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Manituana Hardcover – October 5, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After tackling the cold war via Cary Grant in '54, the Bologna, Italy, writing collaborative Wu Ming's third production is set amid radical conflict between the British Empire and American colonies in the late 18th century. After a string of duplicitous moves aimed at undermining and stealing from the Mohawk tribe, Mohawk war chief Joseph Brant must decide who to side with as the colonial militia marches through Massachusetts toward Canada to confront the British. As the escalating turmoil reverberates into the Mohawk River Valley, Brant, with his family, comrade/hunter Philip Lacroix and an immense convoy of warriors, sets out on a journey plagued by misfortune and bloody rebel attacks. From dry river beds at Fort Stanwix and the momentous capture of Ethan Allen in Montreal to the streets of London, dread eventually sets in by 1777 as the group disbands in an attempt to counteract its imminent defeat. Though this is a more cumbersome read than Wu Ming's previous (and more enthralling) works, the vivid scenery, well-developed characters and crisp translation are immensely satisfying. (The story is being continued on the group's Web site, with an open invitation for readers to contribute.) (Oct.)
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Review

“Wu Ming manage to construct stories articulated around the muscular fibres of history ... Manituana is not only a narrative about what could have been, but a cartography of the possible.”—Roberto Saviano
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (October 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844673421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844673421
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
No doubt you can find thorough reviews of this book if you'd like to learn more about the story. I wouldn't want to spoil anything for other readers though. I had read Q and 54 in the past and that was enough for me to buy this book. I downloaded the free pdf version of the book from the Wu Ming website while I was waiting for my order to arrive. I read the first chapter and I felt an excitement that I rarely find with recently written books. I forced myself not to read any more until the book arrived - I get much more satisfaction from carrying a book around and flicking through the pages of the book. I was not disappointed! If you like the work of these writers, then you will not be disappointed either. Q blew me away when i first read it. I bought it, without having prior knowledge of the novel, on the day it was first released in UK bookshops because there was a sale that day! When I found the translation of 54, I bought it immediately. I enjoyed the novel, but Q still stood out as something extra-special to me. Now, Manituana ranks as my second favourite of this group's novels. It is, as the other novels are, rich in intrigue, detail and drama. I don't think anything needs to be said about the story. It is better to discuss it with others once you have read it yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"From the wrong side of history" that is how Wu Ming describes the historical epic Manituana. The story of the Iroquois people and the fight for survival during America's war of independence. Admittedly this was the first book I have read by the group of Italian authors knonw as Wu Ming. Suffice to say, I'm hooked. This book hit all the right notes for me; wonderment and suspense in the beginning, general laugh at loud moments in the middle and when things take a turn- lets just say I got a lump in my throat. If an author or in this case authors, can elicit such a broad range of emotions than they have succeeded and in this case won themselves a life long fan.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not the story we learned in grade school about the Revolutionary War. In the 1700's the Six Nations of the Iroquois (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora) had a remarkably advanced system of laws. It was also a common practice to take captives from other tribes into their culture. The Six Nations lived peaceably with the white settlers and intermarriage was not unknown. Leaders of the Six Tribes met with and were respected by the British. However, as more and more white settlers moved into the Indian territories, tensions arose. But even more complicating was the tension that was developing between the American colonies and Britain. The Indians did not understand the whites rebelling against the Great King in Britain. Chief Joseph Brandt as leader of the Mohawks finds himself in an increasingly difficult position.

History slowly unfolds taking Joseph eventually to England for a meeting with the King. Part Two is an interesting, sometimes humorous, depiction of the Indians stay in England complete with British thugs posing as the "seventh nation of the Indian tribe". The last part of the novel dissolves into raw violence between the Indians fighting the Rebels. Peopled with characters as Ethan Allen, King George, and Sir William Johnson, the novel provides a wide panorama of the US fight for independence.

Although somewhat difficult to follow at the beginning of the book (both the Indian name and the Anglo name is often used interchangeably), the story soon becomes gripping. The really short chapters seemed to fit the story perfectly. "Manituana" is an excellent example of how complicated history really is.

I knew nothing about the "authors" of this title and find it totally fascinating that a "collective of Italian fiction writers" could paint such a vivid picture of America's history from an angle that few have considered before. If you enjoy historical fiction, check this one out.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book epic and strong, clear and bloody. It bring you back in the 1500s in the native american way of life and problems. I read it in the original language (Italian) and it was brilliantly written. If the English translation have been ruin even half of the quality, till a great book to read, one of those book you start and you are not able to get it back in the shelf until you did not finish it.
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