Berendt is a very patient writer, which to me is neither a compliment or an insult. I listened to this on audio because I think Holter Graham is an excellent reader, and I think I liked the book, too. Large sections of it only loosely tied into the main story of the burning of Teatro La Fenice, Venice's opera house. Often, however these digressions were more interesting to me than the central story. For example, the story of Ezra Pound's papers was very compelling to me, probably because I have some frame of reference for that, whereas I knew nothing about Teatro La Fenice before listening to this book. Even in these side stories, however, I never lost confidence that Berendt would bring them together in the end. He never let the story out of his control, but remained omnicient as both author and protagonist (a word I feel comfortable using even though this is a work of non-fiction).