Medici Money

Posted on April 29, 2011 by

Before I read Deathless, I read Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence

The raw info in this book was excellent. The intricacies of how bankers managed to profit from the exchange of money without charging interest (Christians were forbidden to practice usury at the time, on pain of excommunication) and the description of the backstabbing Florentine politics was great. I do love a little backstabbing political intrigue.

Something about Tim Parks’s style didn’t quite do it for me, though. He would slip into a dreamy narrative tone, meant to evoke the time and place, the mindset of the players. Usually I love that kind of thing, but somehow with this particular book I found it jarring and ineffective. I’m reading Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter’s, by R.A. Scotti, and in terms of writing style I’m enjoying that a lot more.

My complaint about Parks is a matter of taste, though, not so much failure of execution. And it seems almost ungrateful to say so, because reading this book definitely enriched the story I was working on at the time.

On another note: the word count for Wednesday-Thursday’s writing session is: 2603, bringing the total to 23,328.

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