In a story full of lust, madness, and ecstasy, we meet twelve distinctive characters that lived in the same region of central England over the span of six thousand years. Their narratives are woven together in patterns of recurring events, strange traditions, and uncanny visions. First, a cave-boy loses his mother, falls in love, and learns a deadly lesson. He is followed by an extraordinary cast of characters: a murderess who impersonates her victim, a fisherman who believes he has become a different species, a Roman emissary who realizes the bitter truth about the Empire, a crippled nun who is healed miraculously by a disturbing apparition, an old crusader whose faith is destroyed by witnessing the ultimate relic, two witches, lovers, who burn at the stake. Each interconnected tale traces a path in a journey of discovery of the secrets of the land. In the tradition of Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Schwob's Imaginary Lives, and Borges' A Universal History of Infamy, Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell, Lost Girls) travels through history blending truth and conjecture, in a novel that is dazzling, moving, sometimes tragic, but always mesmerizing. Now available in paperback for the first time in America! With an Introduction by Neil Gaiman, a signature of full-color plates by Jose Villarrubia, and a cover design by Chip Kidd.
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A brutal book that is one of my favorite Moore writings. It is about a dozen stories, each one progressively easier to read. Don’t let the first one stop you. It is quite good, too, but you definitely need to take your time with it.