International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel (nominee)
In the tradition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Umberto Eco, Lawrence Norfolk has created a dizzyingly dense and impressively erudite fantasy of a novel, a vast edifice based around a single, actual historical event: the sinking off the coast of Italy of a Portugese ship bound on a bizarre mission, to deliver an African rhino to Pope Leo X. Norfolk takes his readers on a world tour of the 16th century, from the flophouses of Rome to the rain forest of West Africa, and along the way he piles historical esoterica upon philosophical rumination upon myriad subplots and minor characters. The chains of event and coincidence and the encyclopedic references will exhaust some readers long before the mad quest for the rhino meets its watery end, but Norfolk's baroque talent remains inexhaustible.
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Used availability for Lawrence Norfolk's The Pope's Rhinoceros
September 1996 : USA Hardback
April 1996 : UK Hardback
April 2003 : USA Paperback
October 1997 : USA Paperback
February 1997 : UK Paperback
April 2014 : Canada, UK Kindle edition
December 2007 : USA Kindle edition
Title: The Pope's Rhinoceros
Author(s): Lawrence Norfolk
Publisher: Grove Press