By Barry Unsworth
Barry Unsworth, the Booker Prize-winning writer of Sacred Hunger and the bestselling Morality Play, returns in most sensible shape with this worldly, bittersweet comedy of manners and morals set in a single of Italy's such a lot glorious--and traditionally treacherous--regions.
Golden Umbria is domestic to breathtaking surroundings and nice paintings; it's also the place Hannibal and his invading band of Carthaginians ambushed and slaughtered a Roman legion, and the place the neighborhood place-names nonetheless converse of that bloodshed.
Unsworth's modern invaders contain the vegetables, a retired American couple looking serenity one of the Umbrian hills, who're bilked out in their discounts via the corrupt English "building expert" Stan Blemish; the Chapmans, a British estate speculator and his spouse, whose dispute with their pals over a wall escalates right into a feud of approximately medieval proportions; Anders Ritter, a German haunted via the half his father performed in a mass killing of Italian hostages in Rome in the course of the moment global battle; and Fabio and Arturo, a homosexual couple who, trying to find peace and self-sufficiency, locate treachery as a substitute. And on the heart of some of these webs of deceit and greed is the crafty legal professional Mancini, satisfied to help the disputants--and to use to the fullest the religion that those "innocents abroad" have put in him.
Mining his genius for ancient narrative in addition to his present for sharp-eyed portraiture and deliciously droll storytelling, Barry Unsworth has written a wonderful entertainment. After Hannibal is one among this impressive author's most interesting creations.
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Extra info for After Hannibal
His aunt and uncle hadn’t been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they’d left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside. ” I’m not going to do anything,” said Harry, “honestly . ” But Uncle Vernon didn’t believe him. No one ever did. The problem was, strange things often happened around Harry and it was just no good telling the Dursleys he didn’t make them happen. ” Dudley had laughed himself silly at Harry, who spent a sleepless night imagining school the next day, where he was already laughed at for his baggy clothes and taped glasses.
Dudley asked Aunt Petunia dully late that afternoon. Uncle Vernon had parked at the coast, locked them all inside the car, and disappeared. It started to rain. Great drops beat on the roof of the car. Dudley sniveled. “It’s Monday,” he told his mother. “The Great Humberto’s on tonight. ” Monday. This reminded Harry of something. If it was Monday — and you could usually count on Dudley to know the days of the week, because of television — then tomorrow, Tuesday, was Harry’s eleventh birthday. Of course, his birthdays were never exactly fun — last year, the Dursleys had given him a coat hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon’s old socks.
The door was hit with such force that it swung clean off its hinges and with a deafening crash landed flat on the floor. A giant of a man was standing in the doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair. 46 THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS The giant squeezed his way into the hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent down, picked up the door, and fitted it easily back into its frame.
After Hannibal by Barry Unsworth