The perfect plan for booklovers!
Add this book to bookshelf
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Subscribe to read the full book or read the first pages for free!
All characters reduced
Cleopatra Dismounts - A Novel - cover

Cleopatra Dismounts - A Novel

Carmen Boullosa

Publisher: Grove Press

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0


Carmen Boullosa’s Cleopatra Dismounts tells three versions of the life of Cleopatra. In the first sequence, Marc Antony had just disemboweled himself, knowing they had lost the war against Octavian and believing that Cleopatra was dead. Hugging his corpse, Cleopatra castigates Octavian and history for its betrayal of her, recalling variously how she had herself delivered to Caesar in a roll of carpet, and bore his child (Caesarion); the twins and third child she bore to Marc Antony; the bitterness of the recent military defeat. At this point Diomedes, variously described as an informer and her official chronicler, intercedes, admitting that this version of the story is not true to the brilliant, accomplished woman who was the true Cleopatra really was. Telling of how he betrayed Cleopatra, by altering the histories of her reign and allowing Caesar and others to destroy or change her scrolls, he begins again with the story of Cleopatra’s flight from Pompey (the Roman leader who was placed in charge of Cleopatra and her brothers and sisters after Ptolemy Auletes, her father and ruler of Egypt, died). The girl queen (Cleopatra inherited the throne as a teenager) sneaks with several faithful servants out of the palace into a wagon, accompanied by a group of brightly costumed gladiators, on her way to Ascalon. She and her supporters carve the words Queen of Kings” (Cleopatra’s motto in real history) into the boards of the wagon in which she is traveling, and leave it behind when they reach Rome. When they are beset by pirates, Cleopatra stages an elaborate show using some costumes the young gladiator Apollodorus, who has become part of her retinue, helped her buy. She convinces the pirates that she is Isis (a myth which was in reality part of her statecraft). She makes an alliance with them and is taken in peace to Cilicia. The third and longest version of the Cleopatra story is a delightful interlude in which Cleopatra goes live with the Amazons. Cleopatra is at war with the Ruling Council of her husband and brother Ptolemy (she was, historically, forced to marry her brother because she could not rule alone as a woman). The Ruling Council has sent an envoy to summon her to Alexandria to make peace, but when she realizes it is a trap, she flees with her retinue. She arrives in Pelusium, a trade center on the Mediterranean, where many merchants have been stranded by bad weather, and where, as if by magic, she sees a replica of the cart, carved with the words Queen of Kings,” she left behind in Rome. Chased by the reception committee” of the Ruling Council, she escapes on the back of a magical bull. He carries her across the Mediterranean to the land of the Amazons, who take her in. The Amazons welcome her into their society of women, eschewing marriage and traditional female roles to live as warriors and hunters. They sing her the stories of their joining the Amazons and of the many myths that surround them. She meets a group of aged poets, kidnapped by the Amazons to write verses for them, because they love poetry and music. She learns that one Amazon, Orthea, is in love with a god who has the power of extreme heat and cold, and who caused an earthquake that day. The Amazons go to bed, falling into each other’s arms and making love. Though initially disgusted, eventually Cleopatra falls asleep in the protective (and erotic) embrace of Hippolyta, the Amazons’ queen. The next day, the Amazons go to battle a group of rebellious male warriors who charge the Amazons and seek, ultimately, to follow the Sirens. Charging them on their horses, driving cattle at them, the Amazons battle the men. One of their prized poets, however, in an act of suicide, surrenders himself to the Sirens, who devour him before everyone. This breaks the spell and the men cease their clamoring to get to the Sirens. Cleopatra sees Orthea consummating her passion for the god, which kills her. The Cyrene male warriors, who withstood the Sirens’ onslaught in...

Other books that might interest you

  • Strange Weather - Four Short Novels - cover

    Strange Weather - Four Short Novels

    Joe Hill

    • 1
    • 1
    • 0
    A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill. 
    "One of America’s finest horror writers" (Time magazine), Joe Hill has been hailed among legendary talents such as Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, and Jonathan Lethem. In Strange Weather, this "compelling chronicler of human nature’s continual war between good and evil," (Providence Journal-Bulletin) who "pushes genre conventions to new extremes" (New York Times Book Review) deftly expose the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of everyday life. 
    "Snapshot" is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by "The Phoenician," a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap. 
    A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in "Aloft." 
    On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. "Rain" explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world. 
    In "Loaded," a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning. 
    Masterfully exploring classic literary themes through the prism of the supernatural, Strange Weather is a stellar collection from an artist who is "quite simply the best horror writer of our generation" (Michael Kortya).
    Show book
  • The Leap - cover

    The Leap

    Sophie Avory

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    The same golden September morning the town pathologists' teenage daugher is discovered hanging off a tree in the woods above Assisi (Umbria, Italy), the high-powered planning director of Perugia narrowly escapes death in a paragliding accident.  Commissario Lorenzetti senses foul play.  The police department is overstretched and he asks his best friend and fellow investigator Sister Lucia to look into the suicide.  But will her judgement be clouded by her own guilty secret?
    This is a story about leaps - real and metaphorical, taken and not taken.
    Show book
  • Twice Bitten - An Argeneau Novel - cover

    Twice Bitten - An Argeneau Novel

    Lynsay Sands

    • 0
    • 3
    • 0
    Thrilling, witty, and oh-so-sexy, Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau novel brings together a beautiful Immortal and the man who is her destiny… 
    For someone who’s been around for over a hundred and forty years, immortal Elspeth Argeneau hasn’t done a whole lot of living. Now that she’s moved away from her controlling mother, she’s tracking down rogue vampires and enjoying some overdue freedom. A fling would be fun. A life mate can wait. Yet to Elspeth’s surprise, her landlady’s hot grandson checks both boxes. 
    Wyatt fell instantly in love with Elspeth four years ago. He’s stunned to run into her again, especially as she has no memory of him. Then again, there are a lot of things about Elspeth that don’t make sense, like the miraculous speed with which her wounds heal. And the chemistry that transforms every touch into an explosion of desire. But with mysterious “accidents” besieging Elspeth, the ex-Special Forces soldier appoints himself her bodyguard. But time is running out to uncover the truth about her enemies—and rediscover the man determined to love her for eternity.
    Show book
  • The Lucky Dress - The perfect feel-good romance for 2020 - cover

    The Lucky Dress - The perfect...

    Aimee Brown

    • 0
    • 10
    • 0
    We all have our lucky dress... an irresistibly hilarious rom-com! 
    Emi Harrison hasn't been feeling particularly lucky lately. Ever since her ex-fiancée, Jack Cabot, successfully shattered her heart into a million pieces. She's managed to avoid him for a whole year, but all that's about to change at her brother Evan's wedding... 
    She will have to face Jack, Jack's sister, Jack's parents, and Jack's new girlfriend: a mean girl that just won't quit. What could possibly go wrong? 
    With her lucky dress on, all bets are off, and maybe Emi will find her happily-ever-after at last? 
    Perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Jo Watson and Sophie Kinsella. 
    Praise for The Lucky Dress: 
    'One of my favorite books this year, maybe even ever' Michelle Harris. 
    'I was sucked in from the start and pretty much devoured the book' Nikki Newcomb. 
    'Perfect beach reading book' Danielle Dobson. 
    'Funny, relatable story' Erin Butler. 
    'I enjoyed this frothy, funny rom-com and read it in one sitting. Perfect beach read!' Amanda Driver.
    Show book
  • Protector (Children of Ossiria #2) - cover

    Protector (Children of Ossiria #2)

    Vivian Lane

    • 2
    • 6
    • 0
    Carys Taylor has her life perfectly under control until an ill-fated trip to the South American jungle changes her into a supernatural being. Now she's sprouting claws and stronger and faster than any human in existence. She’s overwhelmed by her new abilities until she meets Sarah, a witch who introduces her to a group of do-gooders trying to save the world from the paranormal threats it doesn’t know exists.William spots Carys in a nightclub and is immediately drawn to her beauty and the exotic scent he can’t figure out. Too bad she’s chummy with his mortal enemies—but Carys doesn’t seem to care. She’s the first human in over a hundred years that hasn’t judged him for being a vampire and he falls for her strength, kindness, and sense of humor, but is frustrated when she keeps sticking him in the friend zone despite their obvious chemistry. Why is she so hesitant to get into a relationship? Between dodging a bounty hunter, saving the tribe that created her, dealing with a persistent vampire determined to go from friends to lovers, and meeting her future child, Carys’ first year as a Protector is full of challenges. What does a girl have to do to get a little peace?This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult situations and language. 
    Show book
  • One Night Two Souls Went Walking - cover

    One Night Two Souls Went Walking

    Ellen Cooney

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    A young interfaith chaplain is joined on her hospital rounds one night by an unusual companion: a rough-and-tumble dog who may or may not be a ghost. As she tends to the souls of her patients—young and old, living last moments or navigating fundamentally altered lives—their stories provide unexpected healing for her own heartbreak. Balancing wonder and mystery with pragmatism and humor, Ellen Cooney (A Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances) returns to Coffee House Press with a generous, intelligent novel that grants the most challenging moments of the human experience a shimmer of light and magical possibility.
    Show book