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Zimler, Richard. THE LAST KABBALIST OF LISBON. New York City, NY: The Overlook Press, 1998. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 318 pages. As New/As New.

The author's breakthrough debut novel. One of the most sensational literary debuts of the last decade of the 20th century. The true First Edition, which reportedly did not exceed 5000 copies. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published to enormous critical and popular acclaim, the book joins the exalted company of such works as Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose", Caleb Carr's "The Alienist", and Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code". With the exception of the Harry Potter phenomenon, the interest in the historical thriller is the single most notable development in contemporary fiction, a return by the novel to the romance of history, arcane knowledge, and philosophical meditation, seamlessly blended and fused into a thrilling whole. "The story takes place during the 16th-century slaughter of Jews in Portugal and its main characters are Jewish mystics. Zimler is less interested in describing their spiritual lives than in plotting a fantastic murder mystery. The book purports to be a modern translation of a medieval manuscript telling the story of the murder of a great Kabbalist in Lisbon named Abraham. Occasionally, the story invokes a bit of Kabbalist wisdom that is every bit as luminous as the ancient texts that inspired this novel: 'Books are created from holy letters. Just as angels are, according to some. Viewed from this perspective, through a window of Kabbalah, if you like, an angel is nothing but a book given heavenly form'. An absorbing and genuinely suspenseful story" (Michael Joseph Gross). The novel has a powerful undercurrent of homo-eroticism, which, the author clearly suggests, is integral to authentic Kabbalah, and is precisely one of the reasons the latter is the suppressed, "underground" ancient literature of Judaism. This has not been commented upon by critics, but there it is, unmistakable, indispensable to the narrative, and beguilingly told. A far-reaching evocation of religious and sexual delirium, this is a masterly debut which Zimler has not yet surpassed with his subsequent, equally absorbing, and highly accomplished novel-sequels. A "must-have" title for Richard Zimler collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a long time even though it went into multiple subsequent printings and remains available in paperback. This is one of extremely few copies of the true First Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Most copies available online have major flaws. A very scarce copy thus. One of the finest living American writers. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RICHARD ZIMLER TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0879518340. $90.00

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