Morality Playby Barry Unsworth
Pub. Date: 09/28/1996
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
The time is the fourteenth century. The place is a small town in rural England, and the setting a snow-laden winter. A small troupe of actors accompanied by Nicholas Barber, a young renegade priest, prepare to play
The national bestseller: A medieval murder mystery full of the wonders of the timeand lessons for our own timeby a master storyteller.
The time is the fourteenth century. The place is a small town in rural England, and the setting a snow-laden winter. A small troupe of actors accompanied by Nicholas Barber, a young renegade priest, prepare to play the drama of their lives. Breaking the longstanding tradition of only performing religious plays, the groups leader, Martin, wants them to enact the murder that is foremost in the townspeoples minds. A young boy has been found dead, and a mute-and-deaf girl has been arrested and stands to be hanged for the murder. As members of the troupe delve deeper into the circumstances of the murder, they find themselves entering a political and class feud that may undo them. Intriguing and suspenseful, Morality Play is an exquisite work that captivates by its power, while opening up the distant past as new to the reader.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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- 8.02(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.55(d)
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It's a murder mystery, it's a glimpse into the history and pathos of the 14th Century, a lesson in acting and mime: it's written seamlessly (which should never be confused with effortlessly) and MORALITY PLAY reads, as they say, like butter. Good, good book in conception and execution..
Being on a middle-ages kick for a while, I had to pick up this book after I read the synopsis. Well, I was definately pleased after just reading the first chapter, and knew I was in for a good book. Read this book!
A delightful, lovely story. All is marvelous, but the end was a difficult one to improvise on¿probably too difficult to make a more 14th Century ending. Instead we have a 'Lone Ranger' ending. But I loved it all. And read in one day.
This book is so well written that you don't mind that it takes half the book to get to the real story. The fated priest meets a troup of play actors by accident and joins up to delay facing his bishop following an act of adultery. The actors decide to create plays around the mysterious murder of a young boy in a small town in order to make more money than their traditional morality plays are yielding. Fate deals with the actors during these plays of reality.
I might not have bought the book. (smile) Everything those literary types say is true, but Morality Play is also a darn good read. It's not as 'difficult' as Name of the Rose (anyone else keep their dictionary nearby when reading that one?) and it's not the treacly romantic stuff of historical fiction either. Unsworth is just so unpretentious -- I wish more writers could present big ideas the way he does.