Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Venice, Pure City - Peter Ackroyd


I wish Ackroyd would get back to writing novels instead of these endless tie-ins for eye-candy TV series.  I was happy enough with his 'biographies' of London and the River Thames, but this - commissioned for Sky Arts - is 380 pages of puff.  He hasn't called it a biography because that infers life, and there is none of that here.  Nor is it a study, because it would have to be battened down with more fact than is apparent here.  I suppose it could be called a reverie, or a reflection upon themes Venetian - music, painting, empire-building etc. - but that would be generous.  It's beautifully written, of course, which only serves to remind us of the waste of talent involved in this gratuitous guff.

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