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Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Hesperus Press, Alma Books and Oneworld Classics, and the successor of John Calder at the helm of Calder Publications. As well as being a literary publisher with almost ten years of experience, he is a prize-winning translator, a poet, a playwright and a novelist. His collection of poetry, Modern Bestiary - Ars Poetastrica, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim. He lives in Richmond with his wife and two children.
Alessandro Gallenzi on Bestseller...
Why should a publisher take up a pen and write a novel? Aren’t there enough writers already? Every week I receive dozens of submissions by post, by email, even by phone, from aspiring authors the world over – full-length novels about vampires, werewolves or aliens, turgid historical romances, war memoirs, family stories of loss and grief, crime capers, gory thrillers, teenage romps, experimental tales and collections of haikus. Yesterday I even received a blank diary with a short note on the first page written by a girlish hand in glittery ink: “Fill this book with Love”. Click here to read the full article.
Jordan, 2014. As an ambitious digitization project gathers pace in a vast building outside Amman, some unpublished writings by Giordano Bruno - flawed genius of the late Renaissance, renegade philosopher, occultist with a prodigious memory - disappear together with the Jesuit priest sent by the Vatican to study them. When the priest is found dead and a series of mysterious threats ensues, it becomes clear that stakes are high for all the parties openly or covertly involved. What dangerous ideas were contained in the stolen manuscripts? What was the ultimate secret that Bruno tried to hide from the Holy Inquisition, even as he was persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and finally burnt alive in Rome? In this riveting, meticulously researched new novel, Alessandro Gallenzi draws on his experience as a publisher in the digital era and casts a light into the darker side of our modern technological world, while revealing how a well-kept secret can change the course of history for ever.
In the near present day a British and an Italian researcher are offered more money than they can refuse to travel to Jordan and investigate some manuscripts that have gone missing along with the priest who was studying them all whilst the eponymous tower – the world’s tallest building that looms over the city – is nearing completion. Chapters alternate between the present and sixteenth century Rome where another tower is being constructed – St Peter’s Basilica – and the writer of the missing manuscripts’ story unfolds. This is a brilliantly gripping, clever thriller.
When Francesco decides to embark on his first trip outside his native Italy, he leaves behind a difficult relationship with his father, the narrow vistas of a small provincial town and the stifling atmosphere of a country he feels has become degraded. All he brings with him are a change of clothes, a map of Europe and the desire to discover new places, new people and, perhaps, a new life. But a chance encounter in Munich takes him off course, on an incredible journey that will see him fall in love in Sweden, lose all his money in Amsterdam, pan-handle in the streets of London, win big in Monte Carlo and get caught up in an international imbroglio.
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. This is a satire on the publishing industry when a small passionate publishing house is threatened by a large conglomerate and where a mediocre author believes he can make the big time by finding a juicy topic. As with all good satire, it is laced with truth and equally, as with all good satire, it is extremely clever. A gem of a novel where the pursuit of fame is contrasted with the old notion that publishing worthy books works. March 2011 Book of the Month. The Lovereading view... A novel of intrigue, deceit and sheer desperation, Bestseller is a caustic portrait of contemporary culture and of Britain's obsession with fame, success and becoming the next megastar author like J.K. Rowling. Alessandro Gallenzi on Bestseller... Why should a publisher take up a pen and write a novel? Aren’t there enough writers already? Every week I receive dozens of submissions by post, by email, even by phone, from aspiring authors the world over – full-length novels about vampires, werewolves or aliens, turgid historical romances, war memoirs, family stories of loss and grief, crime capers, gory thrillers, teenage romps, experimental tales and collections of haikus. Yesterday I even received a blank diary with a short note on the first page written by a girlish hand in glittery ink: “Fill this book with Love”. Click here to read the full article.
A theatrical retelling of Gogol's famous story of the two Ivans squabbling over a trifling insult, The Two Friends transposes the action to the village of Newington Green on the outskirts of London in the year 1722, when Daniel Defoe was a resident of the parish, the South Sea Bubble had recently burst and a terrible gin epidemic was about to break out. Peppered with memorable lines, populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and written by multi-award-winning duo Peter Benson and Alessandro Gallenzi, The Two Friends is about the triumph of hilarity in a dreary old world .
Eine Jeans, drei Hemden, Unterwasche, einen Pullover, eine Karte von Europa, einen Notizblock, einen Stift und zwei Bucher ... Das ist alles, was der junge Francesco im Gepack hat, als er die Enge der elterlichen Wohnung am Rande einer kleinen italienischen Provinzstadt verlasst, um sich mit einem zusammengesparten Interrail-Ticket auf groe Fahrt zu begeben. Irgendwohin soll die Reise gehen, einen festen Plan hat er nicht. Da schubst ihn das Schicksal in Form einer alten ungeduldigen Dame beim ersten Halt direkt vor die Fue des liebenswerten Hochstaplers Pierre Cordier, der in -seinem Sportwagen gleich vor drei wutenden Frauen auf der Flucht ist. Ein unglaubliches Abenteuer beginnt, das kreuz und quer durch Europa fhrt. Francesco bekommt von einer schnen Unbekannten ein dubioses Pckchen zugesteckt, wird in Amsterdam berfallen und bis auf sein Ticket ausgeraubt, bernachtet im Zug, verliebt sich in Lund, geht in London mit dem falschen Mdchen in die National Gallery und gewinnt in Monte Carlo einen Haufen Geld - bis alle Verwicklungen schlielich in einem furiosen Finale in der Stadt ihr Ende finden, wo alle Wege hinfhren ...