Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth
Came across this book as I was browsing through the store few days ago. The cover caught my attention and intrigued me enough that I bought the book even before reading what it was about. That picture is just so fascinating, I think.
Here’s another cover for this book that I found online…I quite like this one too, although the one above remains my favorite –
In Land of Marvels, a thriller set in 1914, he brings to life the schemes and double-dealings of Western nations grappling for a foothold in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.
Somerville, a British archaeologist, is excavating a long-buried Assyrian palace. The site lies directly in the path of a new railroad to Baghdad, and he watches nervously as the construction progresses, threatening to destroy his discovery. The expedition party includes Somerville’s beautiful, bored wife, Edith; Patricia, a smart young graduate student; and Jehar, an Arab man-of-all-duties whose subservient manner belies his intelligence and ambitions. Posing as an archaeologist, an American geologist from an oil company arrives one day and insinuates himself into the group. But he’s not the only one working undercover to stake a claim on Iraq’s rich oil fields.
I started reading the book yesterday and it’s so far so good. Can’t wait to dive deep into the plot!
Do you like the cover(s)? The storyline? Do share.