Book Review | The Devil’s Dancer : a Satire of Nothing by Victor Bertocchi

I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author for participating in the giveaway.

This book was a mystery before it arrived without much of a synopsis available online at the time. Following the format used by Pirandello in Six Characters in Search of an Author, a play about the production of a play, Bertocchi has written a play for the stage about the production of a play in this book. Lines, physical character descriptions, and musical numbers are included. It speaks of varying opinions of art, the stage, popular culture and capitalism, amongst other things.
While the writing style was unique and still clear enough to follow, I’ll agree with another reviewer to say that the characters were just not appealing enough. Most of them were fairly flat, perhaps giving leeway for an actor’s interpretation on the stage, but also simply unlikeable. The individual chapters/acts were quick enough to get through, but once I had set the book down I was unmotivated to pick it up again. It was a chore to get through for me and I wouldn’t have finished it had it not been given in exchange for a review of the book’s entirety. That said, the quality of the actual book is great and it would work well for those wanting to read while using public transit since it can be frequently interrupted without problem. It is not currently available in any libraries, but the author was selling the ebook for 99¢ (info here).

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About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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