A Price to Pay

A Price to Pay

by Alex Capus
     
 

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Alex Capus’s novels have been runaway best-sellers in Germany, and his novel Léon and Louise received widespread critical acclaim on its English publication in 2012.

A Price to Pay, the fourth of Capus’s novels to be published in English, tells the interwoven stories of three disparate figures from interwar Switzerland:

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Overview

Alex Capus’s novels have been runaway best-sellers in Germany, and his novel Léon and Louise received widespread critical acclaim on its English publication in 2012.

A Price to Pay, the fourth of Capus’s novels to be published in English, tells the interwoven stories of three disparate figures from interwar Switzerland: pacifist Felix Bloch, who ends up working on the Manhattan Project; Laura d’Oriano, who wants to become a singer but instead becomes an Allied spy in fascist Italy; and Emile Gillieron, who accompanies Heinrich Schliemann to Troy and becomes one of art’s greatest forgers. Taking off from the only moment in history when all three were in the same place—a November day in 1924 at Zürich Station—Capus traces their diverging paths as they secure their places in the annals of history—but at what price?

Editorial Reviews

Star Tribune - Malcolm Forbes
“There is much here to appreciate. . . . Capus’ characters were real people who, in their own unique ways, helped shape the previous century. He does them justice in his captivating novel by fleshing them out and allowing them to breathe and pulse on the page.”
Library Journal
★ 10/15/2014
In his fourth novel to be translated into English, French-Swiss writer Capus (Léon and Louise) weaves together the lives of three little-known figures from interwar Switzerland who each had a significant impact on the era. Exercising poetic license, the author takes as his point of departure the only time when the three are known to have been in the same place at the same time: Zurich, on a day in November 1924. Laura d'Oriano aspires to be a singer but is recruited some years after leaving her husband and children as an Allied spy. Felix Bloch leaves Germany and works with J. Robert Oppenheimer in developing the first atomic bomb. Emile Gilliéron collaborates with Arthur Evans in uncovering the Minoan palace at Knossos, Crete, and becomes a successful art forger. The language here is rich yet crisp; Capus displays a wide-ranging erudition that never gets in the way of his writing, saying of his protagonists that "self-limitation is every artist's greatest defeat but, at the same time, most important virtue." Brownjohn's translation strikes just the right tone. VERDICT Three absorbing tales in one, with a flavoring of documentary—who could ask for more?—Edward B. Cone, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781908323736
Publisher:
Haus Publishing
Publication date:
12/15/2014
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,379,662
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

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