Q, by Luther Blissett

Luther Blissett is an Italian quartet who co-wrote Q in 1999.  I saw a reference somewhere when doing some background reading on Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning.  Maybe an interview with here somewhere, like this one.  Anyway, Q is a big sprawling novel of ideas, in this case the Anabaptists and the related religious upheavals of the early 1500s.  The English translation is not so good… at some point someone takes money out of a wallet… a wallet? In 1530?  But the silver lining of uneven writing is that you can skip!  So 800 pages can be read in just 4 days.  It’s a good historical novel, in that you feel like you take away a lot of good history (easily verified and reinforced with Wikipedia).

It has a similar theme to Too Like the Lightning: some big boys are playing a grand game, and we are but pawns. Or less.  Collateral damage.  I’ve never really thought that much of the world or history worked that way.  So I find myself not so convinced.  But makes for a good read.  I guess I prefer Braudel when it comes to how to understand history.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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