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God's Dog [Paperback]

Diiego Marani , Judith Landry

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Book Description

March 31 2015 Dedalus Europe
God's Dog is Diego Marani's first detective novel, introducing Domingo Salazar, a Dominican monk, who is a Vatican secret agent. Italy is now a theocratic state ruled by the Vatican, whose secret agents are dedicated to root out non-believers and heretics. The sanctity of life is being challenged by a cell of dissidents helping sufferers commit euthanasia. 'The crime genre is thronging with honest, likeable cops working within corrupt regimes but the writers of such novels give themselves a get-out-of-jail-free card by allowing us to sympathise with their conflicted protagonists, chafing against their brutal paymasters. Marani (in Judith Landry's able translation), however, is more audacious, granting his anti-hero a terrifying religious fervour, unquestioning of the status quo. What's more, he is an intelligent, intuitive investigator, skilled at using psychology against his victims. Which is what makes the success of this energetic and trenchant novel all the more impressive, however reptilian its protagonist. Marani's church authorities here propose an interfaith movement called "Bible-Koranism" designed to stamp out secularism; as Salazar calmly explains this historical necessity to non-believers, the reader may hear Marani's warning voice: be aware!' Barry Forshaw in The Independent 'Here, though the terse economy of detective prose works to move events briskly to their violent conclusion. In this Marani is very well served again by Judith Landry's excellent English translation, which captures both the novel's nod to generic conventions of style, and its stranger little flourishes and apercus.' Bharat Tandon in The Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Dedalus Limited (March 31 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909232513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909232518
  • Product Dimensions: 46.4 x 32.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #266,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'Landry knows her man inside out, having previously given us English versions of Marani's New Finnish Grammar & The Last of the Vostyachs and she imparts a cool detachment to his catechetical Utopia that lifts it above the merely satirical and makes Domingo's hunt genuinely exciting.' The Tablet

'The good news is that this is the first of a series, and the second has already been written. Heretic that I am, I can't wait.' Nick Lezard's Choice in The Guardian

It is the background of an aggressively intolerant religious totalitarian state that gives the book its main interest and, for some readers at least, its real appeal. The sophisticated cover features a portrait of St Dominic by Bellini. The book is handsomely produced.' P. Grosset Clerical Detective

About the Author

Diego Marani was born in Ferrara in 1959. He works as a senior linguist for the European Union in Brussels. He writes columns for various European newspapers about current affairs in Europanto, a language that he has invented. His collection of short stories in Europanto, Las Adventures des Inspector Cabillot has been published by Dedalus. In Italian he has published seven novels, including the highly acclaimed New Finnish Grammar and The Last of the Vostyachs and his first detective novel, God's Dog. Dedalus will publish The Interpreter in the USA in 2016.

Judith Landry was educated at Somerville College, Oxford where she obtained a first class honours degree in French and Italian. She combines a career as a translator of works of fiction, art and architecture with part-time teaching. Her translations for Dedalus are: The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga, New Finnish Grammar, God's Dog and The Last of the Vostyachs by Diego Marani, The Mussolini Canal by Antonio Pennacchi, The Devil in Love by Jacques Cazotte, Prague Noir: The Weeping Woman on the Streets of Prague by Sylvie Germain and Smarra & Trilby by Charles Nodier.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars often funny, occasionally thought-provoking, frequently absurd and, above all, highly original Jan. 3 2014
By Cloggie Downunder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
God’s Dog is the 8th novel by Italian newspaper columnist, translator and novelist, Diego Marani, and the third to be translated into English. Domingo Salazar is enjoying his relative independence in Amsterdam as a secret agent for the papal police force (God’s dog): he performs his duties efficiently, sabotaging the secular state, spreading distrust in science and intercepting anti-papist refugees from Italy; he can secretly indulge in activities that support his own radical views on the concept of One Religion; and he relishes his interactions with Indonesian-born neuropsychiatrist, Guntur Pertiwi (and his Swahili-speaking chimpanzee, Django). But, with Easter fast approaching, Salazar is recalled to Rome by his boss (known to him only as The Vicar) to track down an enemy of the Vatican. Ivan Zago is a man whose activities and associates threaten the imminent canonisation of Pope Benedict XIV. Before long, a surprised Salazar finds himself tranquillised, hospitalised, kidnapped, and stealing from a poor-box in a desperate bid to save the Pope. Set in a futuristic Italian theocracy, this somewhat tongue-in-cheek novel touches on euthanasia, abortion, the teaching of Creationism, guardian angels, compulsory pelvic scans at border crossings, animal souls and the power of prayer to saints. While it is perhaps a little slow in places, the reader’s persistence is rewarded with a hilarious climax that includes shooting, explosives, assassination and a glass eye. Once again, flawlessly translated by Judith Landry, Marani’s latest offering is often funny, occasionally thought-provoking, frequently absurd and, above all, highly original.
4.0 out of 5 stars A recommended read! July 11 2014
By Patricia Reilly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very interesting story and grippingly well written! I totally enjoyed it!

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