Imperium: A Fiction of the South Seas
by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Product rating: 3.0 with 1 reviews
An outrageous, fantastical, uncategorizable novel of obsession, adventure, and coconuts
In 1902, a radical vegetarian and nudist from Nuremberg named August Engelhardt set sail for what was then called the Bismarck Archipelago, in German New Guinea. His destination: the island Kabakon. His goal: to establish a colony based on worship of the sun and coconuts. His malnourished body was found on the beach on Kabakon in 1919; he was forty-three years old.
Christian Kracht’s Imperium uses the outlandish details of Engelhardt’s life to craft a fable about the allure of extremism and its fundamental foolishness. Engelhardt is at once a pitiable, misunderstood outsider and a rigid ideologue, and his misguided notions of purity and his spiral into madness presage the horrors of the mid-twentieth century.
Playing with the tropes of classic adventure tales such as Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, Kracht’s novel, an international bestseller, is funny, bizarre, shocking, and poignant. His allusions are misleading, his historical time line is twisted, his narrator is unreliable–and the result is a novel that is a cabinet of mirrors, a maze pitted with trapdoors. Both a provocative satire and a serious meditation on the fragility and audacity of human activity, Imperium is impossible to categorize and utterly unlike anything you’ve read before.
Posted in Satire Tagged with: Farrar, Fiction, Imperium, Seas, South, Straus and Giroux
South on Highland: A Novel
by: Little A
Product rating: 4.6 with 15 reviews
Leila Massey, a young L.A. screenwriter, is on the verge of hitting it big when she falls into the grip of drug and alcohol addiction. Her descent into the narcotic underbelly of the city leads her to a commune in the desert, a filthy room at the Chateau Marmont, and, eventually, rehab. Will Leila continue down the dark path of addiction? Or will she make it as a successful writer? Based on the author’s own life, Liana Maeby’s brilliant debut novel is raw and haunting, and simultaneously incredibly astute and humorous. South on Highland explores true identity and questions our culture’s response to addiction and sensationalism.
Posted in Coming of Age Tagged with: Highland, Little A, Novel, South
The Sword of the South (BAEN)
Product rating: 3.8 with 16 reviews
#1 in a NEW EPIC FANTASY SERIES by 28-times New York Times
and international best seller David Weber, set within his Bahzell Bahnakson/War God universe. A swordsman who has been robbed of his past must confront an evil wizard with a world at stake.
Know thyself. Its always good to know who you are, but sometimes thats a little difficult.
Kenhodan has no last name, because he has no past . . . or not one he
remembers, anyway. What he does have are a lot of scars and a lot of skills some exhilarating and some terrifying and a purpose. Now if he only knew where he’d gotten them and what that purpose was . . . .
Wencit of Rm, the most powerful wizard in the world, knows the answers to Kenhodan’s questions, but he can’t or won’t share them with him. Except to inform him that he’s a critical part of Wencit’s millennium-long battle to protect Norfressa from conquest by dark sorcery.
Bahzell Bahnakson, champion of Tomank, doesnt
know those answers and the War God isn’t sharing them with him. Except to inform Bahzell that the final confrontation with the Dark Lords of fallen Kontovar is about to begin, and that somehow Kenhodan is one of the keys to its final outcome.
Wulfra of Torfo doesn’t know those answers, either, but she does know Wencit of Rm is her implacable foe and that somehow Kenhodan is one of the weapons he intends to use against her . . . assuming she can’t kill both of them first.
But in the far northern port city of Belhadan, an eleven-year-old girl with a heart of harp music knows the answers to all
of Kenhodan’s questions. . . and dares not share them with anyone, even the ancient wild wizard who loves her more dearly than life itself.
It’s not easy to face the future when you can’t even remember your own past, but if saving an entire world from evil sorcerers, demons, devils, and dark gods was easy, anyone
could do it.
About David Weber’s War Bahzell Bahnak series:
“Irresistibly entertaining.”– Publishers Weekly
fun adventure full of noble steeds, fierce female fighters, dark sorcerers, serious swordplay, and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor.”– LocusAbout David Weber and the Honor Harrington series:
“Weber combines realistic, engaging characters with intelligent technological projection and a deep understanding of military bureaucracy in this long-awaited Honor Harrington novel…Fans of this venerable space opera will rejoice to see Honor back in action.”–Publishers Weekly
“. . .everything you could want in a heroine …. Excellent … plenty of action.”–Science Fiction Age
“Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!”–Anne McCaffrey
“Compelling combat combined with engaging characters for a great space opera adventure.”–Locus
“Weber combines realistic, engaging characters with intelligent technological projection . . . Fans of this venerable space opera will rejoice . . .”–Publishers Weekly
Posted in Literary Tagged with: BAEN, South, Sword
Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South
Product rating: 4.5 with 36 reviews
Between the Confederacy and recognition by Great Britain stood one unlikely Englishman who hated the slave trade. His actions helped determine the fate of a nation.
When Robert Bunch arrived in Charleston to take up the post of British consul in 1853, he was young and full of ambition, but even he couldn’t have imagined the incredible role he would play in the history-making events to unfold. In an age when diplomats often were spies, Bunch’s job included sending intelligence back to the British government in London. Yet as the United States threatened to erupt into Civil War, Bunch found himself plunged into a double life, settling into an amiable routine with his slavery-loving neighbors on the one hand, while working furiously to thwart their plans to achieve a new Confederacy.
As secession and war approached, the Southern states found themselves in an impossible position. They knew that recognition from Great Britain would be essential to the survival of the Confederacy, and also that such recognition was likely to be withheld if the South reopened the Atlantic slave trade. But as Bunch meticulously noted from his perch in Charleston, secession’s red-hot epicenter, that trade was growing. And as Southern leaders continued to dissemble publicly about their intentions, Bunch sent dispatch after secret dispatch back to the Foreign Office warning of the truth—that economic survival would force the South to import slaves from Africa in massive numbers. When the gears of war finally began to turn, and Bunch was pressed into service on an actual spy mission to make contact with the Confederate government, he found himself in the middle of a fight between the Union and Britain that threatened, in the boast of Secretary of State William Seward, to “wrap the world in flames.”
In this masterfully told story, Christopher Dickey introduces Consul Bunch as a key figure in the pitched battle between those who wished to reopen the floodgates of bondage and misery, and those who wished to dam the tide forever. Featuring a remarkable cast of diplomats, journalists, senators, and spies, Our Man in Charleston captures the intricate, intense relationship between great powers on the brink of war.
Posted in Great Britain Tagged with: Agent, Britain's, Charleston, Civil, Crown, Secret, South