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Thomson, Rupert

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ISBN 10: 1847081630 / ISBN 13: 9781847081636
Verlag: Granta, London, 2013
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Hardcover
Verkäufer PsychoBabel & Skoob Books (Didcot, OXON, Vereinigtes Königreich)

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Hardcover - first edition, first printing - in very good condition, with only the lightest of shelfwear on spine ends. Pages are sound and clean. TS. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 445315

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Secrecy

Verlag: Granta, London

Erscheinungsdatum: 2013

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand:Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good

Art des Buches: Used

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It is Florence, 1691. The Renaissance is long gone, and the city is a dark, repressive place, where everything is forbidden and anything is possible. The Enlightenment may be just around the corner, but knowledge is still the property of the few, and they guard it fiercely. Art, sex and power - these, as always, are the obsessions. Facing serious criminal charges, Gaetano Zummo is forced to flee his native Siracusa at the age of twenty, first to Palermo, then Naples, but always has the feeling that he is being pursued by his past, and that he will never be free of it. Zummo works an artist in wax. He is fascinated by the plague, and makes small wooden cabinets in which he places graphic, tortured models of the dead and dying. But Cosimo III, Tuscany's penultimate Medici ruler, gives Zummo his most challenging commission yet, and as he tackles it his path entwines with that of the apothecary's daughter Faustina, whose secret is even more explosive than his. Poignant but paranoid, sensual yet chilling, Secrecy is a novel that buzzes with intrigue and ideas. It is a love story, a murder mystery, a portrait of a famous city in an age of austerity, an exercise in concealment and revelation, but above all it is a trapdoor narrative, one story dropping unexpectedly into another, the ground always slippery, uncertain...


An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2014: “He came on a November day, a cold wind blowing, the fields soaked with rain.” With that opening line we’re introduced to Zummo, the mysterious Sicilian sculptor whose specialty is dioramas of death: wax figures of dead and dying plague victims, with rats tugging at their entrails. “I’m interested in corruption and decay,” he explains. Set in Florence, in the late 1600s, Zummo is commissioned by the Grand Duke to create a wax sculpture of a woman to replace his wife, the Duchess (who hates her husband and has fled the royal manor). British writer Rupert Thomson’s characters are fantastically comical or creepy or weird: an imperious nobleman who rolls “syllables on his tongue like pieces of soft fruit”; a menacing black-robed priest (“slippery, reptilian”); a beautiful apothecary girl of suspicious lineage; a gossipy house boy with a missing ear named, of course, Earhole. Packed with enough lies, betrayals, jealousies, couplings, and secrets to rival, say, Congress, this is a rich and delicious book that reads more like a brainy mystery than “historical.” That’s not a dig at the historical bits. The recreation of life on the dangerous streets of Renaissance Florence is masterful. Says the sculptor (again, a line that could apply to Congress): “I’d never lived in a place where paranoia was so completely justifiable.” Maybe I’m easy to please, or I’m a sucker for micro-scenes like the royal librarian who walks away from a Jesuit scholar and a few monks, mutters “nest of vipers” and chomps into a hard-boiled egg. I’m also a sucker for Thomson’s language: palace floors are “voluptuous with dust,” an old woman smells of “famine breath,” a man’s privates are referred to as “Your root. Your yard. Your pego.” Famine in the countryside, an earthquake, love and death and disturbing works of art... I loved it all. --Neal Thompson

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PsychoBabel Books in Oxfordshire and Skoob Books in London (Russell Square Tube) are solely owned by Chris Edwards, 1 Churchward, Didcot, Oxfordshire. OX11 7HB. Prompt dispatch on clearance of payment. If any doubt about condition of book in addition to that described please e-mail or call. PsychoBabel & Skoob Books 1 Churchward, Didcot, Oxfordshire. OX11 7HB Telephone 01235 861411 VAT Regi...

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