Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of 54 by Wu Ming

54

by Wu Ming

54 by Wu Ming X
54 by Wu Ming
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jul 2006, 560 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Set during the height of the Cold War - with the world divided into East and West - 54 features Cary Grant as a real-life spy dealing with Italian partisans, KGB agents, Parisian lowlifes, and cameos by David Niven, Marshal Tito, and Grace Kelly.

In Hollywood, Cary Grant has grown weary of cinema's constant glamour, but Her Majesty's Secret Service will break his malaise with a bizarre diplomatic mission. In Naples, Lucky Luciano fixes horse races and launches the global heroin trade. And in Bologna, a bartender searches for true love and his missing communist father.

Set during the height of the Cold War - with the world divided into East and West - 54 features Italian partisans, KGB agents, Parisian lowlifes, and cameos by David Niven, Marshal Tito, and Grace Kelly. Wu Ming brings us a cinematic romp that is by turns edgy social satire and modern comic send up.

The Yugoslavian front, spring 1943
ITALIAN SOLDIERS!


The Slovenian people have launched an inexorable struggle against the occupying forces. Many of your comrades have already fallen in that struggle. And you will go on falling day after day, night after night, for as long as you remain tools in the hands of our oppressors, and until Slovenia is liberated.

Your leaders will lead you to believe that the Slovenian people love you, that you are being attacked only by ‘tiny numbers of communists.’ This is an insolent lie. All Slovenes are in accord with the struggle against the occupying forces. Under the leadership of the Slovenian National Liberation Committee, our entire people has organised itself into a single invincible liberation front.


ITALIAN SOLDIERS!


Your superiors are concealing from you the desperate situation into which Mussolini has hurled the ‘Italian Empire’ by selling it to Hitler. They are hiding from you the ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

..continued

Full Review (571 words)

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

Scotland on Sunday
A stupendous, charming, provcative and profound novel. It makes most modern books seem paltry in comparison.

The Guardian
Diverting post-modernist entertainment - about narcotics, the cheap potency of Hollywood, the coming of television, the balance of political power, and how the effects knock on down the line - is skilled in teasing fact and fiction.

The Independent
Don't ask me just how the Wu Ming clan have pulled off this coup. I only know that their blend of outrageous burlesque and offbeat satire sparles like a bottle of the best prosecco from a worker's co-op vineyard.

The Times (London)
A sprawling epic .... a formidable feat of imagination.

Kirkus Reviews
Don Camillo meets The Name of the Rose meets Dr. No: a rewarding beach book for grownups.

Booklist
This mix of literary thriller and sophisticated satire makes a tasty madcap dessert after the full meal of DeLillo's Underworld.

Publishers Weekly
The latest joint effort (after the novel Q) from Wu Ming ... offers political commentary–cum–complicated escapism for the brainiac reader.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

A modern history of Trieste

Today, Trieste is a charming Italian city bordering Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia) on the Adriatic Sea, home to a wide mix of cultures (map of Trieste), but in 1954 it was at the center of a Cold War quandary - what to do with this little city-state caught in the power struggle between East and West? 

Over the centuries Trieste became an important trade hub.  It was constituted a free port by Emperor Charles VI (Holy Roman Emperor from 1711-1740) in 1719 and remained thus until 1891. It lost much of its autonomy during the Napoleonic Wars when it was occupied three times (eventually being returned to the Austrian Empire in 1813) but continued to prosper as the Imperial Free City of Trieste and was an important commercial ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked 54, try these:

  • The Savage Detectives jacket

    The Savage Detectives

    by Roberto Bolano

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More by this author

    New Year’s Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesárea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the ...

  • Turing's Delirium jacket

    Turing's Delirium

    by Edmundo Paz Soldan

    Published 2007

    About this book

    In this thriller set loosely in contemporary Bolivia, cyberpunks become virtual terrorists as they try and incent revolution against a democratically-elected former dictator.

We have 6 read-alikes for 54, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Wu Ming
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves
    Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves
    by J Drew Lanham
    As a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, and a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master ...
  • Book Jacket: Glorious Exploits
    Glorious Exploits
    by Ferdia Lennon
    Lampo and Gelon are two unemployed potters in their thirties whose lives are spent between their ...
  • Book Jacket: Song of the Six Realms
    Song of the Six Realms
    by Judy I. Lin
    Xue'er has no place in the kingdom of Qi or any of the Six Realms. Her name means "Solitary Snow" ...
  • Book Jacket: The Demon of Unrest
    The Demon of Unrest
    by Erik Larson
    In the aftermath of the 1860 presidential election, the divided United States began to collapse as ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Only the Beautiful
by Susan Meissner
A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the terrible injustice that tears them apart.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughters of Shandong
    by Eve J. Chung

    Eve J. Chung's debut novel recounts a family's flight to Taiwan during China's Communist revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stolen Child
    by Ann Hood

    An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child’s fate.

Win This Book
Win Only the Brave

Only the Brave by Danielle Steel

A powerful, sweeping historical novel about a courageous woman in World War II Germany.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

F T a T

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.