Passarola Rising Paperback
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
From metaphysical philosophy to the religious fanaticism of the Inquisition, from royal hubris to doomed military campaigns, the brothers Lourenco rise above it all, their flying ship the metaphorical ascent of man's intellect and reaching for God's boundaries. His grand ambition realized in the Passarola, Bartolomeu dreams of riding the currents of the skies, unobstructed, until an Inquisitor, Cardinal Conti, threatened by the unknown, declares the endeavor evil and schemes to bring about its destruction. Their reputation in tatters thanks to the Cardinal's vicious gossip, the brothers leave behind their successes in Portugal, fleeing to France, where they are taken under the protection of King Louis XV. Louis sends them headlong into a maritime battle in Poland and later to explore the Equator and the Polar Circle. Desperate to repair his battered ship, Bartolomeu agrees, a higher purpose ever in his Jesuit-trained mind: "I want to see what exists at the edge of the world."
All that military men and monarch's can imagine as a consequence of the Passarola is a fleet of warships, Bartolomeu's magnificent creation betrayed by the martial ambitions of kings and their lackeys. This superior vision, a sampling of all the world has to offer is too foreign a concept for men who seek to conquer by force. But harsh reality fails to subdue the beauty of this fable. His protagonist based on a true character, the author has embellished history in this imaginative mix of fact and fiction, intellectual paucity and religious stricture trumped by one Bartolomeu's curiosity and trust in scientific truth, two brothers embarked on a journey of a lifetime. Luan Gaines/ 2006.
French King Louis XV supports Bartolomeo's efforts to improve on the Passarola as the enlightened monarch sees great military advantage in fighting enemies on the ground from the air. Meanwhile the Acadmie des Sciences hire the siblings to measure distances to the polar circle, which they undertake. On the dangerous trek, Alex claims to have seen a great city, but no proof is offered and his older brother admits he never saw the phantom sprawl. After a return to France, Alex goes home to Brazil as the adventures are over for him, but Bartolomeo starts a new epic in India.
Based on the real account of two eighteenth century brothers, PASSAROLA RISING is a superb historical fiction novel that brings to life the first half of the eighteenth century through the passion of siblings who want to soar through the sky. The tale is told in a look back memoir like manner by Alexandre, who romanticizes and worships his creative talented and daring older brother. Readers will enjoy the adventures of two daredevils defying church, royalty, and other powers of society to live out their dream even though for one of them it turns into a relatively short fantasy.
The story is told by a man named Alexandre recollecting his days in youth sailing on board Passarola with his elder brother Bartolomeu, the inventor of the ship. Its backdrop is the turmoil of 18C Europe, and its character distinctively picaresque. Though serious events such as the battle between France and Russia over the sovereignty of Poland, and Alexandre's losing love, the events are depicted with a remote, hence necessarily light, touch.
So the description that the novel is light serves both as a praise and as criticism -- a praise for capturing the atmosphere of flying perfectly, and a criticism for not posing any serious questions. Despite this fact I enjoyed the book very much. Abidi can definitely tell a story. It will be interesting to see him taking up heavier topics.