Scarpia

Scarpia

Book - 2015
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Man is a delicate mechanism...he can easily be set off course. It is the late 18th century and a young Sicilian nobleman, Vitellio Scarpia, finds himself penniless and in disgrace on the streets of Rome. After leaving his home to pursue a military career, his impulsive and undisciplined nature has led to his expulsion from Spanish royal guard, and he must now seek his fortune in Italy; a fortune inseparably bound up with the ruler of the Eternal City, the Pope. Scarpia enrols in the Papal army and becomes the lover of an alluring countess who introduces him into Roman society with its blend of religiosity, sophistication and intrigue. Half-enthralled, half-appalled, Scarpia enjoys the life of the decadent city, learning in due course that as an unsophisticated provincial he is no match for the worldliness of Rome. Patronized by a powerful Cardinal, Scarpia is sent on a mission to Venice, where he encounters the beautiful, exquisitely gifted singer, Floria Tosca. As the armies of revolutionary France invade Italy, and war and revolution engulf the whole peninsula, the lives of the two become fatefully entwined. Piers Paul Read brilliantly reimagines the infamous villain of Puccini's opera, Tosca, telling a story that shines a light into the dusty corridors of history and the dark corners of the human soul.
Publisher: London, Bloomsbury Publishing,, 2015.
ISBN: 9781408867495
9781408867501
1408867494
Characteristics: 367 pages ; 25 cm.

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WRodWindover
Dec 03, 2017

This was my first introduction to the author, Piers Paul Read. I devoured this book. It captured my attention and held it firmly in grasp until the last page. The characters are so believable and the plot filled with unexpected twists as it gallops towards an inevitable and gripping conclusion. This story is an exposé of the fullest range of human virtues and vices and the vicissitudes of fortune and failure which can visit the highest and the low in society. History, politics and religion envelope a volatile world in which men and women love and hate with passion and can find no easy answers to profound questions about right and wrong.

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