Non sono una appassionata di libri ambientati nel passato, anzi li evito come la peste. Questo libro l'avevo iniziato a leggere e poi abbandonato dopo poche pagine e sono contenta di averlo ri-iniziato. Bello il thriller della trama e bella anche la narrazione. Consigliato vivamente...Continua
1583, Oxford: Dr Bruno, exile from Italy and pursued by the Inquisition, visits Oxford in the company of Sir Philip Sydney. He is also on a mission from Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's spymaster, but has reasons of his own to hunt for a hidden, forbidden, heretical book. Rather than a historical novel, I would call this a detective story set in Tudor times; the plot is more important than the setting, for much of the time. A bit too long but well written and enjoyable....Continua
I really enjoyed Heresy. The writing style appealed - Ms Parris is descriptive without being verbose, and simple without being trite. The reader is carried along at an appropriate pace. The story does not move along at tear, but we get the enjoyment of experiencing the confusion, contradictions and discovery as our hero does. Heresy feels like we're there with Giordano Bruno; the unravelling of the whodunnit does not rely on previously unexplained connecting of the dots to spring a cheap surprise on the reader. I also got a very decent sense of the period in which this story is set...
...for the most part.
While the pace, setting and style are all very good, I really wish Ms Parris had found a way to wrap up the story without resorting to a 16th-century version of the "final chase/shootout" scene. It all felt so English (yes, I know Bruno is Italian), then Hollywood is sprung on us. As for the "Historical Thriller" subtitle, I typically think of historical fiction as a fictionalized version of an actual event. Real-life protagonist aside, Heresy is a fabricated event set in an historical context. I'm probably picking at nits here, as the Anglican vs Papist atmosphere may very well be quite accurate, but...
Finally, a 2-star reviewer complains that she was never able to get into the story, assumed it wouldn't improve and abandoned the book. I completely understand her point of view. The first few chapters literally felt like I was watching Masterpiece Theatre - a little wooden, not much in the way of "production value." Happily, for my money, the reviewer was wrong in her assumption that it wouldn't improve.
Heresy has its flaws, but I was up in the wee hours of the morning finishing this one. At the end of the day, what else matters in choosing a story?...Continua
"Playing politics with the lives of others was part of the path to advancement, but that was the real heresy."
Brilliantly researched, S.J. Parris' novel transports you to Oxford during the Elizabethan era. The plot revolves around the dangerous Catholic - Protestant relations in England. Parris does not portray one religion as being better than the other, in fact, she shows how both acted wrongly. The writing is flawlessly descriptive and the subject matter fascinating. The questions that Parris raises will stay with you long after you finish. A perfect first novel with the possibility of sequels.
From Publishers Weekly:
Set in 1583 against a backdrop of religious-political intrigue and barbaric judicial reprisals, Parris's compelling debut centers on real-life Giordano Bruno, a former Italian monk excommunicated by the Roman Catholic church and hunted across Europe by the Inquisition for his belief in a heliocentric infinite universe. Befriended by the charismatic English courtier and soldier Sir Philip Sidney, the ambitious Bruno flees to more tolerant Protestant England, where Elizabeth I's secretary of state, Sir Francis Walsingham, recruits him to spy, under the cover of philosophical disputation, on secretly Catholic Oxford scholars suspected of plotting treason. As one Oxford fellow after another falls to gruesome homicide, Bruno struggles to unravel Oxford's tangled loyalties. Parris (the pseudonym of British journalist Stephanie Merritt) interweaves historical fact with psychological insight as Bruno, a humanist dangerously ahead of his time, begins his quest to light the fire of enlightenment in Europe. (Feb.)
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