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Publisher's Summary

Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time.

Although Giuseppe di Lampedusa had long had the book in mind, he began writing it only in his late 50s; he died at age 60, soon after the manuscript was rejected as unpublishable. Here, finally, is the definitive edition of this brilliant and timeless novel.

©1958, 2002 Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, Milano. Translation c. 1960 by William Collins & Co Ltd. and Random House, Inc. Copyright renewed 1988 by William Collins PLC and Random House, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Leopard

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    4 out of 5 stars

Descriptive rather than gripping

This description of the upper classes in Sicily at the time of the unification of Italy was well described but somewhat lacked vitality.

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  • Lobster
  • 09-09-2016

one of the most beautiful books ever written

What made the experience of listening to The Leopard the most enjoyable?

I first read this years ago and was enthralled by its beautiful language and structure. No book has ever painted such vivid images in my mind, it was like reading a a painting by a great master. The audio version didn't disappoint

What did you like best about this story?

A vivid and honest description of change for an aging, decaying and increasingly redundant man and his world

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is famously one of the best Italian novels ever. I bought it first time in a charity shop in the 1980s knowing nothing about it. I was in awe. Its alive with beauty, I never forgot it. It made me laugh and cry at different points and the performance by Ballerini was lovely and sensitive to the exquisite literature and subject matter. Respect.

Any additional comments?

I'm beginning to sound crazed, I had better stop.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Parola138
  • 10-02-2013

I loved it

Books like this, it's better to go into blind. All I knew about it was that it involved Sicilian Aristocracy during the Italian "Resurgence." It is very well written, in as much that entire short stories seem to blossom from within single paragraphs (Such as the scene you will encounter when the family is eating jello/pudding). I found this to be a very rich and rewarding novel, however don't buy it if you're looking for "Under the Tuscan Sun," where serendipity makes everything come out rosy in the end. This is about war, intrigue, etc. and is strong on character and history. Don't come looking for a fast-food novel about princes and kinds.

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  • A.M.
  • 16-12-2020

Interesting and beautifully written

Really enjoyed this book. The author has a beautiful, lyrical style and captures the spirit of the characters and the beauty of the setting. Wonderful journey through this chapter in Sicilian/Italian history.

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  • short guy
  • 14-07-2020

Atmospheric,, sad tale set in Sicily

A gorgeously told story. Ostensibly this is a tale of the decline of the nobility of Sicily following the reunification and creation of the nation of Italy. This is in fact the story of the inevitable decay and decline of just about everything human. Only aspects of human nature, good and bad, and the harsh Sicilian sun seem immortal. Despite those heavy themes, there is a sumptuous and sensual quality to the writing and the subject which is very seductive indeed. The reader's honeyed voice and his subtle ability to capture the mood and the people are brilliant.

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  • R. Bhatt
  • 03-06-2020

A thoroughly enjoyable classic

I love this book so much. I enjoyed the other version of this on audible a lot. I heard good things about Edoardo Ballerini so I checked this version out and it’s amazing too. Both are very good.

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  • Carmelene
  • 16-09-2017

Who Says History Can't Be Sexy and Sensuous?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

First of all the narrator speaks both Italian and French and therefore isn't daunted by the names and the language insertions in the book. His language skills made it an added pleasure to listen to a book that had so many Italian names in it.

Any additional comments?

The book is one of the most linguistically rich books I have ever read/listened to. It was like listening to a sumptuous feast of words.

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  • Daniel
  • 31-10-2012

Boring story with bored reader

I suppose it's classified as a historical novel because the story takes place in the past. It's really an romance novel and only makes brief references to any historical events. The reader seems bored as well. He narrates in a kind of sing-song voice that rocks one to sleep.

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  • lucia
  • 14-06-2015

Why is this such an Italian favorite?

Where does The Leopard rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 5. I have reread it 3 times.

What did you like best about this story?

It is emotionally bittersweet and ironic.

Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

The Leopard of course.

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  • Kaisa Maki-Petaja
  • 08-09-2020

The most tedious story

This must have been the most dull and tedious story I have ever forced myself to listen/ read. Pretty much nothing happens in the whole book, it’s just 8 long hours of descriptions. The Narrator was very pleasant to listen to but even he can’t save the experience.

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