Lenny Bartulin has dipped into the grab bag that is history, pulling out an assortment of events, all well chronicled over the decades, beginning with Napoleon Bonaparte’s rampage through Europe reaching the 1806, when he and his army marched through the Brandenburg Gates, then segueing across the world to the misery that was white settlement in Tasmania, to return once again to the killing fields of Europe and the terrible days of World War I.
A face seen through the window viewed in a moment of passion, liquorish, murder and calamity all co-inside to set young poet Johannes Meyer on a pathway into his future, as he gets pressganged into the life of a soldier in the French Army.
Elizabeth, the face seen through the window on that fateful day when Bonaparte marched into Berlin, begins to lead her own life eloping with General Foures, a man many years her senior, as he takes up the position of governor in the Cayenne’s, an Island group off the coast of South America.
Elizabeth and Johannes paths will begin to cross down through the years, leading to cruel and terrible times in South America, the penal colonies of Tasmania and the finality of war, yet again.
Bouncing all over the pages of history, Fortune is a book that teases, tantalates and becomes somewhat addictive, in so far as the very many characters who populate the pages, beckon to see if they can be discovered somewhere else further along in the narrative. Unfortunately, they often turn up dead!
Somewhat unusual in format and style, the work could be considered as challenging, with the lavish use of sex as one of the main drivers, but the skill that is required to keep all the various characters who populate the pages, and their lives, let alone the recorded facts of history, heading down through the Century without becoming a confused narrative, must be considered as either a damming admirable, or otherwise, the genius of a somewhat abstract mind.
Perhaps Bartulin has tried a little bit too hard to create a novel that is vastly different to the accepted norm for alternate works.
Yours to decide at the final word!
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|