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Sudden Death

by Álvaro Enrigue

Blackly, brutally funny take on sixteenth century Europe. Art and power epitomised in Cortez's conquests and the Counter-Reformation, as imagined through a game of tennis. It sounds mad but is really gripping stuff - unless you hate magical realism.

Extract

Vasco de Quiroga was a good priest. A man of the world who became a man of God .... not exactly the God in whose name everyone stole and murdered in Rome, Spain and America, but a better one who unfortunately doesn't exist either.
Carlo Borremeo annihilated the Renaissance by turning torture into the only way to practise Christianity. He was declared a saint the moment he died.
Translated by Natasha Wimmer

Parallels

The Pope's Rhinoceros by Lawrence Norfolk
The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers
 

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