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The Princess, The King and The Anarchist

2.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Inspired by a true historic event, a suspenseful and poignant portrayal of a young princess contemplating her impending wedding night.
Paperback, 92 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Helen Marx Books
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(showing 1-30 of 114)
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Oct 30, 2010 Greg rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read this book while working the event that unveiled the Nook Color Touch whatever it is all called to the world. the Nook Color Touch whatever it is called is the greatest reading experience ever (trademark - registered, whatever). I never thought of reading as an experience before. I think it's a relatively physically passive but mentally stimulating action, but it's a stretch to call it an experience. But maybe that is because I've never had to read dependent on a battery filled with toxic ...more
Mark Van Aken Williams
Sep 12, 2010 Mark Van Aken Williams rated it did not like it
This is the first novel by Swiss play write Robert Pagani, and is as shallow as two of its two title characters who I will nickname, the “painfully full bladder” and the “erection.” The book takes place on May 31, 1906, the wedding day of King Alfonso XIII of Spain to British Princess Maria Eugenia of Battenberg. It was short-listed for the Prix du Premier Roman in France. Why? You got me. But this is coming from a race of people who think Jerry Lewis is a genius. During a time when people were ...more
Apr 12, 2011 Katie rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok
I feel little passion for this book. My apathetic response is somewhat surprising considering the following: (1) the first sentence is gripping, (2) there is a bloody assassination attempt, and (3) the introduction makes the book sound like a masterpiece. Yet, despite these strong points, Robert Pagani fails to craft a novel that is enjoyable to read.

Initially the book was earning high marks from me. The first sentence really is compelling: "The day she became queen, there were lots of flowers,
Sep 16, 2011 Lauren rated it it was ok
As a warning: Do not read the introduction first. In addition to being rather pointless (it’s a 92-page story that’s not particularly complicated), the introduction gives away most of the plot and reads more like a student’s opinionated term paper than serious academic scholarship. I wanted to like this book, because it was thought provoking in places and opened the door for lots of good analysis and pondering. Translated from French, this novella takes the true event of the bombing on the 1906 ...more
Oct 15, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
Translated from the French by Helen Marx

The Princess, The King, and the Anarchist is a combination of fairy tale and history book, with all the necessary components for an intriguing novel. The book has an almost mathematical precision to it. For some reason, I kept getting a sense of the number three throughout the prose. First are the obvious three characters in the title, who are revealed by their first-person voices in the text. Second are the three levels of society represented: the monarch
Margaret Sankey
Nov 30, 2014 Margaret Sankey rated it it was ok
Overwrought re-imagining of the 1906 wedding of the young Alfonso XIII of Spain to Victoria Eugenia of Battenburg (grand-daughter of Victoria and carrier of hemophilia), which was attacked by an anarchist. Pagani takes some liberties with historical fact that veer the novel off into fairy tale and make this more suitable as a translation exercise than the historical novel I had hoped it was.
Jill Elizabeth
Sep 29, 2015 Jill Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I couldn't agree more worth the other reviews - great and powerful opening and then bam, it's all about frivolous silliness. and the ending - wtf?! what a shame...
Jul 30, 2011 M rated it really liked it
This novella, based on historical events, observes the hours following the royal marriage between the prince of Spain and the princess of England in 1906. Soon-to-be king Alfonso is a rogue, thrilled at becoming ruler and at the prospects of his new bride. Princess Victoria is filled with concern over the upcomng sexual intimacy - but all she really wants to do it hit the restroom as soon as possible. Our anarchist is trying to stay preoccupied with his timetable - but a slight gaffe provides a ...more
Bob Wait
Mar 26, 2015 Bob Wait rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
There was only one good thing about this book: it was short. But it was still a waste of my time.
Carole Dailey
Jan 22, 2016 Carole Dailey rated it really liked it
What a strange yet intriguing story.
A book that starts out strong but fizzles midway, The Princess, The King and The Anarchist is a novella that hovers strangely and somewhat incompletely in the reader's mind. Characterization is intriguing but thin (a common side-effect of shorter fiction...), and the story loses most of its punch in the weak second half. Robert Pagani writes in a nice, vague style that comes across well in translation but cannot make up for the strange storytelling (which is far more a matter of taste than actua ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Raquel rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, october
Ugh. Weirdly surreal and highly fictionalized account of an actual historical occurrence, not focused on anything that interesting except for the characters' internalized thoughts about sex. Maybe something was lost in the translation but I didn't enjoy this much. Went into it hoping to learn more about this period in Spain's history and instead got a bunch of pointless drivel. Thankfully it was very short--read it in about 2-3 hours.
Aug 25, 2011 Carrie rated it it was ok
Short story about an attempted assassination; very interesting but weird physical content, although it's quite understated in old English terms. Someone else read this please (adults!), it's interesting, and brief, not a Harlequin for sure, but sexual without being sexy. I'm sure it's supposed to be thought provoking in probably a different way, and I'm just not sure I get it.
Sep 21, 2013 Katie rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2013 Colleen rated it it was ok
Meh. Read through to the end only because it was so short. The writing style was underwhelming. And it was very hard to believe the Princess' transformation from frightened little puff ball to... well, I won't ruin the ending by telling you here, but suffice it to say that it felt gimicky.
Feb 24, 2011 Carrie rated it liked it
The premise was fascinating, just several hours during the wedding of the King of Spain and an Englishwoman where an an anarchist tries to kill them both. It is a very strange little story. I enjoyed the first half but the ending was very odd. It was hard to believe.
Gabrielle Flores
Sep 26, 2011 Gabrielle Flores rated it it was ok
I wasn't very fond of this book. Switching back and forth between narrators and I didn't like the writing style either. Not much to it, it is a very short book.
Mrs. Palmer
Aug 15, 2012 Mrs. Palmer rated it it was ok
Whoa. A very short novella about an interesting topic but the ending was just completely strange. I love books about Spanish history, but this was odd.
Amy Ramey
Jul 14, 2011 Amy Ramey rated it did not like it
I wouldn't recommend it. Thankfully it only took me a couple of hours to breeze through it. At least it was short.
Nov 27, 2011 Nora rated it it was ok
I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't really impressed by this book. It was okay but not great.
Tami Greaney
Jul 07, 2011 Tami Greaney rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011
I may have lost brain cells in the reading of that - only finished it because it was so short.
Apr 16, 2012 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Didn't love the ending...what can you do?
Mar 12, 2011 J rated it did not like it
Horrible and disjointed.
Grace Pigozzi
Grace Pigozzi rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2016
Lissett marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2016
AnnMaree rated it it was ok
Apr 12, 2016
Sara marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
LynthePen rated it it was ok
Feb 08, 2016
Megan marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2016
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