A sweeping story about obsession, mysticism, art, earthly desire, and the construction of a Cathedral in medieval Germany.
At the center of this story is the Cathedral. Its design and construction in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in the Rhineland town of Hagenburg unites a vast array of unforgettable characters whose fortunes are inseparable from the shifting political factions and economic interests vying for supremacy. From the bishop to his treasurer to local merchants and lowly stonecutters, everyone, even the town’s Jewish denizens, is implicated and affected by the slow rise of Hagenburg’s Cathedral, which in no way enforces morality or charity. Around this narrative center, Ben Hopkins has constructed his own monumental edifice, a novel that is rich with the vicissitudes of mercantilism, politics, religion, and human enterprise.
Fans of Umberto Eco, Hilary Mantel, and Ken Follett will delight at the atmosphere, the beautiful prose, and the vivid characters of Ben Hopkins’s Cathedral.
“Cathedral is a brilliantly organized mess of great, great characters. It is fascinating, fun, and gripping to the very end.” —Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize–winning author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
“A varied cast of hugely engaging characters jostle for status, rising and falling according to the whims of pirates and Popes. An immersive, old-fashioned read that rattles along at a cracking pace.” —Richard Beard, author of Lazarus is Dead and The Day That Went Missing
“Six hundred pages sounds long, but this deeply human take on a medieval city and its commerce and aspirations, its violent battles and small intimacies, never feels that way. This sweeping work is as impressive as the cathedral at its center.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review, PW Pick
Excellent read. Highly recommend this book.