Secrecy It Is Florence, The Renaissance Is Long Gone, And The City Is A Dark, Repressive Place, Where Everything Is Forbidden And Anything Is Possible The Enlightenment May Be Just Around The Corner, But Knowledge Is Still The Property Of The Few, And They Guard It Fiercely Art, Sex And Power These, As Always, Are The ObsessionsFacing Serious Criminal Charges, Gaetano Zummo Is Forced To Flee His Native Siracusa At The Age Of Twenty, First To Palermo, Then Naples, But Always Has The Feeling That He Is Being Pursued By His Past, And That He Will Never Be Free Of It Zummo Works An Artist In Wax He Is Fascinated By The Plague, And Makes Small Wooden Cabinets In Which He Places Graphic, Tortured Models Of The Dead And Dying But Cosimo III, Tuscany S Penultimate Medici Ruler, Gives Zummo His Most Challenging Commission Yet, And As He Tackles It His Path Entwines With That Of The Apothecary S Daughter Faustina, Whose Secret Is Even Explosive Than HisPoignant But Paranoid, Sensual Yet Chilling, Secrecy Is A Novel That Buzzes With Intrigue And Ideas It Is A Love Story, A Murder Mystery, A Portrait Of A Famous City In An Age Of Austerity, An Exercise In Concealment And Revelation, But Above All It Is A Trapdoor Narrative, One Story Dropping Unexpectedly Into Another, The Ground Always Slippery, Uncertain

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Secrecy book, this is one of the most wanted Rupert Thomson author readers around the world.

❰Epub❯ ➞ Secrecy Author Rupert Thomson –
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • Secrecy
  • Rupert Thomson
  • English
  • 10 October 2019
  • 9781847087652

10 thoughts on “Secrecy

  1. says:

    For those that don t know there s a museum in Florence called La Specola It s devoted to works in wax and without question is the most macabre museum I ve ever visited This because many of the exhibits are graphic depictions of what disease does to the organs of the human body There are sculptures there by the protagonist of this novel Gaetano Zummo The author here invents a biography of this mysterious artist Secrecy deploys the basic tenet of romance fiction an idealised love affair threatened by an ogre The heroine, of course, has green eyes It s not a novel of character development like Wolf Hall the characters here are like chess pieces, their power of movement fixed from the oft It s the good guys versus the bad with little nuance Zummo has a secret which has forced him to flee from his native Sicily When the Grand Duke Cosimo III sees his work, he becomes his patron and commissions him to create a life size beautiful woman in wax Zummo meanwhile learns his young lover possesses a dangerous secret too He will code some of these secrets he possesses into his sculpture All the many secrets in this novel are of a sexual nature A puritanical spirit reigns in Florence, personified by the sinister Dominican monk Stufa Women especially are locked up and tortured on hearsay of sexual impropriety The Jews are locked into the ghetto at night Stufa, intent on bringing Zummo down but impeded by the Grand Duke s fondness for the artist, turns his attention to the girl Zummo seems to inspire absolute emotions in those he meets the good characters love him the bad characters hate him This perhaps was the clumsiest aspect of the novel The psychology was a little rudimentary and lacked the persuasive subtlety of a Mantel The line the author draws between the good and the bad is a little too thick, making it essentially an adventure story A very engaging adventure story however What I most loved about this was the quality of the descriptive writing and the love and imagination with which the author recreates a detailed map of 17th century Florence It also becomes a gripping page turner when the splendidly sinister Stufa begins closing in on his prey Not perhaps the most thought provoking of novels but hugely enjoyable.

  2. says:

    I look at this cover and go

  3. says:

    Forced to flee his native Sicily, Gaetano Zummo journeys first to Naples, then to Palermo before being summoned to Florence at the request of Cosimo III de Medici himself The Grand Duke of Tuscany is interested in Zummo s skill as a sculptor in wax, and offers him a special commission in reward for a generous stipend However, Florence in the late 17th century is not an ideal place for a wax sculptor with a particular interest in the macabre people vanish in its dark, suffocating alleys, and anOffice of Public Decency has been established to enforce strict laws which prohibit even minor display of affection between unmarried residents Everybody whispers rumors full of suspicions, and everybody has a secret.Secrets should not be a surprise in a novel titled Secrecy, and Thomson delights in having a multitude of them From the method he used to frame his story having Zummo retell it to another character, with much of what we know of other characters are in fact their own stories that they relay to him it is worth noting that like Cosimo III de Medici, Zummo was a real person but unlike the Grand Duke little is known about his life, leaving Thomson plenty of space to make him an intriguing character Still, fictional Zummo is just as shrouded in secrecy as his real life counterpart I never felt that I gained an understanding of what drove him forward, what motivated his interest in body decay and corruption.Thomson is a good writer, and Secrecy is full of descriptive passages which give the book a dreamlike, hallucinatory mood Readers will feel the eeriness and uneasiness creeping up on them like Tuscan heat, thanks to Thomson s elegant and succinct prose one almost expects Savonarola to rise from the ashes to again proclaim Florence a city of God, and burn Zummo s sculptures on one of his bonfires presumably along with our hero.Where secrecy disappoints is its meandering plot and the very bland characterization and almost forced romance between Zummo and his love interest, Faustina There is just very little characterization to Faustina she is presented as a woman full of mystery a fact that she herself acknowledges in the narrative , and who has many secrets which she does not want revealed The problem is that aside from her obligatory physical beauty, this very mystery i the only characteristics that pull Zummo to her logically in hopes of one day uncovering them and understanding her While a part of Faustina s story is eventually reveled to the reader, it felt artificial as if inserted to shock, and not reveal the real character behind the veil of secrecy Secrecy is a novel which could have been truly wonderful Thomson is a fine writer and his setting and themes are fascinating however, I thought that he himself had no clear idea what particular direction he should pursue with this novel, and it ended up being all over the place Despite its good qualities, it is an easy book to put down it lacks something to grab the reader and refuse to let go If you are curious about Rupert Thomson, I would advise to skip it and go to the book which was my introduction to his work and which I consider to be his great accomplishment The Insult.

  4. says:

    This is a very striking book, one of the best novels I ve read for quite a while The last quarter or so didn t quite work so well for me, or I d have given it five stars The writing is nothing less than brilliant impressive than Mantel s in Wolf Hall for my taste, as it s much concise and compressed The evocation of place and time is amazingly vivid and visceral.I was attracted to this book by its setting, in Florence not the familiar world of Renaissance Florence, but the decadent Baroque world of the later seventeenth century The subject also struck me as fascinating the protagonist is Gaetano Zumbo called Zummo in the book , creator of the astonishing, disturbing, borderline deranged wax sculptures of plague scenes in the museum at La Specola I saw these first on a special late night opening when I appeared to be the only person in the museum, not an easy experience to forget.The best part of the book for me is its remarkable evocation of Florence and the eccentric and perverse world of Cosimo III de Medici s court The characters are fabulous, from the strange young daughter of Zumbo s landlady like most figures in the book, damaged physically or emotionally in some way to the eccentric French acrobat who lives upstairs from him, to the drunken, vomiting Medici princeling Gian Gastone, the jovial anatomist Pampolino and his urchin sidekick Earhole damage , and the affable but almost bound to turn sinister at some point ducal secretary Bassetti The grand duke himself is a memorable monster, and perhaps aptly enough just about the most damaged character of all The arch villain Stufa is perhaps a mite too villainous for my taste, but he s fun in a grand guignol kind of way Elements I wasn t quite so taken with Zumbo s backstory in Siracusa the love story the frame story that comes in at the beginning and end But these are quibbles, it s an excellent novel There s a scene near the beginning where Bassetti gives Zumbo a welcome to Florence gift of a truffle that reveals itself, when cut open, to be full of maggots It strikes me as not a bad metaphor for the book itself in a good way A lot of the material is very dark, and these are not the last maggots we see One historical footnote although she appears once only briefly in person in the novel, we hear a lot about the nightmarish, ultra pious dowager grandduchess Vittoria della Rovere, Stufa s patron, who is pretty much held to blame for what is wrong with her son s Florence and there s a lot This used to be pretty much how Vittoria delle Rovere and all the seventeenth century Medici wives were regarded, but there has been a lot of research on them recently and they are emerging as much interesting and less stereotypical and grotesque figures Vittoria was responsible for founding the first all female literary academy in Italy and I think Europe, among other things I don t think you d guess that from her portrayal here.

  5. says:

    BABTBBC BLURB Some see you as a master craftsman Others say you re a sorcerer You re mysterious, obsessive Controversial Zummo a 17th century sculptor makes things out of wax, figures so lifelike they look as if they might move and breathe He has journeyed throughout Italy over the years in an attempt to flee his past Now, in 1691, he has been summoned to the Medici court by the Grand Duke of Tuscany He arrives in Florence, a city in which everything was forbidden and anything was possible But what does the Grand Duke have in mind for him Ten years later, Zummo visits a convent in France and tells the whole story to Marguerite Louise of Orl ans, long estranged wife of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.Secrecy is a tale of love, art, murder and concealment, enacted within a beautifully realised 17th century Florentine and Tuscan setting.Some of the plague pieces by Gaetano Zummo 1656 1701 can be found in La Specola, Florence.Rupert Thomson is the author of eight highly acclaimed novels including Death of a Murderer, which was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Novel Award His memoir This Party s Got to Stop won the Writer s Guild Non Fiction Award.Episode One In 1701, a frail, dying Zummo arrives at a French convent He has a story to tell His audience Marguerite Louise of Orl ans, former wife of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.Readers Greta Scacchi and Owen Teale Abridger Jeremy OsborneProducer Rosalynd Ward A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.half way through this should of been blindingly interesting given the time, the gore factor, the morbid artistry All I kept noticing was a spider web formed overnight between that delicious photo of the Nofolk sands and the wind up pendulum clock And how aqbout the windows fully fly blown.2.5 upped to 3 because it is such a lovely sunny warm day.2 Divided Kingdom3 Secrecy

  6. says:

    I enjoyed and disliked this book in almost equal parts On the one hand, the language is beautiful, the characters are interesting and the setting 17th century Florence seems meticulously researched On the other hand, it has a creepiness about it which I found off putting to read, the prologue gives away twists that would be better held until the book s ending and somehow I didn t get any sense of place I learned a lot about Florence at that time, but I never felt like I was there.The story is about Zummo, a wax sculptor who has come to Florence after a scandal forced him out of his native Sicily The scandal is not explicitly described and there is some doubt over whether it was true or not He comes to work for the Grand Duke of Florence, a complex character who was scorned by his wife and whose children have all gone off the rails Florence is a dangerous place, both literally with murders in dark alleys at night but also in the sense that someone is always watching and is ready to have you arrested When Zummo falls in love, he exposes both himself and his lover to danger As the title alludes, secrecy is everything Zummo is secretive about his past, his techniques, his assignments and of course his relationship Faustina, his lover, also has her own secrets At one point she comments I ve got mystery in me than all these people put together But in fact, almost every major character is hiding something So, an intriguing plot in a fascinating setting, but somehow it fell short for me of what it could have been.

  7. says:

    Dragi moji evo od sino poku avam da shvatim kako je ovaj stil pisanja uspio pobrati toliko nagrada i da se poredi sa nekim imenima iz vrha knji evnog svijeta.Ma dobro rekla sam odavno da se o ukusima neda raspravljati, ali ova knjiga meni nije ispunila o ekivanja Stil pisanja mi je u vi e navrata bio usiljen, kao da je pisao knjigu pod izmom izdava a ili ti to sl..Glavni lik previ e zaposjednut pro lo u, i problematika njegovog ivljenja svedena na dvije do tri klju ne stvari, koje i nisu toliko zanimljive bar meni, opisi nekada previ e turi, nekada pretjerani, ne znam ovo djelo mi je bilo povuci, potegni, a k tome to nikako ne volim , dosta JE nedore enoPrelasci iz stanja sna u budno pisani u udnoj formi, sa delikatnim ali nejasnim, nekad ne svarljivim sponama, nekada totalno u pogre nim momentima , i jednostavno nisu mi imali onu lako u prelaza koju sam otkrila kod drugih pisacaNeka mi oproste oni koji su u ivali i otkrili da je ovo djelo odli no, meni jednostavnonijeI ocjena zbog samog mjesta zbivanja, i neke dobre po etne ideje je kao to vidite prosje na trojka 3.

  8. says:

    I so much wanted to like this book From the sumptuous cover with gold titling and a pregnant woman half hidden by drapes of crimson, you are prepared for a feast by the wonderful designers at Granta The wrappings far outweigh the contents.Let me say, Rupert Thomson is a good writer But good writing cannot disguise a messy meandering plot with characters who are unengaging, glibly described and unmemorable There are lines in this book that I highlighted with a yellow marker pen but so, too, are there pages of sheer absolute tedium.

  9. says:

    Wonderful historical thriller set in 17th century Florence The novel drew me in by its fantastic sense of place and time, and then I got engrossed by the plot and the characters A very satisfying read great for book clubs, since there are a number of moral questions to discuss.

  10. says:

    This book confused me a lot I wanted to DNF it at least a few times but I kept going although I didn t see any point Also, it was kind of disgusting Definitely not a book I d recommend.

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