While Europe drifts toward Nazism, four students share an apartment on the Rue de Fleurus. Thackara's epic novel brilliantly forges the stories of these four men whose lives mirror the large picture of events around the world. The title alludes to God's prophetic warning to Samuel about the rise of man-made kings. James Thackara, as John Walsh wrote in the New Yorker, "watches Hitler's rise from a dozen different perspectives: at Nuremberg rallies, as reported in dinner-table gossip, in close-up appearances at Hindenburg's side, in letters and rumors of war, in the gradually thickening atmosphere of fright and inevitability." This is a work of extraordinary vision and range, magnificently fusing myth and the inexorable events of history.
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