Add a conniving servant and his amoral master; a murderous priest and his equally homicidal sidekick; an odious mother-in-law; a beautiful but barren wife wed to an ancient attorney; and a potion brewed from the root of the Mandragora, a plant alleged to help women conceive, and you have a prescription for pandemonium, especially when Mandragora (known in less reputable circles as “God’s Little Joke”), possesses a fatal flaw.
Filled with bawdy and irreverent wit, outrageous situations, characters it would be unwise to invite for dinner, and lots of good old-fashioned belly laughs, this highly literate and sophisticated satire is a joy to read from start to satisfying—and most surprising!—finale.
Based on The Mandrake, notorious Niccolò Machiavelli’s Italian Renaissance comedy, Mandragora is the only novel ever created—even after five centuries—from his infamous play.
A discussion guide for reading groups is included at the end of novel.
Praise for Mandragora:
“The language of Mandragora is as rich and pervasive as the pheromone-laden Italian night air. Human frailty abounds, grotesque situations develop; and yet, a nimble and loving humanity hovers over the proceedings.”
Craig English, author of Anxious to Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice and Anvil of Navarre
“Mandragora is splendid. H.D. Greaves has, using Machiavelli’s famous play, created a genuine tour de force of his own. By turns hilarious, shocking, and lyrically erotic, Greaves does full justice to Machiavelli’s most devious satirical ideas involving sex, power, deception, and corruption. Don’t read this book quickly or you’ll miss the sly wit and nuances. It’s delightful from beginning to end.”
Hans Boos, eminent zoologist and author of Parasites, a thriller set in Trinidad, and Snakes of Trinidad and Tobago
“Restructuring Machiavelli’s work into a novel broadens the audience, while retaining the interest of those who enjoy Italian Renaissance plays. The dark humor is particularly captured in the dynamic dialogue filled with comic banter. Mandragora demonstrates great use of descriptive language.”
Sean Jones, editor, Inkwater Press
I enjoyed Mandragora very much. It is well written, clever, and I laughed and groaned simultaneously. I see this being a book that becomes popular via word of mouth.
Diane A.S. Stuckart, award-winning author of the Leonardo da Vinci Mystery series and national bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (written as Ali Brandon)
“I thoroughly enjoyed Mandragora. Both the material and the writing are rich.”
Mark Jurdjevic, Professor, Italian Renaissance Studies, York University, Canada, author of Guardians of Republicanism: The Valori Family in the Florentine Renaissance
About H.D. Greaves
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Published December 18, 2013
History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction.