The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
(Penguin Classics)

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In the summer of 1348, as the Black Death ravages their city, ten young Florentines take refuge in the countryside. They amuse themselves by each telling a story a day for the ten days they are destined to remain there - a hundred stories of love, adventure and surprising twists of fate. Less preoccupied with abstract concepts of morality or religion than earthly values, the tales range from the bawdy Peronella hiding her lover in a tub to Ser Cepperallo, who, despite his unholy effrontery, becomes a Saint. The result is a towering monument of European literature and a masterpiece of imaginative narrative.

About Giovanni Boccaccio

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Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian author and poet, was born in 1313 and died in 1375. Born in Liverpool, England, J. G. Nichols is a poet, literary critic, and translator. He was awarded the John Florio Prize for his translation of the poems of Guido Gozzano. His translation of Petrarch's Canzoniere won the Premio Internazionale Diego Valeri in 2000.From the Hardcover edition.
Published March 27, 2003 by Penguin. 1072 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Decameron

The New York Times

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BOCCACCIO By Thomas G. Bergin. 392 pp. New York: The Viking Press. $25. BOCCACCIO was widely recognized during his lifetime as one of the greatest writers of the age; and ever since the 16th century, when he was elevated to the rank of a co-founder of the Italian language, he has been reco...

Jan 10 1982 | Read Full Review of The Decameron (Penguin Classics)


For ten days (Decameron means “ten days” in Greek) — each day ten stories are told, for a total of one hundred.

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The New York Review of Books

In her recent book about the novel (Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel[*]), Jane Smiley points out that while the writer gets to make the rules for his or her work, the reader has the option to read it or not, and is free to “object or disagree.” This critical pact has required novelists since...

Apr 26 2007 | Read Full Review of The Decameron (Penguin Classics)

The New York Review of Books

Many readers, on the contrary, will find the book not only intensely enjoyable, but crucial for getting a sense of the relationship between the various parts of Boccaccio’s work.” I was, of course, familiar with the line that the Corbaccio is merely, as Hollander puts it, “a spirited joke at th...

Dec 05 2002 | Read Full Review of The Decameron (Penguin Classics)

The Decameron by Boccaccio is the kind of book you get for people who like to read, but who feel classics are essentially three things: long, dull, and dusty.

Feb 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Decameron (Penguin Classics)

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