The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus

Stephen Marlowe, Author Scribner Book Company $19.95 (569p) ISBN 978-0-684-18769-3
Marlowe makes humorous capital of the perennial rumor that Columbus began life as the son of forcibly converted Jews, an ineffectual father and a powerful mom who preferred a Passover seder to an Easter Sunday dinner any day. These ""memoirs''no small achievement for a confessed illiteraterelate his life in scarlet detail. In this lurid Renaissance milieu, the avid girls are everywhereeven when they seem to be boys. And always, just beyond the horizon of the round (or flat) earth, the New World lies waiting, like a paramour, to be embraced. A cast of thousandsrogues, rakes, whores, pirates, royalty, monksall enliven the imagined life our quasi-historical hero never lived. The gaudy saga goes on far too long, the strain of sustaining a riotous tone sets in and the comedy runs thin. But there are good momentsboisterous, energetic, steamingthat would have ignited the fires of the Inquisition. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (April 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-0-345-36333-6
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