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Manituana

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,170 ratings  ·  104 reviews
1775 all'alba della rivoluzione che generò gli Stati Uniti d'America. Lealisti e ribelli si contendono l'alleanza delle Sei Nazioni irochesi, la più potente confederazione indiana. Nella valle del fiume Mohawk, indigeni e coloni convivono da decenni. Scelte laceranti travolgono il futuro di una comunità meticcia: il viaggio deve cominciare, fino alla capitale dell'Impero, ...more
Paperback, Stile libero Big, 618 pages
Published March 2007 by Einaudi (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,170 ratings  ·  104 reviews


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Jonfaith
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was no room for the past in America.

There is an irony in that statement, rhetorical as it might be. It is exactly the surfeit of room which allows so much of America to malinger and multiply, to prosper and fester in equal parts. This is an epic book but it is a soft 5 on the GR scale. This is a collection of silences, omissions and unplayed notes: it is a Kind of Blue for the Vollmann set.

They ran to save a clutch of souls from the Apocalypse. They ran, because it was written thus. Time w
...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Considering the brutality of some of the deaths, and the knife-edge being trodden, I felt I was handling something fragile, delicate. The dying days of an indigenous people amongst the fratricide of revolution and war. A noble people both familiar yet slightly alien treading with care on clouds. Heroes with names that seem to have come down from some time of legend striding across a land that rings with fabulous names; Ronaterihonte and Thayendanegea, Canajoharie and Cayuga.
In sharp contrast th
...more
Jukka
Manituana - Wu Ming (pen-name for a collective of four Italian authors)

This book is terrific, the best book of this sort that i've read in a very long time. It extremely well written, and perhaps a fifth name should be added to the four, the translator Shaun Whiteside. The translation is beautiful, it seems tight and quite transparent to the original.

It makes real both a time and a place now lost, and then ... the story shifts again in dramatic ways you'll not forget. Strongly based in historic
...more
Stewart Home
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Following on from Q (authored as Luther Blissett) and 54, comes a new novel Manituana by the Bologna fiction collective known as Wu Ming. Verso are publishing Shaun Whiteside’s English translation, the proof copies were circulated last month, and the book will be available in both the UK and the US shortly. Like the earlier tomes by the same authors, Manituana is a heavily researched historical novel that speaks as much about a future we have yet to make, as the past in which it is set. The main ...more
Silvia Pastorelli
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Corsero attraverso la piana e nel fitto degli alberi, incalzati dal crepuscolo e dalla sorte, un'armata di cinque uomini e molti fantasmi.
Corsero per salvare un pugno di anime dall'Apocalisse. Corsero, perché così era scritto. Ora che il tempo finiva, ogni cosa trovava compimento."

Manituana is definitely one of the best books I read in the past year and one that I will remember and think of for a long time.
This is the first book I read by the Italian collective Wu Ming and I am pleasantly surpr
...more
Liviu
After the superb Q, I decided to give a try to this one despite that its subject is of much less interest to me; the book is well written, most likely is technically better than Q but I could not care that much about the characters and what was happening; history rolled over a group of people, not for the first nor last time and Joseph Brant is not that a compelling character to make the book stand out; still a good read and I am interested in the sequel(s)
Malcolm
The blurb for this fabulous book describes it as “a story from the wrong side of history”, and it is easy to forget in North American history just how ‘wrong’ the side is. The Mohawk nation, one the Six Nations of what is now upstate New York and borderland Ontario, was once lionised as among the most ‘civilised’ of the native peoples. The Six Nations (known widely by their French label – Iroquois, and less widely by their own collective name – Haudenosaunee), among other things, provided the mo ...more
Mary Reinert
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is not the story we learned in grade school about the Revolutionary War. In the 1700's the Six Nations of the Iroquois (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora) had a remarkably advanced system of laws. It was also a common practice to take captives from other tribes into their culture. The Six Nations lived peaceably with the white settlers and intermarriage was not unknown. Leaders of the Six Tribes met with and were respected by the British. However, as more and more white ...more
Tinea
The last 50 pages were full of graphic torture scenes and the whole middle bit was oddly slapstick & its plotline sort of left hanging, but the majority of this novel was a serious epic about the US revolutionary war from the perspective of Mohawk people aligned with the British. Really good (mostly-- the violence was gratuitous and disconnected from the majority of the narrative and made it almots impossible for me to finish) and an interesting perspective, kinda depressing, enjoyable but I'm n ...more
molosovsky
The book for anyone, who want's to get into the mood for »Assassins Creed III«.

Totally remarkable, how Wu Ming achieves to give you a alternative perspective of the Independence War. Commonly the roles are mostly fixed like this: the evil, monarchic, catholic Brits on one side, the good WASP Yankees on the other side, and the heathen and barbarous native americans here and there as spice in the story and general lurking danger.

Not so here: Wu Ming reminds the reader, that history is never as ea
...more
Doubledf99.99
A very good book on the decisions the Six Nations had to made at the start of the Revolutionary War, and with the British on how to use the Indians effectively without breaking the rules of warfare as the British wage it. Joseph Brant is one of the major characters of the book. Only two faults with the book, it needs more maps, and the book is not long enough.
Ajk
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Folks who want a different look at the American Revolution.
Shelves: fiction
leave it to Italians to write about the American Revolution. And sure, it's interesting to see a book where the Americans are the bad guys, Wu Ming could've done a better job with it. The basic plot line is that Joseph Brant must muster his Iroquois to serve the British and protect native lands from the encroaching rebels. In it, we're introduced to a lot of characters from Revolutionary War history I forgot about, being not from New York and not as much of a nerd, relatively. The New York Germa ...more
J.C. Greenway
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000s, translated
Having been bowled over by '54' from the four writers who make up the Italian collective known as the Wu Ming, a book which weaves a tale around the defeats and compromises of post-war Italian politics via a supporting cast including Cary Grant, Lucky Luciano and Tito, I was keen to get my hands on the English translation of their latest, Manituana.

As ambitious in scope as their earlier novels, expertly translated by Shaun Whiteside, Manituana concerns itself with a period of history I was shame
...more
Sølvi Goard
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Whilst in some ways formulaic with their plot, Wu Ming slapped out a beautifully detailed and immersive world in this book. If course that's because history, and human history, is so rich and complex and fucked up that it makes good stories as it is. But Wu Ming also brought out the intense contradictions of colonial rule, primarily from the perspective of people already shaped by change and multiculturalism. Nothing sits still, and whilst Wu Ming in no way play down the approaching genocide of ...more
Giulia Ginevra
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As the adv warns you, this is the story of those who sided on the wrong side of History and yet you cannot help but identify with their doomed fate. But what this book perfectly shows is that the distinction between “wrong” and “right” is all a matter of perspectives.
The atmosphere is melancholic and peaceful in contrast with the pace of events. A sweet sadness permeates the whole narration since the very beginning, culminating in the last pages as events deteriorates. It is as if the writers ma
...more
Margaret Killjoy
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it
If i could have given this 3.5 stars, I would have. There were times when I was reading it that I really liked it, other times I just liked it. The writing style simply isn't quite my taste, which isn't the fault of the authors.

It's the story of the Mohawk tribe during the American revolution, and true to history, the only truly sympathetic character is the only fictional one. I learned a lot about this time period though. Since I'd only been indoctrinated by the American educational system, I'd
...more
Gareth
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Seen from the inside the decline of the Iroquois is described from the perspective of Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea. He stand as the union of the Royalist settlers and the Iroquois people and watches as the alliance formed between the two crumbles around him and leaves his native peoples dislocated and in decline. An interesting choice of perspective as ever from the Wu Mingers and a tale that in the telling at times feels as dislocated as the people in it, lending the book a distant disjointed fe ...more
Rob
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
another historical blockbuster from the Italian collective that takes an alternative look at the American revolution. Every page teems with life and my favourite section was a vivid portrayal of early London capitalism and the first resistance to it. My only concern was the voices of the native Americans were a bit cliched. But then so were those of the evil London bankers, cockney gangs and vicious European settlers. But ignore that - This is anarchist action-adventure at its finest!
Nate
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent. It centers on Indians who sided with the English during the American War of Independence. It's gripping and all true, in broad strokes. I learned a lot about U.S. history from reading it, and it's an enjoyable read too. I highly recommend it.
*
No longer using this website, but I'm leaving up old reviews. Fuck Jeff Bezos. Find me on LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/profile/...

English language version now available for free from the Wu Ming Foundation:
http://www.wumingfoundation.com/engli...
...more
Feathzzz
Wow. It was a little hard to get through in places, though the writing was excellent (maybe a little awkwardly translated), and it truly showed a reversed emotional perspective of the American Revolution of the Natives side. Very interesting, multi-dimensional story.
Mark
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not as good as Q. About a time, place and people that I have read about in the past (nonfiction) and told from the point of view that opposite of what is usually spoken of. Engaging from the standpoint of getting into the minds of the major players.
Quironcronida
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm currently reading it, so my expectations can be changed
Blair
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting view into the complicated dynamics between colonists, loyalists, and Native AMericans during the Revolutionary War. Fun summer epic, not as politically charged as I'd expected from Verso.
Julian
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it
A bit too awful for me in parts
Elizabeth
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dizzying, messy, gruesome, heartbreaking, sentimental, cold and clear-eyed, epic, and very particular. I'm not sure how successful this novel is in the end, but it was a fascinating ride.
Vuk Trifkovic
Good enough read, but without the zip, unexpected twists or imagination of "Q". It's much more straightforward ripping yarn in Karl May vein. Your 12 year old self would have probably loved it.
Francesco Abeni
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book from Wu Ming, their second best in my opinion. While it has not the cohesiveness of "Q", it's still a long and intruiging story, full of historical details. Highly enjoyable.
Roger
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Epic story, fantastic translation.
Annalisa
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5

Premise: I read this book in Italian so I don't know whether the English translation made it justice or not.

What I liked:
- the writing style! As always, Wu Ming's writing style is simultaneously atmospheric and straightforward. The linguistic choices they made are clever and translate well the difference between the characters' backgrounds (for example, the "London Indians" talk in a weird mixture of italianised English and dialects).
- the atmosphere is so vivid! I felt like I
...more
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Wu Ming (extended name: Wu Ming Foundation) is the collective pen name of four Italian writers: Roberto Bui, Giovanni Cattabriga, Federico Guglielmi and Riccardo Pedrini, respectively known as "Wu Ming 1", "Wu Ming 2", "Wu Ming 4" and "Wu Ming 5". "Wu Ming" means "anonymous" in Chinese. Although their real names are not secret, the four authors never use them. The quartet was a quintet until 2008, ...more

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“Solo crescendo aveva capito che la fede di Sir William era qualcosa che si stagliava al di sopra delle confessioni e allo stesso tempo le attraversava tutte. Nella sua valle c'era posto per chiunque. Il re d'Inghilterra e il papa erano molto lontani, e il Padrone della Vita adorato dai Mohawk non era indegno d'essere chiamato Dio, anche se ci si rivolgeva a lui in modi selvatici e pittoreschi. Fin da piccolo Peter sapeva che non tutte le cerimonie nella foresta erano indiane. La notte di San Giovanni, nel fitto della boscaglia, si accendevano piccoli fuochi e si parlava gaelico, celebrando messe che la luce del giorno avrebbe proibito. I profughi scozzesi e i coloni irlandesi di suo padre s'intendevano con dialetti antichi come le rocce. La Lingua della Notte. Sir William la usava quando voleva dirgli qualcosa di intimo, che gli altri non dovevano cogliere.
- È la lingua della fede, del sangue e della guerra, - diceva. - Non la si parla per caso.
L'inglese invece serviva a comandare, a scrivere e a capirsi da un capo all'altro della valle. A Philadelphia gli avevano insegnato anche il francese, la lingua del nemico.
Ma era il mohawk l'idioma che preferiva. Il mohawk odorava di rum e di pellicce. Era la lingua del commercio e della caccia; dei concili e della diplomazia. Ma prima di tutto, per lui, quella delle ninne nanne.”
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