The Eighth Wonder of the World is a spellbinding mix of incredibly accurate historical detail, art and politics that provides a whirlwind ride of a read with stops from World War II-era fascist Italy to the new millennium in 2005.
Author Leslie Epstein’s development of the Amos Prince character is masterful to the extent of being guaranteed to offend and sicken those who do not condone anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The narrator does stick it to Mussolini with brilliant skewering of his bombastic personality contrasted with the verbal agility of Prince. One wishes Prince had really been around to deflate the windbag that was Il Duce.
Another historical entity that figures in the novel is the Hindenburg (“oh, the humanity”) with descriptions of high-ranking Nazis cavorting above the clouds never knowing that both the overblown dirigibles (the Hindenburg and the Nazi party it represents) will end by crashing to the earth in flames.
The excellent plotting and pacing make The Eighth Wonder of the World a fascinating read. The character development is brilliant partly because of the depth of the characters, but also because of the unflinching portrayal of the often despicable actions of people.
If you love history, comedy and verbal acrobatics, The Eighth Wonder of the World is a must-read.