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Night's Lies Paperback – July, 2000

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Elegant and throat-gripping." -- A. S. Byatt

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Press (July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860461107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860461101
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,251,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Impossibly lyrical and distilled by a humanity that betrays a compassionate stirring through the residual wailings of the immortal lot as the screams of pastilential expressions calumniate the purity of the brave. Gesulado Bufalino's novel was compared to Alexander Dumas and Di Lampedusa, Boccaccio and Sciascia, Calvino and Borges by I think it must be cast in a mold much more becoming his style and lyricism. I gather the best kins to Bufalino are the latest Jose Saramago, the indomitable Nabakov and the German Hermann Broch, the latter a less well known fabulist that is rightly ranked amoung the greatest of any era by late 20th century critics (Arendt, Adorno and Calvino to name a few) with whom I concord enthusiastically.

The setting of Night's Lies is an island fortress, craggy, volcanic, inhospitable. In its confines are four prisoners - a baron, a chivalrous poet, a soldier with a religious penchant and an student in love - all condemned for plotting against the Bourbon King. On the eve of their execution, the ailing and aging governor of the fortress offers them a last minute reprieve: If one of the four will reveal the identity of their mysterious leader, known as God the Father, all will go free. They pass the hours of their last night in the company of a renowned bandit chief, with whom they take turns telling stories, narratives of love and war, vengeance and lotalty. As death approaches each is faced with the ultimate judgement whereby is decreed whether his life had any meaning, and to what, if anything, he owes his allegiance.
A magnificently constructed, exquisitely written, excellently translated timeless work that traces the boundaries of a fabulist territory only to walk its contours, as if to delineate the metafictional which borders on the will of a postexistential testament, where the beyond gravitates within the empty core of its pull.
It is an easy fluid entertainig telling that coils and winds with interminable joy.
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Format: Paperback
Impossibly lyrical and distilled by a humanity that betrays a compassionate stirring through the residual wailings of the immortal lot as the screams of pastilential expressions calumniate the purity of the brave. Gesulado Bufalino's novel was compared to Alexander Dumas and Di Lampedusa, Boccaccio and Sciascia, Calvino and Borges by I think it must be cast in a mold much more becoming his style and lyricism. I gather the best kins to Bufalino are the latest Jose Saramago, the indomitable Nabakov and the German Hermann Broch, the latter a less well known fabulist that is rightly ranked amoung the greatest of any era by late 20th century critics (Arendt, Adorno and Calvino to name a few) with whom I concord enthusiastically.

The setting of Night's Lies is an island fortress, craggy, volcanic, inhospitable. In its confines are four prisoners - a baron, a chivalrous poet, a soldier with a religious penchant and an student in love - all condemned for plotting against the Bourbon King. On the eve of their execution, the ailing and aging governor of the fortress offers them a last minute reprieve: If one of the four will reveal the identity of their mysterious leader, known as God the Father, all will go free. They pass the hours of their last night in the company of a renowned bandit chief, with whom they take turns telling stories, narratives of love and war, vengeance and lotalty. As death approaches each is faced with the ultimate judgement whereby is decreed whether his life had any meaning, and to what, if anything, he owes his allegiance.
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Format: Paperback
If you know you are to die tomorrow, how would you spend the last night of your life? The same dilemma troubles four political prisoners, a baron, a soldier, a poet, and a student in Gesualdo Bufalino's Night's Lies. On the last night before they go under the guillotine for plotting against the Bourbon monarchy, the four characters review their lives. Is it more betrayal and regret? Or do they find vindication in confession?
Night's Lies is good story-telling. This tale is a brilliant execution of setting, characterization, narrative, and irony. The setting parallels the moral and spiritual exile of the prisoners. Set in a remote fortress on an inhospitable island that "is known as an island but ought to be called a rock. For it is nothing more than a stack of volcanic tufas heaped up into the form of an enormous snout, wearisomely steep in places, but for the most part bare, sheer crag". "As by a tortuous path you clamber up, your eye embraces on the one hand the immensity of the open sea, an infinite reach of blue to the western horizon; on the other, beyond the neck of water, there is the mainland, where you glimpse a harbour, a crescent of dwarf houses; but neither man nor motion."
The man who holds part of the key to their destinies is Consalvo De Ritis, the Governor, who strikes a deal with the prisoners. If one of them should anonymously name their leader by sunrise, then all of them would be freed. If not, all of them hang. They are placed in a small room for the night.
Ingafu, the Baron; Saglimbeni, the Poet; Agesilaos, the Soldier; and Narcissus, the Student narrate in turn their own tales of intrigue, love, lust, violence, jealousy, honour, and twists of fate.
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