Something of a publishing sensation elsewhere in Europe, Q
is a convoluted historical thriller by a consortium of young pseudonymous authors, who, it has to be said, are a little too in love with their own cleverness. Q is the working name of a papal spy trying to keep a lid on the Reformation, particularly on the Anabaptist radicalism which is its form most dangerous to the social order, and for decades he watches, and occasionally gets in close and betrays. The man sometimes known as Gert is his opposite--all the more so because he hardly knows of Q's existence--the idealist who is caught up in the same events: Luther's sermons, the rise and fall of Thomas Muntzer, the disastrous People's Republic of Munster.
Parallels are being struck all over the place with radicalism in the 20th century--part of what makes Gert a memorable voice is a combination of zeal, pragmatism and survival instinct that keeps him one step ahead of the Inquisitors for 30 years and enables him to, for example, do serious damage to the Holy Roman Emperor's favourite bankers. In the end, Gert and Q are left with more in common than the past they share--the rules are changing and the board is being cleared, and there is time for one last crucial intervention... This is ingeniously plotted, and full of vividly realised scenes of 16th century life; if it has a fault, it is that we live through every day of three tumultuous decades, every sermon and theological treatise, in exhausting detail. --Roz Kaveney
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"It bracingly reanimates an era of frenzy that longed to burn the world clean" (The Guardian
"The mud and blood, visions and ideals of 16th-century Europe come back to gruesome, glorious life" (The Independent
"Big and bloody and breathtaking: a crush of colour and crowds, exotic locations and war." (The Times
"Imagine Umberto Eco's knack for the swashbuckling thriller-of-ideas crossed with an artful touch of the Le Carr's - it boasts pace, colour, excitement and suspense to spare- Q works like a charm as a sordid, splendid period romp." (Independent
"If ever there was a novel that deserved to win prizes, accolades and plaudits, it is Q - A rich, inventive and immensely powerful book - Q is a great novel, one that tells us about ourselves and how we came to be here." (Scotland on Sunday