The book: The Indies Enterprise, by Erik Orsenna
The edition: French (original) version, as published by Livre de Poche (paperback), 378 pages
The story: old and on the verge of death, Bartolomeo Columbus, younger brother of the more famous Christopher, tells the story of his brother’s obsession with a new route to the Indies, how it shaped their lives and how this exquisite passion for discovery lead to genocide and destruction.
My experience with the book & my thoughts:I wanted to read this because it is mainly set in Lisbon and written in French. But Orsenna is not an author I like, I already suspected it and here it was confirmed. I’m at loss as for what the general sense of this book should be, but it touches on so many subjects (the relationship between older and younger brother, books as a way of navigating the world, science against religion, to name but a few) that I guess it would make a great book club choice.
What I liked: medieval myths and half-knowledges used to build a scenario for the story.
What I didn’t like: the frame for the main story, with old Bartolomeo in Santo Domingo, looking back and trying to dissect his life in search of a seed for the cruelty.
In the author’s own words: there were several things I’d like to share, too bad I could only share them in French!
Random thought: the Padrão Real. Wow.
Read this if: if you like historical fiction mixed with philosophical fiction
Counts as: Travel with books – Lisbon