DON CARLOS by Thorvald Steen

DON CARLOS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

justify yes* Don Carlos ($21.95; paper $12.95; Feb. 4, 1998; 1-55713-357-3; paper 1-55713-356-5): The eponymous ``Don Carlos'' is the young Charles Darwin, who is observed with a mixture of respect and bafflement by an Italian immigrant to Argentina, in this first of two sequential novels (its companion, Giovanni, is forthcoming) by an acclaimed Norwegian writer. The story of Darwin's 1833 research expedition (later told in his Voyage of the Beagle) is here recounted by Giovanni, who joins it, in a long letter home to his brother in Genoa. Steen expertly juggles character and cultural contrasts among English and European concepts of social stability, Argentinean revolutionary politics, and, most intriguing of all, the self-denying scientific diligence of ``El Naturalista'' versus Giovanni's confident sensuality (``when the heart is banished from the body,'' he reasons, ``one is as good as dead''). A rich intellectual adventure. One hopes its sequel will arrive here soon.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1998
ISBN: 1-55713-357-3
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1997