***LONGLISTED: THE HWA GOLD CROWN 2021***
***A Sunday Times BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021: “An ambitious, epic debut.”***
***A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021***
A Times BOOK OF THE MONTH: “Beautifully written and profoundly insightful.”
“A memorable tapestry of politics, religion and conflicting human desires.” -The Sunday Times
“Cathedral is a masterpiece, one of the best historical novels I’ve read in a long time. Spellbinding and so evocative of place and time. A triumph.”-Dan Jones
“Fascinating, fun, and gripping to the very end.”-Roddy Doyle
A sweeping story about obsession, mysticism, art, and earthly desire.
At the centre of this story, is the Cathedral. Its design and construction in the 12th and 13th centuries in the fictional town of Hagenburg unites a vast array of unforgettable characters whose fortunes are inseparable from the shifting political factions and economic interests vying for supremacy. From the bishop to his treasurer to local merchants and lowly stonecutters, everyone, even the town’s Jewish denizens, is implicated and affected by the slow rise of Hagenburg’s Cathedral, which in no way enforces morality or charity.
Around this narrative core, Ben Hopkins has constructed his own monumental edifice, a choral novel that is rich with the vicissitudes of mercantilism, politics, religion, and human enterprise. Ambitious, immersive, a remarkable feat of imagination, Cathedral deftly combines historical fiction, the literary novel of ideas, and a tale of adventure and intrigue.
Fans of authors like Umberto Eco, Elif Shafak, Hilary Mantel, Ken Follett and Jose Saramago will delight at the atmosphere, the beautiful prose, and the vivid characters of Ben Hopkins’s Cathedral.
"Comparisons are inevitable to Ken Follett's book about the building of a cathedral..... Hopkins' debut is the superior: beautifully written and profoundly insightful about its very human characters and their yearning for both God and Mammon." -- Antonia Senior * The Times * "A memorable tapestry of politics, religion and conflicting human desires." "A thoroughly engrossing, beautifully told look at human frailty." * Kirkus Reviews (starred) * "A novel of big ideas seen through the alluring prism of small lives." -- Sarah Bowers * Historical Novels Review * "Six hundred pages sounds long, but this deeply human take on a medieval city and its commerce and aspirations, its violent battle and small intimacies, never feels that way. This sweeping work is as impressive as the cathedral at its centre." * Publishers' Weekly * "Rich, moving, and unforgettable, the historical novel Cathedral exposes the vanity inherent in trying to make a mark on history and exalts the power of love, creativity, and truth to leave a meaningful trace on this ephemeral world." * ForeWord Reviews *
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