The Elixir of Immortality
Nominated to the Booksellers’ Prize 2012
Ari Spinoza is the last of the great Spinoza family. On his mother’s deathbed he promises to write his family story, to save it from oblivion. The main source to his writing is the memories of all the stories his grand uncle Fernando told him and his twin brother Sasha when they were kids. Another source is a secret book, The Elixir of Immortality, containing the recipe for eternal life, which has been guarded by the family for centuries.
Ari’s story starts out in 1140 in Lisbon and follows the family´s odyssey through Europe up untill 1999 when the final chapter is written in Oslo. One of the characteristics handed down in the family is an exceedingly large nose. Those born with it are successful, but die a tragic death. And they are often at the centre of, and important contributors to great events in the history of Europe.
Apart from Ari Spinoza, there are two main characters in this grand epic novel: the Spinoza family and Europa´s history, here woven together in a knowledgeable, tragic, moving, and wonderful history.