Land of Marvels

Land of Marvels

A Novel

Book - 2009/01/06
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Random House, Inc.

Barry Unsworth, a writer with an “almost magical capacity for literary time travel” (New York Times Book Review) has the extraordinary ability to re-create the past and make it relevant to contemporary readers. InLand of Marvels, a thriller set in 1914, he brings to life the schemes and double-dealings of Western nations grappling for a foothold in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.

Somerville, a British archaeologist, is excavating a long-buried Assyrian palace. The site lies directly in the path of a new railroad to Baghdad, and he watches nervously as the construction progresses, threatening to destroy his discovery. The expedition party includes Somerville’s beautiful, bored wife, Edith; Patricia, a smart young graduate student; and Jehar, an Arab man-of-all-duties whose subservient manner belies his intelligence and ambitions. Posing as an archaeologist, an American geologist from an oil company arrives one day and insinuates himself into the group. But he’s not the only one working undercover to stake a claim on Iraq’s rich oil fields.

Historical fiction at its finest, Land of Marvels opens a window on the past and reveals its lasting impact.



Baker & Taylor
In 1914, as the nations of the West are making a play for political power and oil in the Middle East, Somerville, a British archaeologist, finds his excavation of a long-buried Assyrian palace threatened by construction of a new railroad to Baghdad, while others--including an American geologist posing as a colleague--try to stake a claim on Iraq's rich oil fields. 30,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
In Land of Marvels, a thriller set in 1914, Barry Unsworth brings to life the schemes and double-dealings of Western nations grappling for a foothold in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.
Somerville, a British archaeologist, is excavating a long-buried Assyrian palace. The site lies directly in the path of a new railroad to Baghdad, and he watches nervously as the construction progresses, threatening to destroy his discovery. The expedition party includes Somerville's beautiful, bored wife, Edith; Patricia, a smart young graduate student; and Jehar, an Arab man-of-all duties whose subservient manner belies his intelligence and ambitions. Posing as an archaeologist, an American geologist from an oil company arrives one day and insinuates himself into the group. But he's not the only one working undercover to stake a claim to Iraq's rich oil fields.

Baker
& Taylor

In 1914, as the nations of the West are making a play for political power and oil in the Middle East, Somerville, a British archaeologist, finds his excavation of a long-buried Assyrian palace threatened by construction of a new railroad to Baghdad.
In this thriller set in the Middle East of 1914, Somerville, a British archaeologist, and his team are excavating a long-buried Assyrian palace when an American geologist from an oil company posing as an archaeologist arrives one day and insinuates himself into Somerville's group. But he's not the only one working undercover to stake a claim on Iraq's rich oil fields.

Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese, 2009/01/06
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385520072
0385520077
Branch Call Number: FICTION UNSWORTH
Characteristics: 287 p

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