[ EPUB Secrecy Author Rupert Thomson ] BY Rupert Thomson – pullanmaths.co.uk
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her portrayal here Forced to flee his native Sicily Gaetano Zummo journeys first portrayal here Forced to flee his native Sicily Gaetano Zummo journeys first Naples then to Palermo before being summoned to Florence at the reuest of Cosimo III e Medici himself The Grand Duke of Tuscany is interested in Zummo s skill as a sculptor in wax AND OFFERS HIM A COMMISSION IN REWARD FOR offers him a special commission reward for generous stipend However Florence in the late 17th century is not an ideal place for a wax sculptor with a particular interest in the macabre people vanish in its Blind Devotion (The Shifter Chronicles dark suffocating alleys and anOffice of Public Decency has been established to enforce strict laws which prohibit even minorisplay of affection between unmarried residents Everybody whispers rumors full of suspicions and everybody has a secretSecrets should not be a surprise in a novel titled Secrecy and Thomson My Name is Bob delights in having a multitude of them From the method he used to frame his story having Zummo retell it to another character with much of what we know of other characters are in fact their own stories that they relay to him it is worth noting that like Cosimo IIIe Medici Zummo was a real person but unlike the Grand Duke little is known about his life leaving Thomson plenty of space to make him an intriguing character Still fictional Zummo is just as shrouded in secrecy as his real life counterpart I never felt that I gained an understanding of what rove him forward what motivated his interest in body ecay and corruptionThomson is a good writer and Secrecy is full of Billy Bragg descriptive passages which give the book areamlike hallucinatory mood Readers will feel the eeriness and uneasiness creeping up on them like Tuscan heat thanks to Thomson s elegant and succinct prose one almost expects Savonarola to rise from the ashes to again proclaim Florence a city of God and burn Zummo s sculptures on one of his bonfires presumably along with our heroWhere secrecy Polly Prices Totally Secret Diary disappoints is its meandering plot and the very bland characterization and almost forced romance between Zummo and his love interest Faustina There is just very little characterization to Faustina she is presented as a woman full of mystery a fact that she herself acknowledges in the narrative and who has many secrets which sheoes not want revealed The problem is that aside from her obligatory physical beauty this very mystery i the only characteristics that pull Zummo to her logically in hopes of one ay uncovering them and understanding her While a part of Faustina s story is eventually reveled to the reader it felt artificial as if inserted to shock and not reveal the real character behind the veil of secrecy Secrecy is a novel which could have been truly wonderful Thomson is a fine writer and his setting and themes are fascinating however I thought that he himself had no clear idea what particular irection he should pursue with this novel and it ended up being all over the place Despite its good ualities it is an easy book to put The Majors Daughter down it lacks something to grab the reader and refuse to let go If you are curious about Rupert Thomson I would advise to skip it and go to the book which was my introduction to his work and which I consider to be his great accomplishment The Insult I look at this cover and goWhy can t we have gifs as names of shelves For those thaton t know there s a museum in Florence called La Specola It s Miss Shumway Waves a Wand devoted to works in wax and without uestion is the most macabre museum I ve ever visited This because many of the exhibits are graphicepictions of what The Touch diseaseoes to the organs of the human body There are sculptures there by the protagonist of this novel Gaetano Zummo The author here invents a biography of this mysterious artist Secrecy On His Majestys Service deploys the basic tenet of romance fiction an idealised love affair threatened by an ogre The heroine of course has green eyes It s not a novel of characterevelopment like Wolf Hall the characters here are like chess pieces their power of movement fixed from the oft It s the good guys versus At of the apothecary's Different Class daughter Faustina whose secret is even explosive than hisPoignant but paranoid sensual yet chilling Secrecy is a novel that buzzes with intrigue and ideas It is a love story a murder mystery a portrait of a famous city in an age of austerity an exercise in concealment and revelation but above all it is a trapdoor narrative one storyropping unexpectedly into another the ground always slippery uncerta. This isn t Thomson s first foray into historical fiction see Air Fire but it was The Essential Good Food Guide definitely aeparture from his last novel Death of a Murderer As usual Thomson s ability to paint a vivid picture of the novel s setting is in full force Thomson s fascination with the macabre and the Textbook of Wisdom darker side of human psyche is once again front and center in this beautifully rendered mysteryromance His characters always have a bit of the unexpected to them and as you geteeper into the novel the revelations become surprisng and unsettling He paints his characters and the world they move through like a watercolor transparent in parts layered and luminous in others Although this wasn t my favorite novel of his that would have to be The Insult or The Book of Revelation this is a great introduction to one of today s best writers in my opinion He s got a fantastic back catalog and he never fails to In Defence of Dogs disappoint with each new title Wonderful historical thriller set in 17th century Florence The novelrew me in by its fantastic sense of place and time and then I got engrossed by the plot and the characters A very satisfying read great for book clubs since there are a number of moral uestions to iscuss BABTBBC BLURB Some see you as a master craftsman Others say you re a sorcerer You re mysterious obsessive ControversialZummo a 17th century sculptor makes things out of wax figures so lifelike they look as if they might move and breathe He has journeyed throughout Italy over the years in an attempt to flee his past Now in 1691 he has been summoned to the Medici court by the Grand Duke of Tuscany He arrives in Florence a city in which everything was forbidden and anything was possible But what oes the Grand Duke have in mind for himTen years later Zummo visits a convent in France and tells the whole story to Marguerite Louise of Orl ans long estranged wife of the Grand Duke of TuscanySecrecy is a tale of love art murder and concealment enacted within a beautifully realised 17th century Florentine and Tuscan settingSome of love art murder and concealment enacted within a beautifully realised 17th century Florentine and Tuscan settingSome the plague pieces by Gaetano Zummo 1656 1701 can be found in La Specola FlorenceRupert Thomson is the author of eight highly acclaimed novels including Death of a Murderer which was shortlisted
for the 2008 Costa Novel Award His memoir This Party s Got to the 2008 Costa Novel Award His memoir This Party s Got to won the Writer s Guild Non Fiction AwardEpisode One In 1701 a frail The City in Mind dying Zummo arrives at a French convent He has a story to tell His audience Marguerite Louise of Orl ans former wife of the Grand Duke of TuscanyReaders Greta Scacchi and Owen Teale Abridger Jeremy OsborneProducer Rosalynd Ward A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4half way through this should of been blindingly interesting given the time the gore factor the morbid artistry All I kept noticing was a spider web formed overnight between thatelicious photo of the Nofolk sands and the wind up pendulum clock And how about the windows fully fly blown25 upped to 3 because it is such a lovely sunny warm
day2 Divided Kingdom3 Secrecy This book confused me a lot I wanted to DNF it at least a Divided Kingdom3 Secrecy This book confused me a lot I wanted to DNF it at least a times but I kept going although I Revenge (The Red Ledger didn t see any point Also it was kind ofisgusting Definitely not a book I No One Wants You d recommend I so much wanted to like this book From the sumptuous cover with gold titling and a pregnant woman half hidden byrapes of crimson you are prepared for a feast by the wonderful The City Of Heavenly Tranquillity designers at Granta The wrappings far outweigh the contentsLet me say Rupert Thomson is a good writer But good writing cannotisguise a messy meandering plot with characters who are unengaging glibly Penguins Poems for Life described and unmemorable There are lines in this book that I highlighted with a yellow marker pen but so too are there pages of sheer absolute tedium I enjoyed andisliked this book in almost eual parts On the one hand the language is beautiful the characters are interesting and the setting 17th century Florence seems meticulously researched On the other hand it has a creepiness about it which I found off putting to read the prologue gives away. It is Florence 1691 The Renaissance is long gone and the city is a ark repressive place where everything is forbidden and anything is possible The Enlightenment may be just around the corner but knowledge is still the property of the few and they guard it fiercely Art sex and power these as always are the obsessionsFacing serious criminal charges Gaetano Zummo is forced to flee his native Siracusa at the age of twenty firs. .
Twists that would be better held until the book
s ending and somehow I idn t get any sense of place I learned a lot about Florence atending and somehow I idn t get any sense of place I learned a lot about Florence at time but I never felt like I was thereThe story is about Zummo a wax sculptor who I never felt like I was thereThe story is about Zummo a wax sculptor who come to Florence after a scandal forced him out of his native Sicily The scandal is not explicitly escribed and there is some Divine Beauty doubt over whether it was true or not He comes to work for the Grand Duke of Florence a complex character who was scorned by his wife and whose children have all gone off the rails Florence is aangerous place both literally with murders in Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone dark alleys at night but also in the sense that someone is always watching and is ready to have you arrested When Zummo falls in love he exposes both himself and his lover toanger As the title alludes secrecy is everything Zummo is secretive about his past his techniues his assignments and of course his relationship Faustina his lover also has her own secrets At one point she comments I ve got mystery in me than all these people put together But in fact almost every major character is hiding something So an intriguing plot in a fascinating setting but somehow it fell short for me of what it could have been This is a very striking book one of the best novels I ve read for uite a while The last uarter or so Down to the Sea in Ships didn t uite work so well for me or I have given it five stars The writing is nothing less than brilliant impressive than Mantel s in Wolf Hall for my taste as it s much concise and compressed The evocation of place and time is amazingly vivid
and visceralI was attracted to this book by its setting in Florence not the familiar world of Renaissance Florence but thevisceralI was attracted to this book by its setting in Florence not the familiar world of Renaissance Florence but the Baroue world of the later seventeenth century The subject also struck me as fascinating the protagonist is Gaetano Zumbo called Zummo in the book creator of the astonishing Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, disturbing borderlineeranged wax sculptures of plague scenes in the museum at La Specola I saw these first on a special late night opening when I appeared to be the only person in the museum not an easy experience to forgetThe best part of the book for me is its remarkable evocation of Florence and the eccentric and perverse world of Cosimo III Dog Years de Medici s court The characters are fabulous from the strange youngaughter of Zumbo s landlady like most figures in the book Chain of Fire damaged physically or emotionally in some way to the eccentric French acrobat who lives upstairs from him to therunken vomiting Medici princeling Gian Gastone the jovial anatomist Pampolino and his urchin sidekick Earhole The Devils Elbow (Mrs. Bradley, damage and the affable but almost bound to turn sinister at some pointucal secretary Bassetti The grand The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur duke himself is a memorable monster and perhaps aptly enough just about the mostamaged character of all The arch villain Stufa is perhaps a mite too villainous for my taste but he s fun in a grand guignol kind of way Elements I wasn t uite so taken with Zumbo s backstory in Siracusa the love story the frame story that comes in at the beginning and end But these are uibbles it s an excellent novel There s a scene near the beginning where Bassetti gives Zumbo a welcome to Florence gift of a truffle that reveals itself when cut open to be full of maggots It strikes me as not a bad metaphor for the book itself in a good way A lot of the material is very ark and these are not the last maggots we see One historical footnote although she appears once only briefly in person in the novel we hear a lot about the nightmarish ultra pious owager grandduchess Vittoria Kuduz della Rovere Stufa s patron who is pretty much held to blame for what is wrong with her son s Florence and there s a lot This used to be pretty much how Vittoriaelle Rovere and all the seventeenth century Medici wives were regarded but there has been a lot of research on them recently and they are emerging as much interesting and less stereotypical and grotesue figures Vittoria was responsible for founding the first all female literary academy in Italy and I think Europ. T to Palermo then Naples but always has the feeling that he is being pursued by his past and that he will never be free of it Zummo works an artist in wax He is fascinated by the plague and makes small wooden cabinets in which he places graphic tortured models of the ead and ying But Cosimo III Tuscany's penultimate Medici ruler gives Zummo his most challenging commission yet and as he tackles it his path entwines with th. .