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The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi

The Last Cato (2001)

by Matilde Asensi

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915359,598 (3.55)23
  1. 00
    Inferno by Dan Brown (vpfluke)
    vpfluke: Both books are thrillers where the main characters follow trails taken from Dante's Divine Comedy

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English (19)  Spanish (12)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All (34)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Πάρα πολύ καλό!!! ( )
  GeorgiaKo | May 27, 2016 |
Veramente un bel libro: la trama ti prende sin dall'inizio ed i personaggi sono davvero ben descritti. Forse un filino "debole" la parte di Suor Salina (il suo cambiamento durante le prove), ma per il resto il libro scorre benissimo. ( )
  cecca | Jul 28, 2014 |
A Dan Brown-esque adventure based on a complicated MacGuffin using Dante's Divine Comedy to provide clues to the whereabouts of the True Cross of Christ. Actually, a pretty entertaining story, plenty of action and characters that are believable and grow as the book unfolds. Definitely a good summer read although not without drawbacks. The story behind the nun's Sicilian family was not really developed.

Strangely, I found the passage of time in the book very hard to follow. Most of the action passes in hours, but then a sudden shift reveals months have gone by! The action seems to be described in short bursts with no linking narrative to convey the time passing as the characters follow their quest.

A disappointment for me is the translation. The language is stilted and clumsy, most of the jokes falling flat or not being properly told. It may be the troubles with time are a result of this translation rather than the original novel. Asensi has been done a disservice here. ( )
  pierthinker | Jun 14, 2011 |
Wonderful book! it is written in the style of "The Da Vinci Code" but it was written before Dan Brown's book. The author is very talented....I couldn't stop reading and then I felt sorry for having raed so fast, because I had fiinished the book! ( )
  nytmare_sister | Feb 26, 2010 |
In the vein of "The Da Vinci Code", "The Last Cato" is a mystery in which the main characters follow guideposts written in the Purgatory section of "The Divine Comedy" to find the organization behind thefts of pieces of the cross on which Jesus was crucified - 'Lignum Crucis'.

The characters are an anthropologist, historian nun who works in a top secret section of the Vatican translating ancient writings; a Captain of the Guard of the Swiss Guard who works in the inner circles of the Vatican; and an archaeologist, linguist who is an expert in religious studies of the ancient world.

The first chapter was very difficult to get through, very wordy and skipping between different topics as the female main character is described. After that, the book read wonderfully. It was fun, albeit a total fantasy of situations. The ending was way off the edge of reality, but still fun.

The under-story is one of faith and our place in the world. The events the characters move through cause them to reexamine their lives and make crucial changes by the end. ( )
  PallanDavid | Feb 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Tras el éxito de El salón de ámbar e Iacobus, Matilde Asensi nos presenta una nueva novela tan impactante como aquellas. Todo comienza cuando una científica que trabaja para el Vaticano es llamada para descifrar las extrañas señales aparecidas en el cuerpo de un etíope fallecido en extrañas circunstancias. A partir de aquí se desplegará una trama trepidante y que pondrá al descubierto una siniestra conspiración para atentar contra las reliquias más sagradas de la Iglesia.
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For Pascual, Andres, Pablo, and Javier
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All things of beauty- from great works of art to sacred objects- suffer the unstoppable effects of the passage of time, just as we do.
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Book description
Dr. Ottavia Salina, a renowned paleographer and head of the Vatican's Secret Archive, is taksed with restoring and preserving the ancient texts that are the cornerstone of Christianity. When a murder sends shock waves to the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church, Dr. Sallina is asked to decipher the strange tattoos found on the Ethiopian man's corpse. In addition to the mysterious markings, found next to the body were three pieces of wood-priceless artifacts believed to be from the Vera Cruz, the cross on which Christ was crucified. When Dr. Salina uncovers a connection between the tattoos-nearly indecipherable enigmas representing the Seven Deadly Sins-and the vision of purgatory in The Divine Comedy, it sets in motion an adventure of epic proportions. Accompanied by an archaeologist and the captain of the pope's Swiss Guard, and using Dante's masterpiece as a guide, she sets out on a risky and electrifying journey that takes her from Rome to Antioch in search of the sole person who can provide the answers they need...the last Cato, the only one who knows the secret location of the Holy Cross. (back of book)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060828579, Hardcover)

A masterful blend of Christian scholarship and thrilling adventure, The Last Cato is a novel about the race to find the secret location of the Vera Cruz, the True Cross on which Christ was crucified, and the ancient brotherhood sworn to protect it.

Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world—and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop the thieves from stealing what is left of the scattered splinters of the True Cross.

Brilliant paleographer Dr. Ottavia Salina is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church to decipher the scars found on an Ethiopian man's corpse: seven crosses and seven Greek letters.

The markings, symbolizing the Seven Deadly Sins, are part of an elaborate initiation ritual for the Staurofilakes, the clandestine brotherhood hiding the True Cross for centuries, headed by a secretive figure called Cato.

With the help of a member of the Swiss Guard and a renowned archaeologist, Dr. Salina uncovers the connection between the brotherhood and Dante's Divine Comedy, and races across the globe to Christianity's ancient capitals. Together, they will face challenges that will put their faith—and their very lives—to the ultimate test.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world - and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop thieves from their incredible goal; to steal what is left of the scattered and miniscule splinters of the True Cross the Catholic Church has in its possession." "Dr. Ottavia Salina, a brilliant and highly esteemed paleographer, toils away at her classified workspace deep within Vatican City, analyzing and restoring some of the world's most valuable religious artifacts, until she is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church and charged with a mysterious new assignment: she is to decipher the strange tattoos - seven Greek letters and seven crosses - found on an Ethiopian man's corpse. Found next to what was left of the body were three pieces of wood - suspected by Vatican scholars to be fragments of the Vera Cruz, actual splinters from the Cross on which Christ was crucified." "With the help of the captain of the Pope's infamous and tradition-rich Swiss Guard and a renown archaeologist from the ancient city of Alexandria, Dr. Salina is able to uncover a shocking truth: for hundreds of years, a secret brotherhood which refers to itself as the Staurofilakes, and headed by a mysterious figure called Cato, has been hiding the True Cross and means to gather all remaining fragments for itself. The markings on the Ethiopian corpse, they soon discover, correspond with each of the Seven Deadly Sins, and are part of the complicated, possibly deadly, initiation ritual used to deem candidates worthy of membership into the brotherhood." "Having discovered a connection between the brotherhood and Dante's Divine Comedy, they use clues within the text as a roadmap which leads them on a race across the globe to Christianity's ancient capitals. As they travel from Rome to Antioch, with several harrowing stops in between, they must brave a series of unimaginable challenges that put their faith - and their very lives - to the ultimate test. If they are to uncover the secrets of the ancient brotherhood, and discover the location of the True Cross, they must do so at their own peril."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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