book review, campus politics, current Indian politics, Daphne du Maurier, Gothic, power hungry sociopath, pscyhological thriller, suspense
“Why do you follow Aldo? What makes you believe in him?”
“We have no one else we can follow.” Cesare replied.
Hallmark of a classic is that it remains relevant across time. This book isn’t Daphne’s best, but it is startling in its eerie & hideous parallels with today’s India. See if you can spot’em.
Premise: The tale is narrated by Beo and largely fixated on Aldo. The story itself has inbuilt parallels between Gothic fantasy and modern Rome. Tourist guide Beo chances upon the murder of a tramp, who turns out to be his old nanny Martha. Seeking her murderer and filled with nostalgia, Beo returns to his hometown Ruffano, but incognito. Here, he meets a ghost resurrected from his childhood.
Aldo is a Professor. But demure, benign or modest? Not he! Aldo is a power monger, a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur.
‘He who ceases to see anything great in God will find it nowhere. He must either deny it or create it.’
· His dream – to recreate the chariot ride of the sinister Duke Claudio. Continue reading