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Allegro Postillions [Hardcover]

Jonathan Keates


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Book Description

February 1985
Massacre and revolution in the mountains of Calabria, passion and betrayal in a Venetian opera house, a web of baffled desire spun during a summer in Verona, a world where exile kills more swiftly than death itself, where innocence becomes a lethal weapon, where lies are saving graces - this is the brittle, bizarre and menacing background to "Allegro Postillions". Jonathan Keates' prize-winning collection gathers together four stories of haunting and magnetic brilliance set in 19th-century Italy, a war-torn, emerging nation of secrets and enigmas, of sudden violence and muted anguish, a land where the sought-after beauties of art clash with the unavoidable truth of life as it is lived. 'Keates' florid tales of revolution and love, passion and exile, innocence and death create a highly charged atmosphere...an exciting, adventurous book' - "Sunday Times". 'A dream object...pre-eminently, wonderfully solid and [it] has the aura of palpable accomplishment...a virtuoso performance' - "Literary Review". 'Morn Advancing...alone justifies this book, and leaves an imprint on the memory like a Breughel landscape' - "Times Literary Supplement". 'Clever and extremely stylish' - "Daily Telegraph".
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

The distinguished writer Jonathan Keates (b.1946) has written several acclaimed biographies and travel books, and his novel Allegro Postillions won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. Keates also reviews regularly for the Sunday Telegraph and teaches English at the City of London School. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An expose and exploration of 2nd-rate artists in 4 tales July 14 2004
By Catherine Decker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This short collection of four short stories is connected by a theme of human littleness, provincialness, and self-deception. Music, art, and Italy are perhaps more basic links between the tales. Each of the stories features flawed human beings. The stories explore the relationships between people, exposing self-centered fantasies and delusions while at the same time showing the beauty of the human capacity to idealize and dream. The human pursuit of celebrity and celebrity-worship and the distance between celebrity and artistry are other themes that occur throughout the volume as well. Keates has mastered both the first-person and third-person narrative style. The stories also feature several homosexual characters and explores the problems of love both heterosexual and homosexual.

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