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After Hannibal

Unsworth, Barry

275 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0241133424 / ISBN 13: 9780241133422
Published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 1996
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Richard J. Lindsey, Bookseller (Kent, CT, U.S.A.)

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Fine black hard cover in fine dust wrapper. 8vo. 242 pgs. Signed by the author on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 012413

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Bibliographic Details

Title: After Hannibal

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton, London

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Barry Unsworth, the Booker Prize-winning author of Sacred Hunger and the bestselling Morality Play, returns in top form with this worldly, bittersweet comedy of manners and morals set in one of Italy's most glorious--and historically treacherous--regions.

Golden Umbria is home to breathtaking scenery and great art; it is also where Hannibal and his invading band of Carthaginians ambushed and slaughtered a Roman legion, and where the local place-names still speak of that bloodshed.

Unsworth's contemporary invaders include the Greens, a retired American couple seeking serenity among the Umbrian hills, who are bilked out of their savings by the corrupt English "building expert" Stan Blemish; the Chapmans, a British property speculator and his wife, whose dispute with their neighbors over a wall escalates into a feud of nearly medieval proportions; Anders Ritter, a German haunted by the part his father played in a mass killing of Italian hostages in Rome during the Second World War; and Fabio and Arturo, a gay couple who, searching for peace and self-sufficiency, find treachery instead. And at the center of all these webs of deceit and greed is the cunning lawyer Mancini, happy to aid the disputants--and to exploit to the fullest the faith that these "innocents abroad" have placed in him.  

Mining his genius for historical narrative as well as his gift for sharp-eyed portraiture and deliciously droll storytelling, Barry Unsworth has written a marvelous entertainment.  After Hannibal is one of this remarkable author's finest creations.

Review:

Barry Unsworth, who lives in Umbria, has chosen to set his latest novel, After Hannibal, among the wandering lanes and ancient fields he knows well. His cast of characters is a diverse bunch that includes a homosexual couple named Fabio and Arturo; a mentally unstable German named Ritter; the Greens, an American couple; the morose Italian historian Monti; and the Chapmans, a dull British couple at war with a local family, the Checchettis, over maintenance of a wall that fronts the country lane they both share. Unsworth uses geographical propinquity to link them all together and then throws in another common bond as well: the crafty lawyer Mancini, whom almost all have cause to consult at one time or another during the course of the novel.

Unsworth's darkly comic novel of greed, perfidy, and deceit occupies a landscape all too familiar with such things; Umbria is, after all, the place where Carthaginian invaders under Hannibal ambushed and slaughtered an entire Roman legion. Tactics have changed since the days of Hannibal, but the Umbria of After Hannibal is still a treacherous locale.

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