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When the manager of the village bar absconds, a succession of would-be heirs descend – with disastrous results. One by one, they are seen off by adultery, insolvency or the outraged morals of the general community, until Matthieu and Libero, native sons disillusioned with their philosophical studies, return to take up the reins.

At first they find success, but as lustful, avaricious reality intrudes on their idyll, they too are forced to concede, senses befuddled by pliant women and plentiful liquor, that all empires must eventually crumble.

Wise, comical, dramatic, tragic and absurd, Ferrari’s epic in miniature reads like a Corsican One Hundred Years of Solitude, charting the intimate history of an inimitable island with dazzling, skewering precision.

Reviews

'Blackly playful and serious, this is an earthy, philosophical tract drawing on history and human experience; the tiny hopes, the immense failures and, above all, the ambivalence. Ferrari pursues his story with the delicacy and skill of a musician reaching the final note' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times.
Irish Times
Astute, cunning, brilliant . . . Prepare for wonders . . . Blackly playful and serious, this is an earthy, philosophical tract drawing on history and human experience; the tiny hopes, the immense failures and, above all, the ambivalence. Ferrari pursues his story with the delicacy and skill of a musician reaching the final note
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
A novelist whose concern with how we should live and what we can believe puts him in the tradition of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus
Allan Massie, Scotsman
Ferrari writes with power and perceptive humour
David Platzer, Tablet
Focusing on Corsica, but taking in Paris, Algeria and French colonies in Africa, its portrayal of the many accommodations we make with "circumstance" is both humorous and poignant
Catriona Graham, Guardian
More admirable even than his previous works . . . The best novel of the year
Le Monde, Raphaëlle Leyris