Book description

Book info

Author
Title
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherAce
File size5.2 Mb
GanreScience Fiction
Release date 01.08.1989
ISBN9780441123896
Pages count272
Book rating4.11 (32 votes)
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I will never know how I came to own this book. I found it in a box of books inherited it from one uncle or another, but all deny having ever read it. In any case, I loved Cry Republic, finding it strange, beautiful and sad, and like I've barely understood it after reading it a dozen times.

This is a book that utterly defies categorisation. On the surface, it's a simple action-adventure with stock characters: the veteran soldier; the scheming usurper; the depraved social climbing widow; the noble samurai. Beneath that it's an interesting musing on a Roman Empire caught somewhere in the mid-18th century, even if politically little has changed since the time of Caligula. Deeper still, and it's a surprisingly thoughtful work that muses on the nature of empire and God, without any forced conclusions or certanties. It is content to leave subplots, like the fate of the pardoned Jesus or the spiritual awakening of Germanicus, far beneath the narrative so we catch glimpses of some great structure beneath the plot. It feels no need to help the reader, leaving Latin and Hebrew terms untranslated, using obscure names for historical figures like Joshua bar Joseph, referencing historical and fictional characters alike without any explanation or context. The result could have been a frustratingly arrogant and unreadable piece, but insteadit feels much more real than any work of fiction I've ever read. Mitchell writes as if he has no reader, and the result is a book that feels like you're discovering it, rather than having your hand held on a guided tour.

The epilogue feels like a conclusion but not an ending and the meaning of the last sentence always goes over in my mind for days after I read it. A beautiful, haunting work.

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