Q
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Q

4.14 (5,052 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In 1517, Martin Luther nails his ninety-five theses to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, and a dance of death begins between a radical Anabaptist with many names and a loyal papal spy known mysteriously as "Q." In this brilliantly conceived literary thriller set in the chaos of the Reformation-an age devastated by wars of religion-a young theology student adopts the cause of heretics and the disinherited and finds himself pursued by a relentless papal informer and heretic hunter. What begins as a personal struggle to reveal each other's identity becomes a mission that can only end in death.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 750 pages
  • 134.6 x 198.1 x 38.1mm | 771.12g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156031965
  • 9780156031967
  • 1,166,505

Flap copy

A bestseller across Europe, Q is a hugely ambitious and brilliantly achieved novel set in the chaos of Reformation Europe.
In 1517 Martin Luther nails his 95 theses demanding reform of the Catholic Church to the door of the cathedral church in Wittenburg, setting off the period of upheaval, war, and violence we now know as the Reformation. During the reigns of the Habsburg Charles V and his enemy the French king Francis I, the Papacy desperately struggles to secure its position and undermine its political opponents.
Meanwhile, as declared foes of the Roman Church, the radical Protestant Anabaptists are in rebellion against an entire order of European society and are persecuted and brutalized by those outside their sphere.
In this age devastated by the wars of religion, a young theology student adopts the cause of the heretics and the disinherited. Across the chessboard of Europe, from the German plains to the flourishing Dutch cities and south to Venice, our hero, an Anabaptist who travels under many names, and his enemy, Q, a papal informer and heretic hunter, play a game in which no moves are forbidden. What begins as a struggle to reveal each other's identity eventually becomes part of a much greater mission: to destroy and achieve domination over each other.
Part thriller, part novel of ideas, Q is as richly imagined as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose or Iain Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost and as subversively political as Michel Houellebecq's Atomised.
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Back cover copy

"[Q] is a historical novel of the grand and sweeping sort, one that aims to capture not a life or a moment, but an era of pivotal importance."--Washington Post Book World
"It is hard to do better than this vivid, terrifying portrait of a survivor of the Protestant Reformation . . . The characters in Q bleed real blood, blood that was still soaking Europe in the trenches of World War I, and the firestorms of World War II." -- The New Republic
While sixteenth-century Europe is devastated by the wars of religion following the Reformation, a young theology student adopts the cause of the heretics and the disinherited. Our hero, an Anabaptist who travels under many names, and his enemy, Q, a papal informer and heretic hunter, play a game in which no moves are forbidden. Across the chessboard of Europe, from the German plains to the flourishing Dutch cities and south to Venice, what begins as a struggle to reveal each other's identity eventually becomes part of a much greater mission: total annihilation of the enemy.
Part thriller, part novel of ideas, Q is as richly imagined as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose or Iain Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost and as subversively political as Michel Houellebecq's Atomised.
The four pseudonymous authors of Q live in Bologna, Italy. Their website is www.wumingfoundation.com.
Translated from the Italian by Shaun Whiteside
"Q . . . is as mysterious as a miracle and hot as a burning heretic." -- The Raleigh News and Observer
"This is a big book and a big canvas . . . The panorama is big and bloody and breathtaking: a crush of colour and crowds, exotic locations and war." -- The Times (London)
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR Q
"Blissett moves his characters skillfully, pieces on a chessboard whose next square they cannot see, and keeps the reader in suspense until the final, fatal meeting."-SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"The most compelling recent historical novel about religious strife in the Renaissance . . . If we really want to see what happens when religion drives believers to extremes, it is hard to do better than this vivid, terrifying portrait . . .The characters in Q bleed real blood." -THE NEW REPUBLIC
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Rating details

5,052 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 46% (2,330)
4 32% (1,623)
3 14% (718)
2 5% (248)
1 3% (133)
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