The Relic Master: A Novel

By Christopher Buckley
Read by James Langton

10.93 Hours 12/08/2015 unabridged
Format: Digital Download
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    ISBN: 9781442394476

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From New York Times bestselling author Christopher Buckley, “one of the funniest writers in the English language” (Tom Wolfe), a compelling and hilarious adventure featuring a sixteenth-century relic hunter and his best friend, Albrecht Dürer, who conspire to forge the Shroud of Turin.The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter: one who procures “authentic” religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences. When Albrecht’s ambitions increase his demands for grander and more marketable relics, Dismas and his artist friend Dürer conspire to manufacture a shroud to sell to the unsuspecting noble. Unfortunately Dürer’s reckless pride exposes Albrecht’s newly acquired shroud as a fake, so Albrecht puts Dismas and Dürer in the custody of four loutish mercenaries and sends them all to steal Christ’s burial cloth (the Shroud of Chambéry), Europe’s most celebrated relic. On their journey to Savoy where the Shroud will be displayed, they battle a lustful count and are joined by a beautiful female apothecary. It is only when they reach their destination that they realize they are not alone in their intentions to acquire a relic of dubious legitimacy. Filled with fascinating details about art, religion, politics and science; Vatican intrigue; and Buckley’s signature wit, The Relic Master is a delightfully rich and intelligent comic adventure.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for December 2015

From New York Times bestselling author Christopher Buckley, “one of the funniest writers in the English language” (Tom Wolfe), a compelling and hilarious adventure featuring a sixteenth-century relic hunter and his best friend, Albrecht Dürer, who conspire to forge the Shroud of Turin.

The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter: one who procures “authentic” religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences. When Albrecht’s ambitions increase his demands for grander and more marketable relics, Dismas and his artist friend Dürer conspire to manufacture a shroud to sell to the unsuspecting noble. Unfortunately Dürer’s reckless pride exposes Albrecht’s newly acquired shroud as a fake, so Albrecht puts Dismas and Dürer in the custody of four loutish mercenaries and sends them all to steal Christ’s burial cloth (the Shroud of Chambéry), Europe’s most celebrated relic.

On their journey to Savoy where the Shroud will be displayed, they battle a lustful count and are joined by a beautiful female apothecary. It is only when they reach their destination that they realize they are not alone in their intentions to acquire a relic of dubious legitimacy. Filled with fascinating details about art, religion, politics and science; Vatican intrigue; and Buckley’s signature wit, The Relic Master is a delightfully rich and intelligent comic adventure.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An inspired piece of literary gymnastics [that] tumbles into an exuberant adventure caper…so tightly written that it holds the reader till the very last page…a smart, tart, well-researched romp into one of history’s most irresistibly grubby and outrageous periods of excess.” New York Times Book Review
“Buckley hasn’t abandoned political satire at all—he’s just found a different playing field for his favorite sport. The calamitous 16th century proves a supple mistress for this Washington writer…lively, entertaining and occasionally educational.” Washington Post
“With a refined British accent, James Langton brings to life some vivid and curious characters of the early sixteenth century. Buckley’s novel gives well-known historical figures of the time, including Frederick, ruler of Saxony, and Cardinal Albert, archbishop of Mainz, some quirky fictional exploits. Dismas, an honest relic hunter, sets out on an unexpected adventure when dire circumstances wipe out his wealth and his friend, the famous artist Albrecht Dürer, convinces him to try his hand at fake relics. Langton carries the narrative portions of the audiobook well with strong projection and great pacing. His pronunciations of German, Latin, and other languages roll smoothly into the story. His character voices are unique, consistent, and well chosen in tone.” AudioFile
“A madcap heist adventure…that’s as comical as any in Buckley’s modern era tales. Buckley’s many fans will be pleased.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley is a journalist, editor, and novelist. His books include Steaming to Bamboola, The White House Mess, Wet Work, and Thank You for Smoking. His three novels were selected as Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. They have been translated into eight languages. He is the editor of Forbes FYI magazine, and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, two children, and dog.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Historical
Runtime: 10.93
Audience: Adult
Language: English