The Pope's Rhinoceros: A Novel

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Grove Press, 2003 - Fiction - 574 pages
3 Reviews
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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.

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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

Contents

Vineta
1
Roma
113
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
351
And the Ship Sails On
405
Nri
439
Naumachia
509
Gesta Monachorum Usedomi
569
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