Sudden DeathBy Alvaro Enrigue
Sudden Death begins with a brutal tennis match, with the bawdy Italian artist Caravaggio and the loutish Spanish poet Quevedo battling it out in Rome before a crowd that includes Galileo, Mary Magdalene, and a generation of popes who would throw Europe into flames. In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her wily executioner transforms her legendary locks into the most sought-after tennis balls of the time. Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as conquistador Hernan Cortes and his Mayan translator and lover, La Malinche, scheme and conquer, fight and fuck, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the course of history. And in a remote Mexican colony a bishop reads Thomas More's Utopia and thinks that instead of a parody, it's a manual. Worlds collide, time coils, traditions break down. There are assassinations and executions, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bawdy criminals, carnal liaisons and papal dramas, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war. A blazingly original voice and a postmodern visionary, Alvaro Enrigue tells the grand adventure of the dawn of the modern era, breaking down traditions and upending expectations, in this bold, powerful punch of a novel. Game, set, match.