A Vaudeville of Devils by Robert Girardi
7 Moral Tales

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From the acclaimed author of Madeleine's Ghost and Vaporetto 13 comes a mesmerizing collection of seven novellas and stories that explore, through the lives of a variety of extraordinary and ordinary characters, our many moral quandaries.

Meet Hans Otto Graebner as he lingers in the beach resort of Ostend, on the North Sea. Soon this haggard SS officer will be dispatched to perform the menial but necessary task of locating and assassinating a degenerate Belgian painter.

Join "The Dinner Party," where a man stands adrift in a distinctly Borgesian universe, somewhere at the end of time. It could be the Apocalypse or some ghoulish carnival. He's attending a feast at an anonymous mansion while the fall of Babylon is acted out around him, and he struggles to hold on to the faint remnants of his conscience while the world goes up in flames.

Turn to a search for "The Primordial Face," in which two expatriates, one of them mute, go diving for a mythological treasure at the bottom of the sea and wind up competing for the love of the obsessive expedition leader's young daughter.

And spend "Sunday Evenings at Contessa Pasquali's," where a man and a woman torture each other with indifference and affection and find that love can be born of terrible schemes.

With this volume, Robert Girardi illustrates a world that is both beautifully alluring and brilliantly sinister, where souls are lost and won on the simple weight of everyday decisions. Rich with history and irony, vastly entertaining and told in the timeless style of tales, fables, and myths, these meditations on morality remind us of the eternal human condition.

About Robert Girardi

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Robert Girardi was educated at Catholic schools in Europe and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.    He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a recipient of the James Michener Fellowship in 1989.    He lives in Washington, D.C.    This is his first novel.
Published January 1, 1999 by Sceptre. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

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