Best-selling author Anne Rice reveals the dark, eerie beauty of the 18th-century Italian society of the castrati: the castrated males - sterile yet sexually functional - who were celebrated and adored for their glorious soprano voices.
Of the hundreds submitted to the knife at an early age - some sold by their parents, some brought by well-meaning maestros to the conservatoria of Naples to serve the music of the Church and State - few will achieve a voice so sublime, so crystalline, so pure that they will gain entrance to the mysterious, haunting world of the castrati. Here, they will know boundless fame and incredible luxury...but also know grueling dedication and sacrifice - and the tremendous pain of being despised as half-men, freaks. And as you are drawn into the castrati's strange and luminous world, Anne Rice also brings you into the sweep of 18th-century Italian life - its extraordinary decadence, opulence, and brutality.
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The best 20th. century novel I've ever read
- Jill Phillips