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Manituana Hardcover – Oct 5 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (Oct. 5 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844673421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844673421
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #931,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Wu Ming manage to construct stories articulated around the muscular fibres of history ... Manituana is not only a narrative about what could have been, but a cartography of the possible.”—Roberto Saviano

About the Author

Wu Ming is a collective of five Italian fiction writers, founded in Bologna in January 2000. They co-authored a number of books including 54 and the bestselling novel Q, under the previous pseudonym “Luther Blissett.”

Shaun Whiteside has translated from German works by Freud, Schnitzler, Musil and Nietzsche, and, most recently, The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink (2011). His translation of Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Award. He lives in London.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First and foremost, it's a very enjoyable book. Didn't measure up to Q (by the same band of authors less one, under the name Luther Blissett), but still a great book. Given the amount of translation involved in plot of the book, and the passages about the difficulties in translating from Mohawk to European langauges, you can bet that the translator is carefully considered. Shaun Whiteside has worked with the authors on their other novels as well.
Historically, it's a good read for anyone in the Americas. It's fiction, of course, but if you read this and do some research afterward you can gain a good sense of what was fact and know more than most about an extremely important part of the recent history of this land.
As for any allegory, read it yourself and decide.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different version of the Revolutionary War Dec 28 2009
By Mary Reinert - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is not the story we learned in grade school about the Revolutionary War. In the 1700's the Six Nations of the Iroquois (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora) had a remarkably advanced system of laws. It was also a common practice to take captives from other tribes into their culture. The Six Nations lived peaceably with the white settlers and intermarriage was not unknown. Leaders of the Six Tribes met with and were respected by the British. However, as more and more white settlers moved into the Indian territories, tensions arose. But even more complicating was the tension that was developing between the American colonies and Britain. The Indians did not understand the whites rebelling against the Great King in Britain. Chief Joseph Brandt as leader of the Mohawks finds himself in an increasingly difficult position.

History slowly unfolds taking Joseph eventually to England for a meeting with the King. Part Two is an interesting, sometimes humorous, depiction of the Indians stay in England complete with British thugs posing as the "seventh nation of the Indian tribe". The last part of the novel dissolves into raw violence between the Indians fighting the Rebels. Peopled with characters as Ethan Allen, King George, and Sir William Johnson, the novel provides a wide panorama of the US fight for independence.

Although somewhat difficult to follow at the beginning of the book (both the Indian name and the Anglo name is often used interchangeably), the story soon becomes gripping. The really short chapters seemed to fit the story perfectly. "Manituana" is an excellent example of how complicated history really is.

I knew nothing about the "authors" of this title and find it totally fascinating that a "collective of Italian fiction writers" could paint such a vivid picture of America's history from an angle that few have considered before. If you enjoy historical fiction, check this one out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review Aug. 5 2011
By Hi Munless - Published on
Format: Paperback
No doubt you can find thorough reviews of this book if you'd like to learn more about the story. I wouldn't want to spoil anything for other readers though. I had read Q and 54 in the past and that was enough for me to buy this book. I downloaded the free pdf version of the book from the Wu Ming website while I was waiting for my order to arrive. I read the first chapter and I felt an excitement that I rarely find with recently written books. I forced myself not to read any more until the book arrived - I get much more satisfaction from carrying a book around and flicking through the pages of the book. I was not disappointed! If you like the work of these writers, then you will not be disappointed either. Q blew me away when i first read it. I bought it, without having prior knowledge of the novel, on the day it was first released in UK bookshops because there was a sale that day! When I found the translation of 54, I bought it immediately. I enjoyed the novel, but Q still stood out as something extra-special to me. Now, Manituana ranks as my second favourite of this group's novels. It is, as the other novels are, rich in intrigue, detail and drama. I don't think anything needs to be said about the story. It is better to discuss it with others once you have read it yourself.
5.0 out of 5 stars Vive Le Grand Diable ! July 10 2015
By Rich - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"From the wrong side of history" that is how Wu Ming describes the historical epic Manituana. The story of the Iroquois people and the fight for survival during America's war of independence. Admittedly this was the first book I have read by the group of Italian authors knonw as Wu Ming. Suffice to say, I'm hooked. This book hit all the right notes for me; wonderment and suspense in the beginning, general laugh at loud moments in the middle and when things take a turn- lets just say I got a lump in my throat. If an author or in this case authors, can elicit such a broad range of emotions than they have succeeded and in this case won themselves a life long fan.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars epic and strong May 5 2011
By Marco Saraceno - Published on
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book epic and strong, clear and bloody. It bring you back in the 1500s in the native american way of life and problems. I read it in the original language (Italian) and it was brilliantly written. If the English translation have been ruin even half of the quality, till a great book to read, one of those book you start and you are not able to get it back in the shelf until you did not finish it.

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