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Napoleon Symphony [Hardcover]

Anthony Burgess
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2012
A grand and tragi-comic symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, this novel unteases and reweaves Napoleon's life - from the first great days of his campaigns in 1796 to exile and death on St. Helena a quarter of a century later. Burgess' Bonaparte is a cuckold, afflicted with heartburn and halitosis while enacting a wily seduction of Tsar Alexander, conquering Egypt and crowning himself Emperor. Witty, sardonic, intellectual, Napoleon Symphony is Burgess at his most challenging and inventive. In creating a novel based on a musical form, Burgess is playing with structure, from the grand, ambitious shape of the novel itself, through to the finer composition of each sentence.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846689163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846689161
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'One of the cleverest and most original writers of his generation' - The Times 'One of the most productive, imaginative and risk-taking of writers' - Irish Times 'Essentially this book is not so much about Napoleon as about Anthony Burgess writing a novel. As such it has many pleasures. All of the Burgess embellishments are here, and they sing alluringly each to each' - New York Times

Book Description

A new edition of Burgess' long unavailable, ambitious, experimental novel about Napoleon Bonaparte

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars His masteriece 27 Dec 2012
I've read almost all of Burgess's novels and I think that this is my favourite. It's supposed to be based on the structure of a symphony, but I think it's best just to forget about that, and enjoy the huge historical sweep, the brilliant characterisation (of Napoleon, in particular, but also Talleyrand and the other historical figures), and the superbly rhythmical prose. Most of all there is Burgess's rich, earthy, brilliant humour. Burgess is the reason I became an author, and this, although a little hard to penetrate, is, I think, his masterpiece.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars A very different Napoleonic Epic 5 May 2013
By Nessim Levy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this work very entertaining, however, I think it might be difficult for someone not familiar with Napoleon's life and times to follow the story. Burgess, I think, assumes in his readers a more than perfunctory familiarity with the events narrated as he jumps from episode to episode.
It is both funny and perceptive.
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