By Wu Ming
Whilst a fireplace rips during the Venetian Arsenal in 1569, the enigmatic Emanuele De Zante, spy-catcher and secret agent, is betrayed through his lover, imprisoned, and accused of treason. Given the opportunity to flee, he embarks on a trans-European odyssey that may try his loyalty and strength him to question even his own identity.
via a chain of lethal political video games prime the entire strategy to the Sultan’s palace in Constantinople, De Zante and his partners spiral headfirst toward a clash during which the good empires of the Republic of Venice and the Ottomans threaten the very foundations of civilization.
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Additional info for Altai: A Novel
Relax. I know you heard the rumour this morning, but you should see your eyes — your tic is back. All right, Picasso's here, down the coast a few miles away, visiting friends in some small fishing town. ' 'I wish I'd never heard the rumour,' he said honestly. ' Others? Yes, there were others. He could breakfast most congenially on Caravaggio still-lifes of autumn pears and midnight plums. For lunch: those fire-squirting, thick-wormed Van Gogh sunflowers, those blooms a blind man might read with one rush of scorched fingers down fiery canvas.
White as a winter cloud all alone in the moonlit sky late at night. Seeing it here in the warm summer night room made their breath almost show on the air. Shutting his eyes, he could see it printed on his lids. He knew what colour his dreams would be this night. 'White . . ' murmured Villanazul. ' 'Say that again,' said Gomez. Villanazul, proud yet humble, was glad to repeat his tribute. ' . . ' Shocked, the men whirled to see Vamenos in the door, wine bottles in each hand. 'A party! Here! Now tell us, who wears the suit first tonight?
Upstairs, Mr Fremley sat up like Lazarus. Mr Terle's eyes grew wider and yet wider to take hold of what was coming. He held to the porch rail like the captain of a long-becalmed vessel feeling the first stir of some tropic breeze that smelled of lime and the ice-cool white meat of coconut. The smallest wind stroked over his aching nostrils as over the flues of a white-hot chimney. ' cried Mr Terle. ' And over the last hill, shaking out feathers of fiery dust, came the cloud, the thunder, the racketing storm.