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A riveting, beautiful novel in verse by Australia's greatest contemporary poet, winner of the 1996 T. S. Eliot Prize.I never learned the old top ropes, I was always in steam. Less capstan, less climbing, more re-stowing cargo. Which could be hard and slowas farming- but to say Why this is Valparaiso!Or: I'm in Singapore and know my way abouttakes a long time to get stale.-from Book I, "The Middle Sea"When German-Australian sailor Friedrich "Fredy" Boettcher is shanghaied aboard a German Navy battleship at the outbreak of World War I, the sight of frenzied mobs burning Armenian women to death in Turkey causes him, through moral shock, to lose his sense of touch. This mysterious disability, which he knows he must hide, is both protection and curse, as he orbits the high horror and low humor of a catastrophic age.Told in a blue-collar English that regains freshness by eschewing the mind-set of literary language, Fredy's picaresque life-as, perhaps, the only Nordic Superman ever-is deep-dyed in layers of irony and attains a mind-inverting resolution.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780374526764
ISBN-10: 0374526761
Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 154mm x 21mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date: 10-Jan-2000
Country of Publication: United States


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Author Biography - Les A Murray

Les Murray was born in 1938 in New South Wales, where he lives. FSG is publishing his new collection of poetry, "Selected Poems."

Books By Author Les A Murray

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Subhuman Redneck Poems

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