From the author of Smilla's Sense of Snow comes this highly imaginative novel, "wonderful in scope . . . crammed with Danish history, social realism, satire, magic realism, high romance, and sexual goings-on" (Newsday).
In a Danish feudal castle, 1520, a count believes he has pinpointed the center of the universe--a patch of land on his estate. But when his discovery is met with disbelief, he walls off his mansion and has all of the clocks stopped. Four centuries pass instantaneously, and the count's young secretary, Carl, emerges from isolation to find a world bursting with war, innovation, love, sexuality, danger, and all the values of the sixteenth century turned upside down as though by supernatural forces--namely, the force of history. From one of our most gifted international writers comes a dazzling epic fairy tale, a tough fable about the gifts and iniquities of progress.
"Høeg writes prose that is as bitter, changeable, and deep-fathomed as poetry—prose that demands to be read aloud and savored."--The New Yorker
"An exuberant, freewheeling fantasy."--The Washington Post
"A very fine piece of imaginative writing."--The New York Times Book Review
"A young man's all-or-nothing book, as if Søren and Hans, those melancholy Danes, had teamed up and set sail, with Melville and García Márquez, to rewrite the universe."--The Nation
"A uniquely talented writer . . . A multigenerational saga spanning four centuries of Danish history."--Booklist