Title: The Leopard
Author: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Publication Date: 2007 (1958)
Genre: Modern Classic
Source: Xmas Gift
The Leopard is a story of a decadent and dying aristocracy threatened by the forces of revolution and democracy. Set against the political upheavals of Italy in the 1860s, it focuses on Don Fabrizio, a Sicilian prince of immense sensual appetites, wealth, and great personal magnetism. Around this powerful figure swirls a glittering array of characters: a Bourbon king, liberals and pseudo liberals, peasants and millionaires.
The Leopard is a gripping tale of love and death, set in a time of political upheaval which, to an extent, mirrors Don Fabrizio's personal story of the old giving way to the new. It is a sensual and poetic piece of fiction that considers the coming of old age and death, and the force of change. Don Fabrizio is a wonderful character who tries to be forward thinking but at the same time remains set in his ways on certain matters. It is wonderful to follow his thoughts as he looks upon the world around him and the people in it, and reflects on his own life. This is book well-deserving of its place as a modern classic of European literature.