from Genoa to nurse him back to health) and worrying Fazio and Mimì into making painful mistakes in their attempts to fill his inspector-shoes; baiting the oblivious Catarella (a musical-comedy Sicilian if there ever was one, and a character that could only be written by uber-Sicilian Camilleri with impunity) and insufferable, smug Latte-with-an-S-at-the-end (as Catarella calls Lattes, secretary to the regional boss over Montalbano). So far, so familiar.

But it's the down-time that Montalbano is forced to take that is his primary tool in unraveling this operatic plot. He thinks, as he always does, through the parameters of the puzzle a penniless bore's daughter's kidnapping presents. He has the leisure, enforced by dictates from Lattes, that allows his synesthetic imagination to record quite forcefully impressions that, in the end, form a pattern...a web...and there's just no doubt that Salvo has saved the day with his solution. He makes a judgment call. He is, in my never-remotely humble opinion, absolutely correct in his call. And after all, isn't that why we read series mysteries? The sleuth solves the crime...satisfying enough...the author provides us with the clues...Camilleri certainly does that...and then Right is Done.

Unlike in real life, sadly.

It's all too clear that Montalbano's appeal is catholic; many who read the novels do so for the gorgeous foods...rabbit simmered in caponata, swoon!...and still others do so for the intricacies of the puzzles. A broad tent, this Camilleri spreads.

I read these novels for those reasons, and more. I love the small details, a Simenon "hard novel" or a Sciascia historical fiction, a dead shopkeeper with a significant name, Livia's conflicted glance in the airport, the uncle and the others having no names; the ones in plain sight, the ones that tell a much subtler, infinitely more personal tale. Camilleri put himself in his books as Hitchcock did in his movies. He is there if you look away, he looms if your back turns just slowly enough, Camilleri newly dead haunts his fifteen-year-old fictions because he put his spirit in our entertainment and never once demanded that we look at him.

What a wily old dramaturg he really was. If anyone lived up to the traditional birthday wish, "Cent'anni!" I do so wish it had been he. ( )
1 vote richardderus | Jul 21, 2019 |
While on medical leave recuperating from being shot in the shoulder, Inspector Montalbano is called on to help solve the crime of a young girl gone missing.

While on her way home from studying after school she disappears, her scooter found on the side of the road, her helmet & backpack found in two different places....

Because the family has no money, it is left to her mother's brother to pay the ransom....

The girl's uncle is a crook and the kidnapping & subsequent ransom demands expose him and his dirty dealings....

Very interesting plot, but in the middle it became obvious who was involved in the kidnapping.

I still do not like Montalbano's girlfriend Livia, she's overly sensitive and continually starts fights & arguments over his everyday mannerisms.. I'm waiting for the day he finally dumps her, although, sadly, I don't think that is ever going to happen. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jun 4, 2019 |
5 stars? Yes. It was funny, insightful, and surprising. What a great summer read. Among the details which I enjoy: the attention paid to details. I stopped today and watched a spider web carefully, inspired by the dear detective. He listens to his body, listens to his emotions and is self-reflective. My only regret is, as I've mentioned before in reviews of this series, that women are remarkable only for their cooking skills or their beauty. (I write that and immediately I know it's not true. Ingrid drives a car well. It would be difficult to characterize Livia.)

I am bothered by the idea that devoting oneself to being useful (finally?) can compensate for an act of deception, however worthy the recipient is. (The recipient here is either the deceived or the benefactor of the deception.) Worthy of discussion,then, the inspector's question: can great love grow out of great hatred? ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Montalbano is recovering from a gunshot wound, with the tender(?) ministrations of Livia, who has temporarily moved in, when he is called back to participate in the investigation of a kidnapping of a young woman. As much fun as usual, with a neat, if fairly obvious, plot twist, and justice served outside the bounds of the legal system for the most part. I just have to say it, though---Livia is so disagreeable, and she can't cook worth a damn. So why does Montalbano stick with her? I don't think Camilleri likes women much, but doesn't he like Montalbano? Couldn't he find someone better out there for the poor Inspector?
Review written August 2014 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Aug 20, 2018 |
...non è camilleri che non va, ma avere già visto lo sceneggiato mi ha fatto cadere tutto il piacere di leggerlo dopo poche pagine. Peccato.
  icaro. | Aug 31, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrea Camilleriprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pages, Maria Antonia MeniniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He jolted awake, sweaty and short of breath.
S’arrisbigliò di colpo, sudatizzo, col sciato grosso.
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