epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Reviews: In The Name Of The Family + 3 others

In The Name Of The Family by Sarah Dunant
This sequel to ‘Blood and Beauty’ continues the tale of the sleazy, corrupt and emotionally incestuous Borgia clan. Machiavelli gets a lot of attention too for some reason. But this tale of arrogant posturing and self-centred lifestyles is dull.

Lucrezia gets syphilis from her husband and physicians refuse to consider the implication of the STD. Cesare loses his intimidation factor and unwavering confidence. The Borgia pope deserves all the moral condemnation he gets for the toxic culture of fear and malicious provocation he is responsible for.

Cesare spurns constraints and shows the result of growing up without any consequnces for his lack of responsibility. The Pope’s dedicated pursuit of pleasure and abdication of responsibility make him a menace. This was not delightfully delirious as the Borgias have idiotic over-confidence in themselves. They are insufferable and supercilious. How could amoralism and manifest flaws be so dull?

The moral consequences of seething vendettas and the family’s possessive sexual interest in each other are not fiendishly clever and lack maximum dramatic impact. This tale of a grim sounding time is impervious to meaningful interpretation.

Best Lines:
“The Pope has grown afraid of his own son.”

“Christendom will be a safer place without them.”

“Her mind was never a valued attribute.”

“Everything he owns will be taken from him,”

“The Borgias’ name has grown ever blacker, dragged deeper into the mud by the enemies who survived them.”

The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico
This 1969 novel shows its age in some horribly dated horrible sexism but it does have a cynical bleak ending.

The Tower by Richard Martin Stern

The Glass Inferno by Thomas Scortia & Frank Robinson
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review

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