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Brendan
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:37 am:   

It seems that things are moving forward with this novel. It will be published by Prime. I am not sure about the exact date, but hopefully before too long.
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 01:10 pm:   

Congrats, Brendan! Looking forward to seeing it in print!
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 12:29 am:   

Thanks Forrest. I am also looking forward to seeing it in print.
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Tamar
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 10:21 am:   

Congratulations, Brendan.
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J. Erik Lundberg
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 11:06 am:   

Congrats, Brendan!
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 12:56 pm:   

Thanks Tamar and M. Lundberg....
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Mike
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 08:13 am:   

What's the latest on the publication date?
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 02:13 pm:   

Hi Mike,

Hopefully soon!

I will post here with any more details. As far as I know it is pretty much ready to go and just needs the cover to be finalized...
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 07:50 am:   

How 'bout now? :-)

Just kidding. I read your story in the Tartarus STRANGE TALES antho and want to read more more more!
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 08:24 am:   

Thanks. Well, hopefully before long you should have plenty to read as I have three books slated to be published in the near future. The book of short stories, "The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children" which is due out after this novel has a few other tales of the same type as the story in Strange Tales . . . Then again, The Translation of Father Torturo also has a slightly similar theme, though the novel was actually written before the Tartarus story.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 11:52 pm:   

Actually, I just heard from the publisher. Mid January is the release date for The Translation of Father Torturo.
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 06:41 am:   

Excellent.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 03:16 am:   

So much for mid-January. Anyhow, the book should be available in a week as it is at the printers now.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 01:47 am:   

Text description
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 01:48 am:   

Anyhow, that is the cover.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 05:00 am:   

Here is the backcover blurb:

In 1263, when the vault containing the body of St. Anthony was opened, thirty-two years after its original internment, the flesh had turned to dust, but the tongue was in a perfect state of preservation. For almost eight-hundred years it was kept mounted on a pin. But now it has been stolen. Padua, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome. . . . Father Torturo, the neo-decadent anti-hero, moves through a modern Italy reeking of incense and filth. In an adventure stained with magic and garnished with cruelty, he travels on an ambitious journey to popedom, where the only laws that restrain him are those of his own artistic taste.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 05:01 am:   

I see it is available on Amazon now: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0809500434/qid=1117108805/sr=8-3/r ef=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl14/104-6531519-1844716?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 06:35 am:   

Here is the preamble to the book (essentially the first two pages, minus dedication and an opening quotation):


Preamble

“Hal-le-lu-jah, hal-le-lu-u-jah-jah!”

Clouds of yellow smoke curled upward, like slowly revolving apparitions in the light of the immense and stately candles which were placed, dozen upon dozen, throughout the interior of the cathedral; – the ceiling, the cupola, seemingly as high over head as the night sky – thoroughly Romanesque, Byzantine, ornate décor protruding from all sides, dripping from above like stalactites, surging from the walls in carven stone and bronze panels, rising in grand pillars, winking in frescoed patches and chapels: the depiction of men at arms and others martyred; a few modern contrivances, the worst of contemporary art, dropped in, for juxtaposition, ugly slashes to enhance the already turbulent presence of the bizarre.

“Hal-le-lu-jah, hal-le-lu-u-u-jah-ah!”

The small figure stood before the seated gathering. She sang into the microphone in an untrained, slightly cacophonic voice that was yet buttered with faith. Sheathed in the coarse, clean costume of her calling, vestal white; eyes like raisins behind simple spectacles; her voice uttered that modulated praise to Him, Master of all human affairs, Creator and Ruler of the universe.

The smoke plumed upward: aromatic, reminiscent of decomposed saints, hypnotic as it joined to the rhythmical chanting.

A beggar woman, a mad woman, obese and malformed (the majority of the weight being confined between her lower torso and hams), struggled along one darkened side of the cathedral, the struggle all the more grim for the radical difference in length between her left leg and right. The disparity was made up by a proportionate wooden heel, which shuffled and clapped along the floor. Others, healthy in leg if not feeble in mind, lay their hands on the sarcophagus of Saint Anthony.

But the vast majority of the visitors, pilgrims, rushed with remarkable haste onward, towards the brain of the cathedral. There a queue had formed and people pushed forward impatiently, rising on tip-toes and craning their necks. A child, a veritable cherub, innocent of social manners, wound its way ahead of the rest, its grandmother following in its wake, apologising as she went. It mounted the low steps on hands and knees and then, before the glass case, rose and stretched its arms out, the people parting on either side.

“Excuse me! Excuse me!” the grandmother said, hastening forward. And, with the words, “Oh, bambino,” on her smiling lips, she hoisted the child up, so it could view what it had so impetuously sought after: A tongue mounted on a pin, like a dried cactus; a jaw, gums intact, teeth the colour of gorgonzola.
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GabrielM
Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2005 - 10:13 pm:   

Brendan: Read your TORTURO novel yestesday. Very enjoyable, very funny, very dark. It's refreshing to see a fantasy novel inspired by Baron Corvo's work.

My only complaint is that the production values of the Prime edition are pretty awful; there's a typo on almost every page. (Oh, and there's more than four hours time difference between Colombia and Rome!)
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Brendan
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 02:41 pm:   

Thanks Gabriel.

Yes, sorry about the typos. I saw some of them, and wanted to change them, but apparenty it is very costly to do it.

This is really the problem with editing one's own book - it is not easy to spot all the mistakes..at least for me.
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Brendan
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 02:48 pm:   

What is the time difference between Columbia and Rome?
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GabrielM
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 06:38 pm:   

Rome is six hours ahead of NY and NY is one hour ahead of Bogota, so it's seven hours. But it depends on the time of year, as Rome observes daylight savings and Bogota does not.
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Brendan
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 09:28 pm:   

I think I actually originally had 7 hours but then changed it for some reason...

Just out of curiousity, are you from Columbia?
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 09:08 pm:   

A review from Publishers Weekly:

Black magic and thuggery assist a Machiavellian priest's ascent to the papal throne in this predictable but gleefully subversive modern gothic. Xavier Torturo, a quiet but ambitious seminarian in rural Italy, gets entrusted with an ancient occult text about the translation of powers from the dead to the living. Soon thereafter, a relic of Saint Anthony disappears from its shrine, and Xavier—coincidentally?—shows the power to heal by the laying on of hands. Combining his newly developed talent for miracles with secular skills of blackmail and manipulation, Torturo secures his ticket to the Vatican, where his underlings' excesses and his own past indiscretions ultimately precipitate his swift and gruesome downfall. Connell paints a scabrous portrait of the Vatican as a site of absolute power that corrupts absolutely, but there's little to his story that hasn't been seen in more inventively plotted works. Its transgressive spirit notwithstanding, the novel is a highly moral tale of sins avenged and wrongs redressed, played out in a setting reeking of incense and decadence.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 11:45 am:   

A very nice review by Mario Guslandi up at Eternal Night:

http://www.eternalnight.co.uk/books/c/connellbrendan/thetranslationoffathertortu ro.html
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jp
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 10:24 pm:   

I finished reading this book yesterday. Aside from the typos, which impeded my enjoyment at times, I enjoyed it. It was definitely different from anything I've read recently, and in a good way. Torturo was a remarkably effective anti-hero. I never really felt like I got into his head until the last incognito stroll before he is abducted, but a powerful sense of an entirely self-serving, yet idealistic personality comes through in his actions. I like the fact that the whole book is about Torturo and his schemes, and yet Torturo himself remains opaque for the most part. We're only really able to learn about him through what we are allowed to observe of his actions.

If it isn't too much of a pain, I have a few questions about this book I'd like to ask you. Drop me a line if you'd care to spare the time. Don't worry, I don't intend to make enquiries about the present location of ancient texts found in German Bibles or the contact details of an unscrupulous surgeon.

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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 11:35 pm:   

I see that Jayaprakash Satyamurthy has put a review of this book up on his blog:

http://criminalenglish.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_criminalenglish_archive.html
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 02:58 am:   

There is a nice review of Torturo at Eternal Night by Lesley Page. Here is the link:

http://www.eternalnight.co.uk/books/c/connellbrendan/thetranslationoffathertortu ro.html
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des
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 09:21 am:   

Congratulations, Brendan.

You must be proud of:

This is only a short book – some 194 pages but it is one of the finest original stories I have ever read. I do not know whether Brendan Connell has written any other books but one thing is sure – this is a hell of an act to follow! It doesn't get much better than this.

des
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 01:21 pm:   

Thanks Des,

Yes, it is always nice to get positive feedback!

Brendan
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 11:48 pm:   

Some signed copies of The Translation of Father Torturo are currently available at Shocklines:

http://shocklines.stores.yahoo.net/troffatobnob.html
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 07:33 am:   

A semi-random extract from The Translation of Father Torturo:

The doctor believed himself to be one of the most brilliant, though admittedly despised, medical men in the whole of Eastern Europe, and was more than willing to attempt the dangerous and tamper with the impossible. If he made a mutant, it would not be the first; if it was otherwise, than it would simply mean further prosperity, additional gold in his purse from the future operations the Italian priest had planned.

Doctor Štrekel was not timorous when it came to digging in open flesh, and feared not to go against either the laws of man or nature. That the spirits of the dead inhabit not only the hollows of trees, dark forests, graveyards and rocks, but their very bones discarded of flesh is certain. The doctor was surprised at how smooth and rapid the operation proceeded. He worked with agility. Bones and bloody tissues sprang in his hands like sprightly, self-willed children. He was under the misapprehension that the work was all his own. He did not realise that there, in that village on the Slovenian border, in his own home, the supramundane had been invited.


http://shocklines.stores.yahoo.net/troffatobnob.html

http://www.amazon.com/Translation-Father-Torturo-Brendan-Connell/dp/0809500434
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 09:28 am:   

The entire first chapter of The Translation of Father Torturo:

When Father Torturo awoke it was 3 a.m.

He climbed out of the confessional, the base of his black robe riding up, as did the leg of the pants beneath, revealing an olive coloured, hairy strip of limb, the ankle dancing in a limp sock, the foot filling out a well polished shoe.

“Oof!” he said, cracking his back. “What an uncomfortable place to fall asleep in.”

He rubbed his forehead, stretched himself and blinked his eyes – two glassy balls, sangue de Cristo, nearly as red as the glasses of merlot he had indulged in earlier: a bottle between himself and Bishop Vivan, and then a second to himself while alone in his room reading over the Dissertatio Epistologica de Ortu Animai Humanae of Gaultero Charleton.

A man in his mid to late-thirties, of good build, with an aquiline nose and black, slightly thinning, streaked-with-silver hair, Father Torturo was, at least from appearances, the standard Italian Catholic priest. His features were sombre and serious. Amongst his brothers he was known for his thorough knowledge of scripture and adamantine devotion to the calling; the lay-people admired him for his steady demeanour and the sound brevity of his advice.

“What should I do?” a woman once asked him. “I feel that I have nothing to live for.”

“Nothing to live for?” he had replied, without flinching. “One would never guess it – judging by the size of your paunch.”

By the scintillas which danced in her eyes and the foul rigour of her breath, it could be seen that, if the will to live had been threatening extinction within her, it was now revived to a healthy state of excitation. He noted that many good Christians liked a little rough treatment now and then, them gaining a certain morose satisfaction from being stroked with the fibres of sanctity. Often they needed to be whipped into the joy of life, prodded into the neighbourhood of the inviolable.

As a child he had been brutal, a kicker of cats, a resolute swatter of flies – one who delighted in passing gas against lighted candles. As a young man, under the auspices of the church, he had grown hard, educated and inverted. He had studied the lives of the Saints, from those of universal fame down to others, who had as little renown as pismires. He savoured their histories, their sufferings, lapping them up as a poisoned man would drafts of emetic. He strove to lighten the darkness within him, and for every match he struck, a gust of cold, midnight wind responded, leaving him strolling sightless through bleak, empty space. As a man he was deliberate and blunt, a devotee of the Crucifixion.

The church was empty. He strode along its floors, his heels echoing through the vast chamber. His lips twitched slightly as he thought over the confessions of the evening. It was a thankless task, listening to people’s disgusting trivialities. He glanced over toward the chapel of St. Felice, his gaze catching the tints of white flesh from Altichiero da Zevio’s magnificent fresco: the ascetic limbs of a young man pinioned to the cross – a man scarcely younger than himself; his life-blood flowing easily from his crimson wounds. A well formed horse’s ass was nestled below, amongst indifferent onlookers. And now, because of this (those feeble drops of blood sprouting from effeminate palms), the porches of his, Xaverio Torturo’s ears, were almost daily flooded with poison.

“Latrina!” he said aloud, his voice like a belch of geophysical steam.

Yes, he was more or less the toilet for the sins of others; the begrimed receptacle for their offences. Over the years, what filth had he not been made to bath in, what garbage had he not been made swallow? The infidelity of women, the tomcatting of men, the gaunt perversions of the old, the raucous hellfire of the young. His heart was clouded, darker than the middle night and the shadows which lapped across his path, licking over his perambulating feet and rustling robe. He felt impure: the taste of old wine still clung to his tongue, the sound of sin still tingled his ears.

He fingered his rosary, turned to the right, crossed in front of the High Alter, stopped and looked: There was another Jesus; the Jesus Christ of Donatello, cast in black bronze, emaciated, suffering – dying the death of the righteous. The angels danced at his pierced feet, sung and played on harps and flutes. There were the panels depicting the miracles of Saint Anthony, which, as incredible in detail and craftsmanship as they were (profound in their beauty), inspired nothing in the priest but rancour, a feeling of ill will, as if his due rights, his fortune, had been unjustly snatched from him and cast to the paws of the lazy, sensual crowd: those hundreds of thousands who came each year, dined amply on baccala alla Padovana, and then, bellies distended with feed, came and set their gazes and greasy palms on the trophies – the bones that might have been his very own for all he had suffered, laboured in the cause of the Law and been spat upon with the trifling matters of cheesemongers’ wives.

“What am I?” he snarled. “What am I anyhow? The younger brother, left disinherited. A miserable human creature; with this wretched flesh of mine. Thoroughly wretched! But you Sir, hourly worshipped, mystically resurrected, have something better than that paltry flesh of yours.”

Strange to say, the feeling that surged in him upon seeing this master work of art, this just representation of the Son of God, was not one of Humbleness, Faith or Love, but one of Jealousy – a green plant, prickly and monstrous that sprung from his bile.

“Damn me! Damn me,” he muttered. “What kind of a hypocrite am I,” he thought, “to be running around, playing the faithful servant, all the while wishing to usurp the master.” He grimaced. “You’re an ungrateful goat,” he told himself. “Throw yourself down before Him who has died for your transgressions – Throw yourself down man! Throw yourself down and ask Him for His Forgiveness and Patience!”

He mounted the two steps, passed the microphone and pulpit, and walked across the red velvet rug. The mammoth cast candelabra of Andrea Riccio lined the way. The candles were extinguished, half-burnt and their wax looked especially pallid in the darkness, possessing the hue of dead flesh. The scene, frozen in cold bronze, bubbled before him: the symbology, the episode that, for a priest, was the focal point of life itself and the culmination of the religion he practised. True, worship was to be given to God alone, but it was awfully convenient to bow, salute with kisses and offer incense to these representations of the Lord and Saints. With the utmost difficulty Father Torturo roused in his breast a feeling of veneration, like a glow worm endeavouring to find some rapid mode of exit, and, without allowing himself time to calculate the impossibility of the Presence, flung himself to the ground, where he beat his head upon the velvet rug. He crawled forward, clung to the base of the cross, caressed the cold bronze and squeezed his eyes tight shut. He knew he should be crying. If he had any faith he should be crying.

“You hypocrite,” he murmured, wriggling on the floor like a worm. “You stinking hypocrite. Do you really believe yourself to be any less—”

His self-disgust reached critical mass, burst, and mixed with the salts of his arrogance. He bucked, his body snapping up like the crack of a whip. His left temple smashed against the bronze toe of Jesus. He let out a white-hot scream and fell back to the floor. His ear was somewhat lacerated. His temple oozed blood. He clawed the carpet and felt the drool drip from his bottom lip.

“Hell and Damnation,” he said and struggled to his feet, his frame trembling in agitation.

He felt the rosary still hanging in his fingers and clawed it into a ball. No one could say he had not tried, tried to love him. But in exchange, he had simply been kept down, like a servant or some lazy beggar. He ground the beads together in his grip, stepped back a few paces and turned. His soles slipped along the carpet and then clicked as they descended onto the hard floor.


http://shocklines.stores.yahoo.net/troffatobnob.html

http://www.amazon.com/Translation-Father-Torturo-Brendan-Connell/dp/0809500434
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, September 29, 2007 - 04:27 am:   

Free PDF Review Copy of the Translation of Father Torturo:

If anyone would like to have a free PDF of this book for review, let me know. The review can be of any nature: on a blog, in a journal, Amazon, whatever.

More info here: http://brendanconnell.wordpress.com/the-translation-of-father-torturo/

If interested, just leave your e-mail for me or email me at huysmans67 [at] hot mail dot com.

Thanks
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Thursday, October 04, 2007 - 11:55 pm:   

Another review here:

http://mattstaggs.blogspot.com/2007/10/review-translation-of-father-torturo-by.h tml

It says:

Brendan Connell's THE TRANSLATION OF FATHER TORTURO is a gleefully decadent modern fantasy, a tale of magic, murder and ambition set against the backdrop of modern Rome.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 01:24 am:   

Another review: http://sci-fi-fantasy-books.blogspot.com/

Contains this: "If you start reading it, you are not going to put it down before you get to the final page..."

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