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Scarpia (Hardback)
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Scarpia (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 384 Pages / Published: 05/11/2015
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Man is a delicate mechanism... he can easily be set off course. It is the late 18th century and a young Sicilian nobleman, Vitellio Scarpia, finds himself penniless and in disgrace on the streets of Rome. After leaving his home to pursue a military career, his impulsive and undisciplined nature has led to his expulsion from Spanish royal guard, and he must now seek his fortune in Italy; a fortune inseparably bound up with the ruler of the Eternal City, the Pope. Scarpia enrols in the Papal army and becomes the lover of an alluring countess who introduces him into Roman society with its blend of religiosity, sophistication and intrigue. Half-enthralled, half-appalled, Scarpia enjoys the life of the decadent city, learning in due course that as an unsophisticated provincial he is no match for the worldliness of Rome. Patronized by a powerful Cardinal, Scarpia is sent on a mission to Venice, where he encounters the beautiful, exquisitely gifted singer, Floria Tosca. As the armies of revolutionary France invade Italy, and war and revolution engulf the whole peninsula, the lives of the two become fatefully entwined. Piers Paul Read brilliantly reimagines the infamous villain of Puccini's opera, Tosca, telling a story that shines a light into the dusty corridors of history and the dark corners of the human soul.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408867495
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 706 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Piers Paul Read is one of Britain's most intelligent and disturbing writers * New York Times Book Review *
Undoubtedly one of the most talented novelists of his generation * Sunday Telegraph *
Inventive and rooted in sound historical research * Mail on Sunday *
Marvellously comic, superbly inventive ... One of the most arresting British novelists * The Times *
Brilliant ... perfect for nights in * Stylist *
You don't need to know the opera Tosca to understand and enjoy this book about Puccini's most notorious villain ... [it] left me shocked and befuddled * Spectator *
[An] intriguing combination of religiosity and evil * Tablet *
The whole book is a vivid Ground Tour -- Simon Rees * Literary Review *
What a pleasure it is to read a novel by a writer who knows precisely what he is doing and how to bring it off ... Piers Paul Read is a very good novelist indeed, one who sets himself different challenges with every book ... This is a wonderfully rich book, its picture of late-18th-century Rome, Naples, Calabria and Sicily absorbing, delightful, at times horrible, completely credible. Read has not only thoroughly mastered his research; he has done what the novel can do better than any history: he has illuminated it by his creative imagination ... Scarpia is an outstanding historical novel (which means it is simply an outstanding novel), up there, in this new golden age of historical fiction, with Hilary Mantel's Cromwell books and Robert Harris's Cicero trilogy -- Allan Massie * Oldie *
Superbly written and researched ... It's a powerful tale of passion and betrayal, but what gives it depth is Read's eye for detail and his evocation of political turmoil in the wake of the French Revolution. Historical fiction at its finest * Mail on Sunday *

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