Q Hardcover – May 3 2004
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
Something of a publishing sensation elsewhere in Europe, Q is a convoluted historical thriller by a consortium of young pseudonymous authors, who, it has to be said, are a little too in love with their own cleverness. Q is the working name of a papal spy trying to keep a lid on the Reformation, particularly on the Anabaptist radicalism which is its form most dangerous to the social order, and for decades he watches, and occasionally gets in close and betrays. The man sometimes known as Gert is his opposite--all the more so because he hardly knows of Q's existence--the idealist who is caught up in the same events: Luther's sermons, the rise and fall of Thomas Muntzer, the disastrous People's Republic of Munster.
Parallels are being struck all over the place with radicalism in the 20th century--part of what makes Gert a memorable voice is a combination of zeal, pragmatism and survival instinct that keeps him one step ahead of the Inquisitors for 30 years and enables him to, for example, do serious damage to the Holy Roman Emperor's favourite bankers. In the end, Gert and Q are left with more in common than the past they share--the rules are changing and the board is being cleared, and there is time for one last crucial intervention... This is ingeniously plotted, and full of vividly realised scenes of 16th century life; if it has a fault, it is that we live through every day of three tumultuous decades, every sermon and theological treatise, in exhausting detail. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Rich religious history is turned into bloated, tedious fiction in this Reformation-age epic produced by four anonymous writers lurking behind a pseudonym. In 1517, Martin Luther nails his 95 theses to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral. In 1525, a one-time theological student, a radical Anabaptist who goes under a number of names over the course of the narrative, but who is initially called Gustav Metzger, pulls off the first of a number of hairbreadth escapes from heretic hunters keen to spill the blood of any would-be supporter of Luther. For the next 30 years, even as Protestantism slowly makes inroads across Europe, Metzger is tracked by a papal spy who, traveling incognito under the eponymous moniker Q, keeps his boss apprised while he and his compatriots attempt to crush the movement on behalf of the Vatican before the schism widens. Needless to say, they fail. Translator Whiteside has done the best he could with the material: stripped-down chapters breathlessly composed of short, snappy paragraphs ("The girl smiles. She's extremely beautiful") alternate with epistolary passages given a faux-historical gloss. Speech anachronisms abound throughout, especially when events are related by Metzger and company (" 'What the fuck did you say? What? So you're not dead, but you scare me anyway, pal, you scare me'"), and most of the characters sound so alike that not only do they remain lifeless on the page, they are often indistinguishable from one another. A good amount of historical research is lumped throughout, but the period stylings are wooden and the story never gains enough momentum to carry readers along.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
The revolt fails, in part, because of a spy named Qoelet (Q), whose diaries and letters to Cardinal Gianpietro Carafa, reveal his duplicitous actions. As the Anabaptist speaker escapes from one bloody crisis after another, changing his name whenever he changes locations, Q tries to track him down and to counteract the increasingly dangerous effects of Protestantism. Each of the speaker's failures is related to Q's countermoves, as the speaker travels throughout Germany to Switzerland and the Low Countries, following the spread of ideas. Twenty-five years after surviving the Peasants' Revolt and vicious reprisals against the Reformation everywhere he travels, the speaker, now known as Tiziano Rinato (Titian), arrives in Venice with the financing he needs to distribute "heretical" pamphlets. He and Q finally meet for a showdown.
The authors' casual, slangy style, filled with profanities, conveys the frustration and trauma of these four-hundred-year old events in a language with which the contemporary reader can easily identify.Read more ›
Set in this time, this 750 page novel tells the story of our hero, an Anabaptist who travels under many names, and his enemy, Q, a paper informer and heretic hunter. Part thriller, part adventure story, this European best seller was written by four young writers using the name Luther Blisset
Blisset also shows the difficult times of the Reformation. He does well to show hte bloody mess the ears olf religion really were and can still be. All in all, a wonderful ficional tour into the real Reformation. You'd also do well to read a history of the Reformation afterward.
Most recent customer reviews
fun sad overwhelming and still you learn about the world. aside from one overdone chapter in the middle, they seem unable to go wrong (i think it is a collective of 5 authors). Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2009 by G. Mann
a multilayered historical novel for the thinking person about the early days of reformation, especially it's lesser known facts and characters. Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by anonymous
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Fiction
- Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Mystery
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Christian > Fiction
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Christian > Mystery
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Mystery
- Books > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Italian
- Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > Mystery