- Title: Black Mountain
- Author: Venero Armanno
- ISBN: 9780702239151
- Page: 414
- Format: Paperback
Black Mountain is an eerie and compelling read Like the best of fiction, it remains with you long after you have finished Christos TsiolkasBeginning in the sulphur mines of Sicily over a century ago, Black Mountain takes you on a journey through time and back again.When a boy sold into slavery finds the courage to escape his brutal life, he is saved by a mysterious Black Mountain is an eerie and compelling read Like the best of fiction, it remains with you long after you have finished Christos TsiolkasBeginning in the sulphur mines of Sicily over a century ago, Black Mountain takes you on a journey through time and back again.When a boy sold into slavery finds the courage to escape his brutal life, he is saved by a mysterious stranger, who raises the boy as his own Renamed Cesare Montenero after Sicily s own black mountain , Mount Etna, the boy grows up to discover that his rescue was no accident, that his physical strength is unnatural, and that he has in common with his saviour than he could have imagined And when he meets the enigmatic Celeste, he suspects for the first time that he many not be alone.Based on factual events and ranging through Italy, Paris and the rural fringes of coastal Australia, Black Mountain is a haunting exploration of what it means to be human Black Mountain is lush, ambitious storytelling that gives historical fiction a dark and unexpected inflection, as well as grappling with those eternal questions of fate and identity Readings Monthly
Recent Comments "Black Mountain"
Well, this was interesting. The last book I read by Venero Armanno was The Volcano, (2001) and although it won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award in 2002 and Murrray Waldren reviewed it with enthusiasm in The Australian, I didn’t enjoy it much. It was very long, and I thought it was over-dramatic. But the author’s name stayed in my mind, helped no doubt by the fact that he has published a new book almost every year: Black Mountain is his ninth novel.Reading Armanno’s blunt prose str [...]
Dark, compelling and suspenseful, this is both a historical novel and a speculative fiction. The historical element is the story of a young slave boy escaping a life of brutality in Sicily's sulphur mines in the early 20th century. This is the most successful element of the book - atmospheric and suspenseful.The speculative aspect of the novel, which I won't detail, as it will spoil the surprise, is not quite convincing.The story is book ended by a contemporary narrative in which a young man fro [...]
This kept me up late and woke me at dawn demanding to be finished. Volcanic, mesmerising and compelling,Black Mountain takes the reader from contemporary Australia back into the the hellish brimstone mines of pre-war Sicily on a haunting journey that questions what it means to be human. Brace yourself Veny, the next awards season belongs to Black Mountain.
Gripping read. Had me from the opening right until the end.I loved the mix of historical and speculative fiction, and the slight horror element (which is saying something as normally I don't like horror at all) and homage to movies and Frankenstein. An intriguing premise, but I don't want to give you too much detail.If you like television shows like the Pretender and Person of Interest you would like this novel.The descriptions, characterisation were extremely well done.There are some terrifying [...]
Venero Armanno’s Black Mountain is a beautifully written novel for me his finest.
ashleighstonehewer.wix/theAs I finished the final page of Black Mountain, I felt as though I was emerging from my own great journey in the shadows of Sicily’s Mount Etna: filthy, grubby, and exhausted to the point of madness. Venero Armanno thrusts his readers into a world of Sicilian sulphur mines and recreates an often forgotten, unknown, or even ignored history of abusive child labour and greed. Then in a twist so unexpected that I considered suing for whiplash, Armanno introduces the futur [...]
There's plenty that feels weird in this tale but possibly there's been some truth behind it. Human nature being as it is, quite likely experimentation has continued beyond the Nazi era, especially with the development of medical research. One can only hope it isn't so.So the book has a chilling theme. Add to this the long story of forced child labour in the sulfur mines and it's quite a gruelling read, warping in and out of seeming reality.The structure is a book within a book. No sooner have we [...]
I usually adore Venero Armanno's books but I didn't enjoy this one until the final few chapters but I think it was because his protagonist was suffering so much and the writing was so good that I was suffering with him and enduring every hardship.The concept of a book within a book engaged me as I like the play within a play when it is performed onstage. The other concept which I won't give away, was fascinating especially if, as suggested in the blurb it is based on factual events.For me the bo [...]
A decent read and the first Australian author I have read in quite a while. Probably hits around 3.5/5 for me.Venero created some great characters throughout the book, but the themes took a while to develop. The stories within a story play themselves out but are almost unnecessary and might have been better left for a sequel. Half way through, the book really took off but kind of steadily dropped away as I kept reading.
a nice meander through the story of a unique protagonist and intriguing supporting characters, yet i would have been equally happy to not have read it. a quite convoluted allegory that had its moments of touching sentimentality and poetic resonance. it was very paced and at times jilted, but the plot had enough in it to keep me interested. nevertheless.
Interesting book about Sicily but the second half is quite peculiar and doesn't really gel with the first. Cesare is sold as a slave to in the sulphur mines of Sicily. He escapes and finds a family history of scientific experimentation that has made Cesare a man without pain but with other medical problems. He marries Celeste, another of his kind, who dies young. A bit too far fetched.
Amy talks to Venero Armanno about his unsettling new novel Black Mountain, the history and potential of eugenics, hero's journeys, and creating stories within stories. First broadcast on The Book Club 16/08/2012.
This book has wonderful portraits, the writing is good, the storyline is interesting and well-revealed, but the premise is weird and slightly disturbing. The interview zedbookclub/?p=529 made a bit more sense of it. Minor spoilers in interview.
Rather strange. This book had loads of potential, touching on some fascinating subjects, but I felt that none of them were explored in enough depth to make any sense. I also found alot of the situations rather unbelieveable. Disappointing as the author is meant to very well regarded.
Very good read.
Given to me by a friend, I was immediately drawn into this surreal adventure into an Italy of a lifetime ago. Intriguing and compelling.
An easy to read page-turner that captures the essence of Sicily and delivers a gripping tale. Highly recommended.
My review of this book is now available via the following link: fhrc.flinders/transnati
Melanie 2014. Didn't love it X a tad incoherent
Gritty, powerful, compelling from the very first page Historical novel set in rural Australia, Paris and beneath the shadows of Mount Etna, Sicily.
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