The Eighth Wonder of the World

In 1930, the visionary architect Amos Prince disappears from America, where his wife and two of his children died in a suspicious fire. Six years later, he turns up in Italy, where he promises to build a monument sized to match Mussolini’s ego. In The Eighth Wonder of the World, Leslie Epstein intends Prince to recall the poem-writing nutcase Ezra Pound, which explains both his florid anti-Semitism and his compulsive wordplay — the need to dub a rival ”Frank Lloyd Wrong.” At its best, the novel offers fine riffs on buildings and empire and empire-building and works as a rebuttal to Ayn Rand’s majestically silly Fountainhead. The rest of the time, it’s a stiff pageant where historical figures drift by like parade floats.

The Eighth Wonder of the World
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