Napoleon Symphony

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Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

Napoleon Symphony

Anthony Burgess

A new edition of Burgess' long unavailable, ambitious, experimental novel about Napoleon Bonaparte

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847658913 (1 Nov 2012)

About the book

A grand and tragi-comic symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, this novel unteases and reweaves Napoleon's life - from the first great days of his campaigns in 1796 to exile and death on St. Helena a quarter of a century later. Burgess' Bonaparte is a cuckold, afflicted with heartburn and halitosis while enacting a wily seduction of Tsar Alexander, conquering Egypt and crowning himself Emperor. Witty, sardonic, intellectual, Napoleon Symphony is Burgess at his most challenging and inventive. In creating a novel based on a musical form, Burgess is playing with structure, from the grand, ambitious shape of the novel itself, through to the finer composition of each sentence.

About the author

Anthony Burgess (1917-1993) was a novelist, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. He is best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange, but altogether he wrote thirty-three novels, twenty-five works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies, more than 150 other musical works, reams of journalism and much more.He was born in Manchester, England and grew up in Harpurhey and Moss Side, went to school in Rusholme, and studied at Manchester University. He lived in Malaya, Malta, Monaco, Italy and the US amongst other places, and is still widely read all over the world.


Essentially this book is not so much about Napoleon as about Anthony Burgess writing a novel. As such it has many pleasures. All of the Burgess embellishments are here, and they sing alluringly each to each

- New York Times

One of the most productive, imaginative and risk-taking of writers

- Irish Times

One of the cleverest and most original writers of his generation

- The Times

A rousing performance ... entertaining and engaging ... wilfully timeless ... masterful

- Keith Ridgway, Irish Times

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

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