The Biography of Manuel

23 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 146 ratings

Figures of Earth Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), cast the narrator and produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.

A few words from Neil on Figures of Earth: "After a first round of very strong but not quite perfect auditions, I told the actors that 'the most important thing with Cabell is being able to deadpan a joke. The books are written by a Virginia Gentleman who is capable of making the dirtiest of dirty jokes with a straight face, and who is writing High Fantasy and Poetry, too.' Robert Blumenfeld captured the accent and wit of a man who corresponded with H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, and in his lifetime counted Mark Twain among his fans!"

Figures of Earth, subtitled "A Comedy of Appearances", follows the vicissitudes of Dom Manuel the Redeemer from his lowly swineherd origins through his unlikely elevation to the Count of Poictesme, and beyond. Published in 1921, it was the second volume of “The Biography of Manuel”, Cabell’s great work about an imaginary land that also managed to skewer the world of his upbringing as a Southern Gentleman of Virginia, and nearly everything else, besides!

Poor Manuel starts out life as a lowly swineherd, but rises to become the famous Dom Manuel, the legendary, even mythic, hero of many of Cabell’s novels. He begins, like the simpleton in "Jack in the Beanstalk" and other folktales, by taking literally his mother’s advice to “go out and make a figure in the world” – and makes Figures of clay…. But Manuel turns out to be a master of guile, a trickster hero, if you will. His guiding motto is: “The world wishes to be deceived.”

Public Domain (P)2012 Wildside Press LLC
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