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54 by Wu Ming

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54 by Wu Ming

1954. Hollywood actors, cold warriors, mobsters, drug dealers and homing pigeons. What will Yugoslavian president Tito do, now that Joe Stalin is dead? What is the hidden link between Lucky Luciano in his Italian exile, Cary Grant in schizophrenic combat with himself and a stolen TV set which turns out to be self-conscious and sensitive to boot?

Wu Ming is the pen-name of a collective of five Italian authors, four of whom wrote the cult historical novel 'Q' The name of the band is meant both as a tribute to dissidents ("Wu Ming" is a common byline among Chinese citizens demanding democracy and freedom of speech) and as a refusal of the celebrity-making machine which turns the author into a star.

Errata: p.252, chapter 51: Tito says he's turning seventy-two. It's sixty-two, actually.