10 novels to (re) discover Valerio Evangelisti

10 novels to (re) discover Valerio Evangelisti

Valerio Evangelisti was a great popular author who revolutionized genre literature. Passing away a few days ago, he leaves us novels that mix in a bold and controlled way at the same time, history and fantasy, myth and science fiction. This mix of genres, this game of perspectives and different temporal levels, finds its most successful proof in the novels about Eymerich, the Dominican inquisitor who really existed and used by the author as the protagonist of a series of titles recently merged in volume from the Oscar series. Fantastic. However, it would be a huge mistake to identify Evangelisti only with Eymerich, because the Bolognese author has really written a great deal and from various perspectives. Below we propose a list of ten titles to begin to know what was perhaps the greatest Italian genre author of the last thirty years, certainly the least limited in delineating geographical and temporal scenarios and in making the imagination work (what rare in a country where everyone seems to want to hole up in provincial police stations).

We'll be everything

It's a wonderful novel that stands up to comparison with many American crime novels such as Puzo's Godfather or Ellroy's American Tabloid. It is the story of Eddie Florio (a character who really existed here reworked in a fictional key), a gangster who thrives in the corrupt environment of America's port unions and crosses paths with the protagonists of Cosa Nostra. It is one of the author's not fantastic novels, but well documented and strong with a great narrative tension. The story is not only that of Eddie but of corrupt America, especially that of the 1920s and 1930s, prey to unscrupulous characters, mafia, industrialists, trade unionists, politicians. A wild bunch that will not spare the reader shootings, murders and various brutalities.

from 15,57 € - buy on amazon 10,50 € - buy on ibs Screaming metal

Tribute to heavy metal music of which the author was a fan, the book is an anthology whose stories are titled like four great bands: Venom, Pantera, Sepultura and Metallica. We find an Evangelists in whom, in an unbridled way, he mixes fantastic with historical reality, introducing us to a sorcerer gunslinger at the time of the Old West, a New Orleans of the future divided between white Christians and black Muslims, Indians capable of evoking spirits and so on. A manifesto of the "Evangelists-thought" that mixes metal technology with the magic of ancient populations and that sees literature as a battleground in defense of the last.

€ 12.35 - buy on amazon 12, 35 € - buy on ibs Pirate Trilogy

Those who love Salgari cannot miss this trilogy made up of novels whose titles are a clear geographical reference: Tortuga, Veracruz and Cartagena. The temporal one is the beginning of the eighteenth century which marks the end of piracy in the Caribbean. The saga tells of boardings, kidnappings, episodes of ferocity and self-denial, devouring amorous passions, camaraderie and rivalry on overloaded vessels where blood mixes with sweat. All contained in a rigorous and documented historical frame.

15,20 € - buy on amazon 15,20 € - buy on ibs Nicolas Eymerich, inquisitor (present in the Eymerich anthology - Book one)

The first novel by Evangelisti, published in 1994 and winner of the Urania Prize. It was a success, since its appearance on newsstands, and not only nationally. We recall that Evangelisti has been translated into various languages ​​and in 1999 won the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire in the category "Foreign Novel", a prestigious award dedicated to sci-fi and fantastic literature. The novel proceeds on different historical levels that will eventually join in the final: we have Eymerich, inquisitor called to investigate a neo-pagan sect in fourteenth-century Spain; we have a scientist who in the early 21st century lays the foundations for interstellar travel; finally, moving forward two centuries, we have a spaceship traveling to a forgotten planet. Perhaps the best of the cycle, this novel mixes science fiction, myth and history in an original way with a tight thriller prose.

9.99 € - buy on amazon (ebook) 9.99 € - buy on ibs ( ebook) Magus

The novel is actually a trilogy composed of the books Il omen, L'inganno, The abyss and tells the story of Nostradamus, born in Provence in 1503, a medical scholar who will soon become passionate to astrology. Evangelisti follows the protagonist's biographical vicissitudes across Europe, between the Venice of the doges and the court of the king of France, narrates the relations with the powerful and the numerous enemies that he earned, and questions the mystery of his figure as a prophet . Through Nostradamus, Evangelisti captures the profound transformations of Europe of the time. The saga was a success that sold over one hundred thousand copies.

€ 7.99 - buy on amazon (ebook) € 7.99 - buy on ibs (ebook) Cherudek (featured in the Eymerich anthology - Book one)

It is perhaps the most atypical novel of Eymerich's cycle. As he himself declared, Evangelisti wrote it influenced by the reading of Philip K Dick, in particular the novels Ubik and The Three Stigmata by Palmer Eldricht. Its atypicality is due to the smoky, misleading atmosphere that covers the first part of the plot and which suggests to the reader the impression of reading the account of a nightmare. As in the first novel, there is talk of pagan divinities and the opposition between masculine and feminine. The dream side of the story allows the reader to go deeper into the complex personality of the inquisitor, split between a thirst for justice that borders on sadism and a compassion for human destiny that he feels like an obstacle to his work.

9.99 € - buy on amazon (ebook) 9.99 € - buy on ibs (ebook) The sun of the future. Live working or die fighting

Valerio Evangelisti was a popular and genre writer, but not without his own political vision of the world. Indeed, the left-wing formation conditions his narrative by conferring a precise ethical and political message. This is particularly evident in the trilogy of the Sun of the future. In this first chapter, the author tells the story of some families of laborers and peasants from Romagna, from the post-Risorgimento period to the turn of the century. The resulting fresco is that of a region - and a country - crossed from a great transformation, first of all the agricultural one - the reclamation of unhealthy territories - and then the affirmation of the socialist cooperative movement, with its contrasts, the conflicts for a slow conquest of democracy.

8.75 € - buy on amazon 8,75 € - buy on ibs The collar of fire

The birth of Mexico narrated in an adventurous way with a very wide-ranging novel. From the revolt of the Mexicans in Texas in the mid-nineteenth century the story expands, moving to Mexico to embrace the struggle of Benito Juárez against Maximilian of Austria, the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, modernization. A grandiose epic told through the eyes and actions of many characters, all really lived.

9.97 € - buy on amazon 9.98 € - buy on ibs Eymerich's ghost

Year 1378 , having escaped from the prison in which the king of Aragon had had him locked up, Eymerich goes to Rome, where Pope Gregory XI has transferred the papal see. The pope is dying, the dispute that will lead to the Great Western Schism begins. The inquisitor realizes that the feuds between cardinals hide a bizarre and forgotten pagan cult that threatens the purity of the high clergy. Only Eymerich, grappling with a ghost that is identical to him, will be able to do justice. Latest novel about the inquisitor who summarizes and takes to extremes the character traits and issues addressed in the previous chapters.

€ 19.00 - buy on amazon € 19.00 - buy on ibs Day Hospital

This is not a novel, but an account of a disease - non-Hodgkin's type B large cell lymphoma - which Evangelisti was diagnosed with in 2009, following a check-up at the dentist. The prose is sparse and informative, both in the parts that concern the exams in the hospital, and in those that lay bare the mood. With detachment it comes to be said clinical, the author tells us about his life, his activity as a writer that takes shape almost parallel to the disease, the daily life made up of visits to the Sant'Orsola hospital in Bologna, the hours spent in the Waiting room. It is a beautiful book that deals with a delicate theme, that of the disease that opens a gray region between life and death, with the right distance and makes us understand how unique and precious the experience of living is.

€ 5.00 - buy on amazon € 5.00 - buy on ibs

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