Passarola Rising

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Penguin, Dec 26, 2006 - Fiction - 256 pages
3 Reviews
In the year 1731, Alexandre Lourenco watches as his brother Bartolomeu’s airship, the Passarola, ascends from the ramparts of St. Jorge’s Castle in Lisbon. When the brothers board the ship, they embark on a journey that will take them from the salons and bordellos of Enlightenment Paris to the desolate far reaches of the North Pole, in search of scientific truth and knowledge. As they encounter such characters as the loquacious Voltaire and the irascible King Stanislaus of Poland, and attempt to escape Russian enemy fire and the condemnation of Portugal’s Cardinal Conti, Alexandre hopes to find his calling in life, while his brother keeps his eyes on the Passarola’s next horizon.

A delightful picaresque tale filled with evocative period detail, Azhar Abidi’s debut is not only a story of adventure and suspense, but a thoughtful book on the nature of truth, and a heartfelt portrait of the relationship between brothers.

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User Review  - veracite - LibraryThing

A lovely plot, beautiful imagery, clever but over too fast, I think. I'm not sure if this is because I had a solid two hours to fill and read it without breaks or because it touches on interesting ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A Brazilian-born priest who explores the far reaches of earth and the heavens is the subject of this diverting debut novel, the work of a Pakistani-born Australian author.The learned cleric is ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Azhar Abidi was born in Pakistan and lives in Melbourne, Australia. The author of Passarola Rising and The House of Bilquis, his work has been published in The Guardian Weekly, the Australian literary journal Meanjin, and in The Best Australian Essays 2004.

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