Sunday, July 6, 2008

BOOK: The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri

The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri (translated by Stephen Sartarelli)

Orbis Terrarum: Italy; in a series

I discovered this Italian mystery series at book number four. I hate reading a series out of order, but I found The Voice of the Violin on the marked down table at Indigo before I went on my Mediterranean cruise in 2006. I loved the cover and the idea of reading an Italian book while in Italy. I loved the character of Inspector Montalbano (Valentino wrote a lovely post on the appeal of Montalbano and Camilleri) and so then started at the beginning. The Snack Thief is the third book, the one just before where I started.

Camilleri is getting into the swing of the series by the third book, and I am beginning to keep all the characters straight. I tend to read names in a book like a picture, that is, I don't say the name, those letters just represent that person. When I read books with foreign names that are not as familiar to me, I have a more difficult time assigning the name to a character, because the letters are distinct enough. I'm not sure I've explained that well, but it's how I read. Anyway, the series and characters are developing nicely and I might have to read the next book, which I've already read, to keep the flow of the series. I am remembering things that happened in The Voice of the Violin that this book set up. It all makes sense now.

As I wrote in my Miss Julia review, the plot of a series doesn't really matter so I'll just say that Montalbano is his usual grumpy self, and the food descriptions make my mouth water and make me dream of spending a year on Sicily, drinking wine and eating pasta and fish. I'll just have to read the next book in the series.


justareadingfool said...

That's odd, I believe I picked The Snack Thief too for the same challenge. Or maybe I picked it because you reminded me earlier (I'm not sure now), but whichever, now I need to go get this from interlibrary loan since I know our library won't have this. It's about time for another mystery anyway and this would be a great one. Also thanks for the links to Valentina's Room and her insights on the series.

ricoeurian said...


We saw that you'd blogged about Camilleri's Montalbano books and thought you might be interested in a piece on the Picador blog from Stephen Sartarelli, on the subject of translating Camilleri's Montalbano books:

Best wishes,
Picador blog team