A haunting, profound novel, resonant at once of history and legend, The Pied Piper's Poison brilliantly resurrects seventeenth-century folklore in a wrenching quest for the roots of wartime atrocities in our century.
It's winter, 1946, and strange things are happening at Tarutz quarantine camp in Southern Poland, where a group of refugees has fallen victim to a horrific, unidentifiable disease. A young doctor is sent to identify the mysterious affliction now working its way through a growing list of victims. And in the winter of 1648, the ancient town of Hamelin struggles to survive the most savage war Europe has ever known. Besieged by a vicious mercenary army, confounded by the endless machination of its leaders, and gripped by starvation, fever, and vermin, Hamelin is desperate for any respite. Is there a connection between these two calamities?
A spiritually unsettling tale of ineluctable fates, cursed geographies, and the staying power of myth, The Pied Piper's Poison is an astonishing debut novel, rich in historical detail and penetrating in its insight into humanity's darkest suspicions.
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Christopher Wallace was born in Germany in 1962 and educated at the University of Sterling in Scotland. The Pied Piper's Poison is his first novel; it has been published in five countries.From Kirkus Reviews:
Uprooted by WWII, a strange group of sick refugees quarantined by the Soviets in southern Poland perplexes an innocent Scottish doctor, but a lack of historical perspective soon puts him out of his depth: a curious, split-screen debut from Edinburgh author Wallace. It's no fault of Rob Watts, fresh from med school in Glasgow in the first winter after the war, that he's too nice and nave for the grim work of screening refugees, first in a medical camp in Berlin under the direction of senior physician Arthur, a burly American with inscrutable designs. Rob makes a go of it, playing bridge in his off-hours and humoring Arthur, his roommate, who cries himself to sleep nightly. Yet when the American sends him to Poland, where in the cellars of a ruined estate a steady number of the ethnic Germans who occupy the refugee camp die mysterious, rapid, horrible deaths, Rob is completely baffled. The Soviet doctor at the camp, an English-speaking, cultured man, hopes to while away the hours playing chess with Rob as they study the disease, though Rob finds another diversion, in the supple young form of one of the refugees. When Arthur arrives on the scene with his crackpot intensity, however, he produces a startling hypothesis, which explains both the disease and the parallel plot involving a once prosperous German town and the devastating Thirty Years War of the 17th century: the refugees are directly linked to the story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and their deaths are the revisit of an ancient curse first set in motion at the end of that long war, almost 300 years before. Unfortunately, with no evidence other than what Arthur, a less than reliable source, can offer, Wallaces two plots don't connect, and poor Rob, a hand-wringing, pleasure-seeking lightweight, has precious little to contribute whether they do or not. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Flamingo. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # __0006550770
Book Description HARPER COLLINS, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780006550778 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE0982786