Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Bellini Madonna

Original title: The Bellini Madonna
Author: Lowry, Elizabeth.
Publisher: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
A debut novel, this novel's protagonist, down-and-out art historian Thomas Lynch, does not sound very likeable. He's on a quest for a vanished painting of the Madonna by the Italian artist Giovanni Bellini and ends up at the home of, so he believes, its last owner.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Codex 632

Original title: Codex 632: The Secret Identity of Christopher Columbus: A Novel
Author: Santos, José Rodrigues dos; translated from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin.
Publisher: New York: William Morrow, 2008.
First published in Portugal in 2005 as O Codex 632, this novel references several archives and historical manuscripts, all of which the author assure us, exist, including Codex 632 of the title. The author attempts to solve the mystery of Christopher Columbus' true identity. Unfortunately, the book reads more like a journalistic expose than a novel. I only managed to finish it because I wanted to read all the references to archives.