Troubador American Magna Carta

Released: 28/07/2015

eISBN: 9781784629533

Format: eBook

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American Magna Carta


A novel for our times, American Magna Carta holds to account the 0.1% of the 1% who act with total impunity above the law. When a fifth original Magna Carta is discovered, a cabal of bent academics, investment bankers and elements in the surveillance state conspire to possess the founding document of western democracy. Leaving a trail of destruction they are prepared to break every law in the book so they can bask in the glow of the 800-year-old Great Charter of Liberties that, ironically, embodies the notion we are all equal before the law. Standing in their way are Ricky Taleb, a Harvard Law student, Alison Sinclair, an art history intern from London, and Harry James, a new kind of action hero – a veteran of the Occupy Movement. Set against a backdrop of iconic landscapes from Glastonbury to London and from Boston to New York, the deft plot gathers pace towards a dramatic showdown at the very heart of global power. American Magna Carta is favourably comparable to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta.

Author ROBERT HAMBLETT explains his inspiration behind the characters: “Harry James, the activist hero, does all the things I wish I had the courage to do.” He adds, “I had imagined a new kind of hero, one who wasn’t a cop or a spy. There’s a lot of my mother in him. Harry became a composite of activists and site crew I have met over the years. Alison Sinclair is thrown in at the deep end. She grows in strength. It all depends on her resolve. Ricky Taleb really goes on a journey. He finds a courage he never knew existed. Welbeck, the Glastonbury bookseller is a Prospero figure. His role only becomes clear at the end... or does it?”

It’s tempting to call American Magna Carta fun, fast-paced and furious, but clichés do no justice to its originality. Timely in this Magna Carta centenary year, it is a book to delight and engage all lovers of things English, but its scope is far wider. Vulture capitalism, drones and spy satellites inhabit the brave new world of the digital age where, the Internet is mightier than the pen. These all come within its orbit. As for the writing itself – witty dialogue moves the story along swiftly and a sense of immediacy comes from acutely observed physical environments, be it a voyage down the Hudson, the top deck of a bus in Somerset or below the giant girders of a bridge spanning the Thames. Never formulaic, it is peppered with cultural references and striking images: ..behind the drab buildings of St.Thomas’s Hospital green streaks of dawn lay across the eastern horizon like an amputee coming round after an operation. Humorous at times, ironical and clever – Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied. – it’s a crisp satire for our times, with insights that change the pace altogether – as well as being rather a good story!
by Rosalind Shakespear

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