In the year 1731, Alexandre Lourenco watches as his brother Bartolomeu’s airship, the Passarola, ascends from the ramparts of St. Jorge’s Castle in Lisbon. When the brothers board the ship, they embark on a journey that will take them from the salons and bordellos of Enlightenment Paris to the desolate far reaches of the North Pole, in search of scientific truth and knowledge. As they encounter such characters as the loquacious Voltaire and the irascible King Stanislaus of Poland, and attempt to escape Russian enemy fire and the condemnation of Portugal’s Cardinal Conti, Alexandre hopes to find his calling in life, while his brother keeps his eyes on the Passarola’s next horizon.
A delightful picaresque tale filled with evocative period detail, Azhar Abidi’s debut is not only a story of adventure and suspense, but a thoughtful book on the nature of truth, and a heartfelt portrait of the relationship between brothers.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Penguin Group|
|File size:||273 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Azhar Abidi was born in Pakistan and lives in Melbourne, Australia. His work has been published in The Guardian Weekly, the Australian literary journal Meanjin, and in The Best Australian Essays 2004.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After leaving Brazil for Portugal and gaining financial sponsoring in Lisbon, by 1731 Bartolomeo Louren is ready to test his airship, the Passarola in front of His Majesty Joao V. However, Bartolomeo¿s flying machine angers Cardinal Conti who believes that if man was meant to fly, God would have given Adam wings. With the force of the Portuguese Inquisition, he forces Bartolomeo and his younger brother Alexandre to flee via their airship to France. --- French King Louis XV supports Bartolomeo¿s efforts to improve on the Passarola as the enlightened monarch sees great military advantage in fighting enemies on the ground from the air. Meanwhile the Acadmie des Sciences hire the siblings to measure distances to the polar circle, which they undertake. On the dangerous trek, Alex claims to have seen a great city, but no proof is offered and his older brother admits he never saw the phantom sprawl. After a return to France, Alex goes home to Brazil as the adventures are over for him, but Bartolomeo starts a new epic in India. --- Based on the real account of two eighteenth century brothers, PASSAROLA RISING is a superb historical fiction novel that brings to life the first half of the eighteenth century through the passion of siblings who want to soar through the sky. The tale is told in a look back memoir like manner by Alexandre, who romanticizes and worships his creative talented and daring older brother. Readers will enjoy the adventures of two daredevils defying church, royalty, and other powers of society to live out their dream even though for one of them it turns into a relatively short fantasy. --- Harriet Klausner