After The Water Level Rose
SKU: 9780578369105

"After the Water Level Rose", a collection of seven short novels ("novellas") is the fourth fiction book published by Joan Gil, an American author born in Barcelona (Catalonia). His previous full-length fiction works were Laia's Takeover, Drama in the Upper East Side and the historic All Hail King Ramir, based on a XII Century Christian monk in a small Iberian kingdom who refused to be king.
The present book is named after the first story describing life and problems in a coastal city in the XXII Century, where many streets have been flooded by the rising sea level as a result of the climate change. Duckboats are needed to reach the dry neighborhoods, which are invaded by a multitude of refugees. The rest of stories offer a wide realistic view of some problems faced by good people whose situation and emotions are in conflict with demands of their social surroundings. Some of these personages will be able to express their feelings and frustrations in the XIX Century Germany, they will try to survive a dangerous liaison in an office, they will ponder the circumstances of a strange murder in a small rural town. The readers will also have an opportunity to judge the steps taken by an unfortunate cripple to break out of social isolation and relive the conquest of Barcelona by a fascist regime at the end of the Civil War in 1939, as well as the cruelty descended on a non-political couple as a consequence. In its basic elements, it is a true story.
Last but certainly not least, the final narration is an account of how an unnoticed spaceship from a far-away planet discovered the Earth without being noticed and undertook a study of mankind and of our terrestrial arrangements. Did they get everything right?
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All Hail King Ramir
SKU: 9781543954531

Alphonse the Battler, the greatest known warrior of his time and sovereign of all peninsular Christian kingdoms except Catalonia, orders his young and beloved brother Ramir to leave the monastery and join him in the siege of Saragossa. This wealthy moorish kingdom in the north of the peninsula has been taken over by the Almoravids, a fanatic jihadist muslim nation from North Africa and is threatening to cross the Pyrenees (as it had happened once before, a century earlier) and march toward Rome. Crusaders from all Europa are joining Alphonse. On the way Ramir understands and sees for the first time the cruelty and horror of war. He meets the Duke William of Aquitaine (his future father-in-law) known as the King of Troubadors, a licentious, conceited and dangerous man (and a singer-poet) and witnesses Alphonse's victory. Ramir is a humble lonely monk who cannot handle his high position. The king encourages him to travel to Aquitaine. The Duke might have a daughter for Ramir, who is recognized by everybody as Alphonse's heir apparent. Alphonse seems to encourage him to have children. In Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine, the young man is seduced by the young Princess Agnes but Ramir runs away in horror when terrible scandals resulting from the public debauchery, alcoholism and recklessness of the Duke arise. Next he visits Burgos, main city of northern Castile, where his brother King Alphonse rules as husband of Queen Urraca. He expects to sire a heir to all his kingdoms, but Urraca has already a child from here first marriage. it becomes evident that he is known to be homosexual and that the Queen mocks and insults him. Alphonse hits and puts the Queen in prison. Again disappointed by the vanity, troubles and unchristian contradictions of the world, Ramir definitively chooses priesthood and life as a monk. Alphonse understands that he is not going to have a successor and Queen Urraca succeeds in dissolving their marriage and removing him from Castile. Alphonse was an invincible warrior but he finally falls into a trap and is mortally wounded by the Almoravids. In his last will, he leaves his kingdoms to God and the Virgin Mary. The kingdoms of Aragon and Navarre become very unsettled. Ramir clearly does not want the crown and he had never been trained for it. Many electors are reluctant to choose a Bishop as king. Finally the crown of Aragon is literally forced upon Ramir for lack of alternatives but Navarre, the land of the basques, severs her long union with Aragon. Ramir immediately faces a feudal uprising and is upset by the killings and feudal intrigues. He attempts to establish trade relations with the muslims but is not willing to continue his brother's war. Realizing that a heir is needed, he marries his old flame Agnes of Aquitaine, already a widow with sons, but Ramir writes that he does it not do it to satisfy "carnal desires" but only to sire a son. He is disappointed when Agnes brings to the world Peronella, a baby girl. Ramir and his advisors clearly recognize that the kingdom is breaking down in disarray and that something needs to be done. At this time, Ramir performs the diplomatic master stroke of the Iberian Middle Ages. He plights his one or two year old daughter Peronella to Count Ramon Berenguer of Barcelona, who rules Catalonia (the old Marca Hispanica of Emperor Charlemagne). He will abdicate immediately in Peronella's favor and the Count will take over with full irrevocable authority his entire kingdom. The Count, a young and dashing man with an excellent military record, rejects the royal crown born by his betrothed wife Peronella (whom she will marry in Lleida at the age of 14) and starts signing documents as "Count of the Barceloneans and Prince of the Aragonese). Aragon and Catalonia had been united under a single king but preserving separate Parliaments, laws and languages. Pleased with his solution, Ramir resumes life in his old monastery while Agnes returns to Aquitaine.
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Drama In The Upper East Side
SKU: 9781983238703

This novel deals with the lives of two brothers born in raised in Manhattan´s Upper East Side, near Central Park. Mike, the older, is married and has a daughter. He is a failed small employee who lives with his family under dire, hopeless financial circumstances. Tom, the younger brother, is a Catholic priest regarded by the entire family as its head and final resource. Both brothers will be tested by a fantasy creature representing DESTINY in human form, who is cruel, inflexible, reckless and overwhelmingly powerful, except when it chooses not to be. Destiny wishes to force the brothers to prove their real mettle. Father Tom is forced to contemplate the suicide for unknown reasons of his single niece and given information about the place, day and precise time where it will take place, but not about the cause. He has exactly three days to prevent it. His ordeal will be trying, but Tom will gain insights into his life, character and social function as well as about the nature of human relations.
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Laia's Takeover
SKU: 9781981083923

Robert Jensen is a successful lawyer who lives tortured by the memory of a horrible family tragedy, for which he feels responsible. Laia Gendrau is the young heiress and single daughter of Archibald Gendrau, an immensely wealthy and famous man. He is worried that his daughter will fall victim to a golddigger and wants Laia to join his company and stay under his surveillance, but Laia prefers to start an independent new life as a teacher in Philadelphia under an assumed name, without breaking relations with her father. She meets falls in love with Robert, but she must overcome enormous difficulties. Robert is emotionally scarred, misogynous, insecure in his relations with women, has weak social skills and is unwilling to discuss the family tragedy or accept help. Laia will have to fight hard to achieve her objectives and marry Robert, but she knows what she wants. She ends straightening the problem of her beloved Robert and becoming her father's successor on her terms.
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