The year: 1954, the height of the Cold War.
The world is divided into East and West.
In Naples, mafioso Lucky Luciano and his Mafia minions are busy fixing horse-races, and overseeing the creation of the global heroin trade. In Hollywood, some members of Her Majesty’s Secret Service have a dangerous mission for the supremely elegant actor Cary Grant. And in Bologna, Pierre Capponi, a lovelorn young barman, is about to embark on a painful odyssey in search of his missing father, one that will end up taking him half-way around the world.
And bringing together all these strands and more is a missing television set, a McGuffin Electric, an appliance with a very special secret…
''54 is a huge slab of sheer pleasure: a thriller with laughs, a crime comedy, a surreal romance, a ripping adventure. Real-life stars drop into the books global plot that draws in a cast of thousands. Ace * Sunday Sport * A kaleidoscopic epic...beautifully handled * Independent on Sunday * A stupendous, charming, provocative and profound novel. It makes most modern books seem paltry in comparison * Scotland on Sunday * A sprawling epic... A formidable feat of imagination that moves restlessly between Bologna, Naples, California, Moscow, Dubrovnik and Marseilles... Utterly convincing' * The Times * Perfect holiday reading... Daft and...delicious... the Wu Ming clan have pulled off [a] coup... Their blend of outrageous burlesque and offbeat satire sparkles like a bottle of the best prosecco from a worker's-co-op vineyard...as many contented readers will notice this summer -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent *
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