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Bryan Murphy is a man of Kent, though he comes from a long line of Irish peasants. He has worked as a fruit-picker, kitchen hand, road-sweeper, bar-tender, wages clerk, teacher of English as a foreign language, translator and copy-editor. He recently retired from a job within the United Nations system, and now concentrates on his own words, as a writer and an actor. He divides his time among England, Italy, the wider world and cyberspace. His work has recently appeared in Dead Snakes, Descant, Eunoia Review, Haiku Quarterly, Indigo Rising, Pyrokinection, Rose & Thorn, Snakeskin, The Camel Saloon, The Pygmy Giant, The Rainbow Rose, The View from Here, Transparent Words and UFO Gigolo.
on Feb. 17, 2013 :
Located in what is now northern Italy, Padania is a futuristic state not unlike East Berlin before the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
Hardened by the sexual abuse of a priest when she was young, Daria Rigeletti is comfortable in her role as an assassin. Killing means nothing to her, but nevertheless, she finds it more satisfying to help desperate people get across the electrified wall to the safety of Italy. The people she has helped form a resistance movement look to her to lead them in their fight to free Padania from the grip of the rebel government.
Lovers of speculative fiction will appreciate the fast moving plot, and will be intrigued by Daria's psychological dilemma.
I look forward to more of Daria's adventures.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Nov. 25, 2012 :
I have to say that the main character in Goodbye, Padania, Daria Rigoletti, is an engaging character. I don't think she means to be – she just carries on quietly and anonymously with killing people, but we naturally want to know how a woman came to fill such a role, and we are drawn to her when human feeling starts to fill her empty heart and she tries to find something less ruthless to do to make a living. As the quality of mercy flows back into her, we can feel empathy for her, and sympathy with her attempts to stop trading in violence in a world in which it is a major currency.
The world in question is a hypothetical future independent state called Padania, in present-day north Italy. Upon independence, it seems to have engaged in an orgy of racist violence, which has made it a pariah state. Without immigrant labour, the economy has collapsed, and the regime has become more and more totalitarian, with a militia of murderous thugs, an electrified wall to keep people in, and a forced diet of TV soaps and beauty contests to keep them sedated, until an old spirit of resistance re-awakens.
I have a feeling that the author is more interested in the political story than the personal one, but it is the evolving personality of Daria that fascinated me.
Defects are that is a bit disjointed, and that the minor characters are not developed. Perhaps the author will return to Padania and do just that. I think he has found a rich vein to mine here.
(reviewed the day of purchase)