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Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth

Land of Marvels is set in 1914 Mesopotamia where a naive British archaeologist named Somerville is using his inheritance to excavate a mound called Tell Erdek. He's hoping that his finds there will solidify his reputation and win back the affections of his wife. He's also aware that the Baghdad Railway is under construction and headed his way. He hopes that if he finds Assyrian relics, that the path of the railway will bypass his site. To curry favor with those who might make that happen, he agrees to take on an American geologist named Elliot. He's unaware, though, that the American is prospecting for oil. Set against the background of World War I, the crumbling Ottoman Empire, and the land that will become Iraq, Barry Unsworth's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the London Times saying, "Richly peopled, fast-moving, cleverly plotted, written with economy and elegance, this novel has the satisfying density and sweep of a book twice its length."
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Buy Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth
London Times review
by Peter Parker

Washington Post review
by Jonathan Yardley

The Telegraph review
by Helen Brown

Dallas Morning News review
by David Walton

New York Times review
by Christopher de Bellaigue

BookPage review
by Robert Weibezahl

The Scotsman review
by Allan Massie

Boston Globe review
by Clea Simon review
by Mary Whipple

Seattle Times review
by Tyrone Beason

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
review by Bob Hoover

Barry Unsworth
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