The Pope's Rhinoceros: A Novel

Front Cover
Grove Press, 2003 - Fiction - 574 pages
3 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
The Pope's Rhinoceros is a vivid, antic, and picaresque novel spun around one of history's most bizarre chapters: the sixteenth-century attempt to procure a rhinoceros as a bribe for Pope Leo X. In February 1516, a Portuguese ship sank off the coast of Italy. The Nostra Senora de Ajuda had sailed fourteen thousand miles from the Indian kingdom of Gujarat. Her mission: to bribe the "pleasure-loving Pope" into favoring expansionist Portugal over her rival Spain with the most exotic and least likely of gifts -- a living rhinoceros. Moving from the herring colonies of the Baltic Sea to the West African rain forest, with a cast of characters including an order of reclusive monks and Rome's corrupt cardinals, courtesans, ambassadors, and nobles, The Pope's Rhinoceros is at once a fantastic adventure tale and a portrait of an age rushing headlong to its crisis.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - a1stitcher - LibraryThing

It took me forever to get through this book. Not because it is awful, but because the author's style is very dense. What I can describe using three or four words, he uses fifteen. Pope Leo X owns an ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bodachliath - LibraryThing

A unique book that defies categorisation, this is a huge, surreal, complex, all-encompassing sixteenth century picaresque shaggy dog (or should I say rhinoceros) story full of humour, complex plot ... Read full review


The Voyage of the Nostra Senora de Ajuda from the Port of Goa to the Bright of Benin in the Winter and Spring of 1515 and 11516
And the Ship Sails On
Gesta Monachorum Usedomi

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information