By Nicholas Christopher

A wide, lavishly creative novel . . . an American descendant of The Arabian Nights . . . erudite and crafty entertainment.”—The manhattan instances ebook Review

At a new york planetarium in 1965, ten-year-old Enzo is whisked clear of his younger adoptive aunt, Mala. His abductor seems to be a blood relative: his great-uncle Junius Samax, a filthy rich former gambler who lives in a switched over Las Vegas inn surrounded by way of a necessary paintings assortment and a number of interesting, idiosyncratic site visitors. In Samax’s magical international, Enzo gets a distinct schooling and items jointly the secret of his mother’s existence and the complex heritage of his adoption. again in ny, Mala purely understands that Enzo has disappeared. After a yearlong seek proves fruitless, she enlists within the military Nursing Corps and on a medical institution send off Vietnam falls in love with a wounded B-52 navigator, who disappears on his subsequent venture. Devastated back, Mala embarks on a stressed, adventurous trip world wide, hoping to beat the losses that experience reworked her life.

Fusing mind's eye, scholarship, and suspense with striking narrative ability, Nicholas Christopher builds a narrative of great scope, an epic story of affection and future, as he strains the tricky latticework of Mala’s and Enzo’s lives. each one is still break free one another yet tied in methods they can not imagine—until the ultimate incredible bankruptcy of this striking novel.

“A author of exceptional gifts.”—The Washington publish e-book World

“This labyrinthine novel . . . is lively through an encompassing lust for beauty.”—The New Yorker

“[Nicholas] Christopher is North America’s García Márquez; Borges with emotional weight. . . . this can be a type of infrequent books that, by way of connecting the celebrities, catches you in its web.”—The Globe and Mail

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It was before dinner, they were in the main reception room, the Officer of the Guards and his son were sitting in a corner listening politely, the way patient and well-intentioned people do, with an attitude of “Life is made up of duties. Music is one of them. ” They were performing Chopin’s Polonaise-Fantaisie and Henrik’s mother was playing with such passion that the whole room seemed to shimmer and vibrate. As they waited patiently and politely in their corner for the piece finally to end, both father and son had the sensation that some metamorphosis was taking place in Henrik’s mother and in Konrad.

The child looked after the tall lady who was almost running down the allée of the great park as if she were fleeing something. “She looks like Mama,” said the child, thinking of the portrait that hung in his father’s study over the table. qxd 5/18/01 11:06 Page 35 “One may not say such things,” replied the chaplain reproachfully. From morning until night, they learned what may and may not be said. The academy with its four hundred pupils was like an infernal machine whose silence presages the explosion to come.

Qxd 5/18/01 11:06 Page 56 in the moonlight, looking as if it had been filled in with a stick of white chalk between the dark outlines of things. Everything was peaceful. Vienna was sound asleep under the falling snow. The Emperor was asleep in the Hofburg and fifty million of his subjects were asleep in his lands. The son of the Officer of the Guards felt that this silence was also in part his responsibility, that he, too, was keeping watch over the sleep and safety of the Emperor and his fifty million subjects, even when he was doing no more than wearing his uniform with honor, going out in the evening, listening to waltzes, drinking French red wine, and saying to ladies and gentlemen exactly what they wished to hear from him.

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