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Publisher's Summary

The Shape of Water is the first in Andrea Camilleri's wry, brilliantly compelling Sicilian crime series featuring Inspector Montalbano.

The goats of Vigàta once grazed on the trash-strewn site still known as the Pasture. Now local enterprise of a different sort flourishes: drug dealers and prostitutes of every flavour. But their discreet trade is upset when two employees of the Splendour Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Luparello, one of the local movers and shakers, apparently deceased in flagrante at the Pasture. The coroner's verdict is death from natural causes - refreshingly unusual for Sicily.

But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case - even though he's being pressured by Vigàta's police chief, judge and bishop.

Picking his way through a labyrinth of high-comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta firepower and carefully planted false clues, Montalbano can be relied on, whatever the cost, to get to the heart of the matter.

The Shape of Water is followed by the second in this phenomenal series, The Terracotta Dog.

©2017 Andrea Camilleri (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Shape of Water

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Montalbano, a favourite of mine now

Didn’t think I would like this detective and wasn’t sure how an audio book would turn out. On both assumptions I was absolutely wrong, absorbing mystery with a cop who has a heart of gold and the narration of this audiobook so good. Can’t wait to hear more!

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Rarely disappoints

You can't go wrong with Inspector Montalbano. The right combination of law abiding police officer and rogue rule bender when necessary. Always on the right side of morality, though.

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Profile Image for Gerry Lynch
  • Gerry Lynch
  • 24-01-2018

Great Start to the series

I have to disagree with previous reviewer. Firstly it is not Camilleri's best book. It shows promise and obviously the Montalbano series went from strength to strength. I have read all translated so far, as reading in italian although possible is more of an intellectual exercise, and I certainly do not want to lose the flow of the story. In my opinion "the shape of water" is a great start but not a patch on the following books.
Secondly the narration is excellent to my mind, I am very choosy about narrators and often will not get books I consider great if the narration does not suit. I certainly dont want Montalbano done with a cheesy Italian accent.

6 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Ms C Symington
  • Ms C Symington
  • 25-08-2017

Really sad

Would you listen to The Shape of Water again? Why?

Been waiting to have all the Montalbano novels on Audible for years. Had heard some narrated by Daniel Philpott which were good. This narrator is just awful! He has a lovely voice but no feel for the books at all and has little ability to do a range of voices. Still love the stories but whoever let this guy narrate the second novel when they heard how badly he did the first made a bad call!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shape of Water?

Story just as great as always but as already stated hard to find a high point in a poor narrative performance.

How could the performance have been better?

Another narrator!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, for the story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 11-05-2018

Should I Stick or Twist?

I really don't know whether to stick at just this first book or twist and try another one. It's obvious from looking around other review sites that this is a much-loved series that improves as it goes on. I'd add that Inspector Maltabano shows some real promise as the central character, on a couple of occasions he delivers some cracking lines.

On the down side this cleverly named yet brief introduction to the series isn't as compelling as one might hope. The story is fairly mechanical and whether it's the original writing or the translation is hard to tell but a lot of the dialogue clunks along like speeches being delivered rather than organic interactions, especially the police commissioner at the end.

I think the narration by Mark Meadows is fine, to my inexpert ear his Italian pronunciation sounds authentic but this clashes with the English accents given to the characters at times.

So, mostly because my father promises that this becomes a really enjoyable series and those occasional killer lines delivered by Maltabano I will probably twist at some point but I don't feel a great urgency to do so.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Helen SJ
  • 26-12-2020

I love the Montalbano books.

Sadly, although the narrator was very good, he just lacked a little pizzazz. All said, this no way detracts from the story.

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Profile Image for anneliesvanoyen
  • anneliesvanoyen
  • 31-10-2020

quality download poor:

great story
quality download poor: its regularly breaks up so I miss words constantly

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Profile Image for Mr C Ward
  • Mr C Ward
  • 21-07-2020

Very engaging story.

A good plot and interesting variety of characters.
Very well read. It took me a little time to get used to the Italian names and accent, but then I was able to enjoy the story.
I’m now looking forward to the next book, the next adventure of Insoector Montalbano.

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  • Mrs. S. THOMJAS
  • 11-01-2021

Dreadful

Convoluted, boring but great if you can't sleep.
Poor translation into some very odd English.

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Profile Image for David
  • David
  • 29-07-2019

read following watching tv series

A very enjoyable book. I got into the books following watching the tv series. It's read at a good pace and nice to hear where it all started

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Profile Image for Nick
  • Nick
  • 19-04-2019

Lost in narration

The narrator seemed to narrate most of the characters with a surprised excited expression in their voices and overall it came over as if the book was being narrated to children. I think this spoilt my concentration on what was to me quite a complicated plot. So this series is not for me I think.

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Profile Image for Peter
  • Peter
  • 26-09-2018

Poor Effort

Translation could have been better. Narration expressionless.
Could have been handled better some ludicrous words and expressions used. Did not really enjoy this.

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