"Not your conventional art-historical view of the Renaissance Pope Leo X, usually perceived as supercultivated, if worldly, patron of Raphael and Michelangelo. Here, he's kin to Robert Nye's earthy, lusty personae of Falstaff and Faust, with Rabelasian verve, both scatological and venereal. Strangely shards of gnostic thought emerge from the dwarf's swampish mind. In any case, the narrative of this novel blisters along with a Blackadderish cunning." The Observer *First published in 1995, this one immediately caught readers' imaginations and has since become something of a contemporary classic. It has a cute frame opening (' It is not necessary for me to relate precisely how these memoirs fell into my hands...' ) and an ugly, if memorable opening proper, reminiscent of the start of Earthly Powers: ' This morning his Holiness summoned me to read from St Augustine, while the physician applied unguents and salves to his suppurating arse...' The rest is freakish couplings, religious sects, torture: a cracking read for all ages, then." Giles Foden in The Guardian "Some books make their way by stealth; a buzz develops, a cult is formed. Take Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf, published by Dedalus in 1995. The opening paragraphs paint an unforgettable picture of poor portly Leo having unguents applied to his suppurating anus after one too many buggerings from his catamite. Then comes the killer pay off line: " Leo is Pope, after all." You can't not read on after that." I took it on holiday and was transported to the Vatican of the Renaissance; Peppe, the heretical dwarf of the title, became more real than the amiable pair of windsurfers I'd taken with me." Suzi Feay in The New Statesman "Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf was overwhelmingly the most popular choice of Gay Times reviewers in last year's Books of the Year. Reprinted now this outrageous tale of the Renaissance papacy, heretics, circus freaks and sex should be at the top of everyone's 'must read' list." Jonathan Hales in Gay Times
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