Monday, August 4, 2008

Book Review: The Silent Gondoliers by William Goldman

The gondoliers of Venice were once regarded as the finest singers in the world, but for years they have been mysteriously silent. At the heart of this mystery is a young gondolier named Luigi. Luigi is an incredibly gifted gondolier, able to navigate what other gondoliers refer to as SPLAT Corner with the greatest of ease. However, when it comes to his vocal abilities, Luigi is severely lacking. In fact, his singing is so appalling that the citizens of Venice throw fish at him from their windows. His customers, wary of being pelted by flying seafood during their leisurely gondola rides, soon disappear. His fellow gondoliers, fearing for their own livelihoods, demand that Luigi never work as a gondolier again.


The disgraced Luigi then goes to work in the Gondolier’s Tavern, washing dishes to earn his living. But still he dreams of the day when he can sing his heart out on the Grand Canal. After ten years he saves up enough money to take vocal lessons, but the only instructor who will take him on is a deaf man. Luigi’s dream looks as though it will never be attainable, but an act of great bravery and skill will eventually change how his fellow gondoliers look at Luigi.


This is a fast and enjoyable read with a fair amount of charm, but The Silent Gondoliers doesn’t quite live up the genius of Goldman’s better known work, The Princess Bride. Luigi’s story is not a must-read, but it is a pleasant tale that can be read in under an hour.

Rating: 6/10

Buy The Silent Gondoliers:
Indiebound | Powell's | Amazon

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering why Goldman sounded so familiar. I adored "The Princess Bride" lol both book and movie.

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