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From the writer of Smilla's experience of Snow comes this hugely ingenious novel, "wonderful in scope . . . full of Danish historical past, social realism, satire, magic realism, excessive romance, and sexual goings-on" (Newsday).

In a Danish feudal citadel, 1520, a count number believes he has pinpointed the guts of the universe--a patch of land on his property. but if his discovery is met with disbelief, he partitions off his mansion and has the entire clocks stopped. 4 centuries go without delay, and the count's younger secretary, Carl, emerges from isolation to discover a global bursting with conflict, innovation, love, sexuality, possibility, and all of the values of the 16th century grew to become the wrong way up as if through supernatural forces--namely, the strength of heritage. From certainly one of our such a lot talented foreign writers comes a stunning epic fairy story, a tricky delusion concerning the presents and iniquities of progress.

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Carl Laurids appeared over her shoulder, out of the window. The curtains have been pulled again and a white-hot solar shone throughout the french home windows, filling the room with suffocating warmth and the illusory think of a Sunday morning. From the road rose the far-off clatter of horses’ hooves and metal-rimmed wheels on cobblestones, and of a vehicle being begun with a crank deal with. In surprising, wild pride on the distance she had placed among them he took his first step towards her. They met midway. together with his first circulation, Carl Laurids controlled to tear off her coat. With the second one he tore off her costume, petticoat, and bodice. There then an involuntary and comical hiatus. She will possibly not were donning a corset, however the basque which he himself had got for her in Magasin du Nord—and which had expense a small fortune—was made up of a silky stuff which, even though cobweb-fine to touch, resisted all his makes an attempt to tear it aside. His eyes met Amalie’s. Her darkish curls shone within the sunshine, and from lower than her half-closed eyelids got here a glance of such scorn that worry of interruption despatched a purple streak of insanity flashing throughout his mind and he ripped the basque from best to backside. She bit his shoulder, challenging, to maintain him from going berserk; then they dragged one another down onto the resort mattress, whispering little curses whereas she teased him and advised him on by means of announcing no and definite on the correct moments. It took the sound of somebody crying to deliver them again to truth and the belief that it used to be they who have been nonetheless whimpering. Carl Laurids lay nonetheless for not more than a second. Then he shook himself freed from his vacant stupor. full of quiet triumph, he rose, dressed, tied his bow tie, combed his hair, picked up his hat and gloves, and walked out of the room with no as soon as taking a look at Amalie. He paid the invoice at reception—where the money for that got here from is anything to which we are going to return—and stepped out into the road. Whistling within the dusty summer season warmth, he left the resort at the back of whereas rationalizing, explaining away, the upheaval into which his lifestyles have been thrown during the last few weeks. the results of a few minor organic sickness, that’s what it had been—brought approximately by way of sure chemical changes—the final result, he advised himself directly, of pent-up lust. So obsessed had he been with this extraordinary Cinderella, this unusual little hunk of flesh, that he had missed his love lifestyles. That was once why he were so stressed, why his prepared powers of conception have been blurred; sexual humors had outfitted up in his blood—here he vaguely recalled a piece of writing he had learn at the subject—and this had overridden his notion approaches. Now, although, he had expended the malignant juices; he was once his previous self back, fancy-free, unattached, virile. The earlier used to be in the back of him, the longer term unfold sooner than him, he had left that little canary for the final time, with out announcing so long, with out lots as a kiss. She’d bought her comeuppance, bought what she wanted of a four-letter be aware starting with D. The ranking among them have been settled, and now he needed to movement on.

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