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God's Fool: Slouka, Mark God's Fool: Slouka, Mark

God's Fool

Slouka, Mark

104 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375402160 / ISBN 13: 9780375402166
Published by Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York, 2002
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Rear Attic Books (Hancock, NH, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First Edition stated. Signed by author with NO inscription on title page. Book in Fine condition. Unclipped dust jacket is Near Fine with barely noticeable crease on rear jacket flap. Bookseller Inventory # 000603

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Bibliographic Details

Title: God's Fool

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Born attached at the chest, Chang and Eng were considered a marvel, an omen, an act of God, evidence of His glory or proof of His wrath. Uniquely cursed, enslaved to one another for life, they were a joke of nature variously feared and abhorred, disturbing our most basic assumptions about the human condition. Mark Slouka’s dazzling achievement in God’s Fool is the ease and compassion with which he draws the story of one human being from this ghastly predicament. Looking beyond the twins’ physical connection, he imagines one man’s life of ordinary grace and suffering, longing and resistance, and the ties of love, as well as of blood, that bind and redeem us all.

By any standard, theirs is a history of epic variety and drama. Their birth, to an illiterate fishmonger, sent midwives screaming from the room. Condemned to death, they survived to be brought, at the age of thirteen, to the Royal Palace in Bangkok for an audience with King Rama III. At seventeen, laboring as merchants on the Meklong River, they saw their world erased by a typhoon. Consigned for three hundred pounds to an opium trader by their mother, who was desperate to ensure their survival, they sailed for Europe. There they entertained kings and counselors in salons and drawing rooms from Brussels to Rome, and, in Paris, met the woman who would divide them as no surgeon ever could.

When the culture that had lifted them up inevitably cast them down, they landed in the flophouses of London, where, penniless and starving, they were discovered by Phineas T. Barnum, who packed them off to America along with an assortment of bearded ladies and two-headed calves, albino beauties and dog boys, German midgets and twelve-fingered flute players. Leaving Barnum at the height of their fame to take a last stab at normal life, they settled in North Carolina, where, despite the tensions growing between them, they found, for a time, tranquillity as farmers and slave owners, marrying a pair of sisters and fathering, between them, twenty children. Their peace, however, would prove to be short-lived. As the Civil War drew closer, and their world began to tilt, they would first turn against each other and then, faced with a trial unlike any they
had ever known, draw together once more. No longer young, they set off to find the war, and to save what could be saved. It would be there, on that very real battlefield, that Chang would enact his final, terrifying battle with fate.

Sweeping and intimate, vibrant and austere, God’s Fool is a novel of soaring ambition and accomplishment from a fiercely gifted storyteller.

From the Back Cover:

"If you can read [this] novel without being astonished and touched, then you'd better check to see if your heart is made of stone . . . simply brilliant. A book of the year." —The Dallas Morning News

"Slouka writes with the bare-bones ferocity of Jerzy Kosinski and the visual intensity of John Updike." —Boston Herald

“Exceptionally beautiful. . . . [A] story where the power of language and of reflection on the nature of connection is more essential, and compelling, than any retelling of historical events.” —The Washington Post Book World

From the Trade Paperback edition.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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