Balthasar's Odyssey
2004 Shortlist

Balthasar’s Odyssey

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Months before the dawn of the apocalyptic “Year of the Beast” in 1666, Balthasar Embriaco, a Levantine of Genoese stock and a merchant in curios, sets out with his two nephews, his clerk and Marta, a young woman abandoned by her husband, on an adventure that will take him across the breadth of the then civilised world. His urgent quest is to track down a copy of one of the rarest and most coveted books ever printed, a volume he once possessed, but which he sold in a moment of weakness. Known by the title “The Hundredth Name”, its contents are thought to be of vital importance to the future of the world; there are ninety-nine names for God in the Koran, and merely to know this most secret hundredth name will, Balthasar believes, ensure his salvation. But will he achieve his desire?
Balthasar’s journey takes him and his companions to Constantinople and thence to Smyrna and Aleppo, before they embark for the Isle of Chios and sail through the Mediterranean, eventually arriving in London just before the outbreak of the Great Fire.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Amin
Maalouf

Amin Maalouf is a Franco-Lebanese writer and journalist known for his works exploring the themes of identity, cultural diversity, and migration. He has published several critically acclaimed novels, including “Leo the African,” “The Rock of Tanios,” and “Samarkand,” and has won numerous literary awards for his writing. Maalouf is also a vocal advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage and the promotion of intercultural dialogue.

Amin Maalouf is a Franco-Lebanese writer and journalist known for his works exploring the themes of identity, cultural diversity, and migration. He has published several critically acclaimed novels, including “Leo the African,” “The Rock of Tanios,” and “Samarkand,” and has won numerous literary awards for his writing. Maalouf is also a vocal advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage and the promotion of intercultural dialogue.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Barbara
Bray

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
05/09/2002
Country
France, Lebanon
Original Language
French
Author
Publisher
Harvill Press
Translator
Barbara Bray

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