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THE TOWER Valerio Massimo Manfredi 2006 UK 1st edn. Hardcovers
THE TOWER was first published in English in 2006 although it had previously been a best seller in Italy under the title `La Torre Della Solitudine' in 1996 and is one of several novels that use a background of history and archaeology to a story of mystery, murder and the supernatural a genre at which Manfredi excels. I originally purchased the hardcover edition when it was published in 2006 and have just recently re-visited it.
Dr. Valerio Massimo Manfredi, is a very eminent Italian historian and the Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Bocconi and the author of some dozen or so very successful historical novels, several of which have been used as the basis for screenplays, but this novel for some reason does not seem to have reached the popularity in the UK that his other novels achieved.
This is a good old fashioned archaeological mystery thriller with a good measure of mystical intrigue added to the mix. Three very diverse explorers enter the Sahara hoping to find a fabled Tower which legend has as the resting place of an undying malignant being.
By the author's own admission this novel is almost entirely fiction, although the usual highly researched and meticulously accurate historical background gives a sense of reality to the story built upon a 2000 year old rumour.
I was one of the readers that enjoyed the book, it is a cracking good story although it does seem to bog down slightly in places; some of the dialogue however, seems to have lost something in translation from the original Italian but the action was mostly fast paced and exciting. Some of the added revisions updating the story from the 1990s to 2006 are a little crude but never-the-less as with all Dr. Manfredi's novels I found that this was one of those books that is difficult to put down until you have finally discovered all the twists and turns and reached the story conclusion.