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.