NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Monday, March 10, 2008


In the Company of the Courtesan follows celebrated Roman courtesan Fiammetta Bianchini from her escape of the sack of Rome in 1527 through her struggles and reemergence in the city of Vienna. Told from the point of view of her dwarf companion, Bucino, more sensitive readers may want to shy away from this one, as Fiammetta makes no apologies for what she is and the story is often told using the coarse language of her trade. Beautiful pictures are painted, highlighted with a generous sprinkling of vulgarity.

If that is not an issue for you, then you are in for an enchanting read! The book does not focus on her work as a courtesan. There are no detailed boudoir scenes. But we see her life around her profession, how she overcomes tragedy and physical disfigurements that would have ended the careers of the less stoic and how she and Bucino handle the frailties of success when it ultimately comes to them.

While most of the novel focuses on Fiammetta and Bucino and their trials and tribulations, it is an unexpected swerve toward the end that takes the book from "good read" to a higher level. Characters who until then have been interesting become extraordinary indeed, and a story that would have been fascinating but forgettable becomes one that you will not want to end.


By the same author:


joanna said...

Stop reading interesting books, there's no more room on my lists! ;-)

This looks really good, I love getting reccommendations for books that are just that little bit different!

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ I know how you feel. We think these Challenges are going to make our lists smaller, but we read everyone else's reviews and just the opposite happens! I'm diligently composing my reading list for 2009 and 2010 . . .

I like to think different is my specialty. I search out oddities just to see how authors handle them. Just for fun, look up a couple of David Maine books. He has some interesting twists on biblical stories. Or Christopher Moore, a few of whose books I'll be reviewing this summer. And I have to remember to talk about "Lives of the Monster Dogs" sometime. I could go on all day. I need to find a way to blog books for a living! :-)


Unknown said...

I read this book last year and loved it, glad you did too.

Lezlie said...

Kris ~ I almost didn't read it, because I hadn't been very enamored of "The Birth of Venus", but I'm sooo glad I did!


Lenore Appelhans said...

This one has been on my shelf for awhile - I think you just inspired me to read it sooner rather than later :)

Lezlie said...

Hi, Lenore! It took me a little while to really appreciate it, but it turned out to be really amazing. I hope you like it as much as I did!