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A short novel of the tragically brief pre-history of steam engines and coffee in renaissance Venice.
"A fine, funny trans-historical adventure, so well-furnished and well-wrought it seems more true than the more boring truth. Read it with a double espresso." — John Crowley
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"In this tale about the tragically brief pre-history of steam engines and coffee in renaissance Venice, Gregory Feeley has written an allegory as timeless as Machiavelli’s Prince and as timely as yesterday’s headlines from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. He also paints panoramas as telling and meticulous as any by Canaletto — especially in his depiction of the Arsenal, the first assembly line of Western Civilization. All in all another top-notch historical fiction from a writer who is fast becoming the Walter Scott of the twenty-first century." — Thomas M. Disch
Venice, 1609. Matteo Benveneto, younger son of a merchant family, has plans to revive the waning fortunes of the great trading city by introducing Venetians and Europeans to an exotic drink from the highlands of Arabia and the cities of the East: caofa, or coffee. His friend Gaspare Treviso has ideas for steam-powered engines that offer the prospect of military advantage against the Turks and immediate practical benefits in pumping the leaky cellars of government buildings.
A novel of coffee, ideas, and ambition, Arabian Wine offers a lush, erudite, and sensual glimpse of a culture bound by tradition and poised on the edge of explosive cultural and technological change. Energized by coffee, Matteo tries to give Venice a push nearer that edge, and finds himself under suspicion of treason and intrigue.
"Arabian Wine is not so much a book as a little piece of renaissance jewelry, densely ornate with amber and amethyst, small and perfect. Open it, and it will reward you the way Venice does, with tiny passages opening into broad squares, and sly jokes; moments of beauty and of sadness." — Maureen F. McHughAbout the Author:
Gregory Feeley is the author of The Oxygen Barons and Spirit of the Place. His novellas have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Starlight, The First Heroes: New Tales of the Bronze Age, and numerous best of the year anthologies.
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Book Description Temporary Culture, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0976466007