Sunday, December 29, 2013
Favorite Book Number Seven
The Journeyer by Gary Jennings (Link to Amazon Books)
"I have not told the half of what I saw and did."
Easily the most fun historical fiction I've ever read, The Journeyer by Gary Jennings chronicles the life of Marco Polo, from Venice, to the court of Kublai Khan, to China, to India and back to Venice.
A rich, frequently irreverent and hilarious tale, it also has its share of tragedy, violence and horror.
Marco is portrayed as clever but inexperienced as a young man, often making spectacular mistakes out of ignorance and getting himself into remarkable feats of trouble.
In his middle years, he shows better judgement and intelligence, and ends up working under the patronage of some of the most powerful people of his time.
In his final years, he is wise and tempered by time and loss, but few will listen to him or benefit from his experience, because his tales are too unbelievable.
This book made me laugh, informed me, got my heart beating faster, made me think, terrified me, occasionally grossed me out, and made me cry so hard I distinctly remember it being one of my most intense moments of grief ever inspired by a mere story.
The third act is particularly spectacular, with a climax and denouement that haunts me to this day.
The Journeyer by Gary Jennings is one of the most interesting and eye-opening books I have ever read.