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As Flies to Whatless Boys by Robert Antoni

By Robert Antoni

In 1845 London, an engineer, thinker, philanthropist, and bold-faced charlatan, John Adolphus Etzler, has invented machines that he thinks will rework the department of work and loose all males. He types a collective referred to as the Tropical Emigration Society (TES), and recruits quite a few London voters to take his machines and his faulty principles to shape a proto-socialist, utopian neighborhood within the British colony of Trinidad.

Among his recruits is a tender boy (and the book's narrator) named Willy, who falls head-over-heels for the mesmerizing and clever Marguerite Whitechurch. Coming from the gentry, Marguerite is an international clear of Willy's laboring category. because the voyage keeps, and their love for each other strengthens, Willy and Marguerite end up themselves to be actual socialists, their activities and adventures status in stark distinction to Etzler's disconnected theories.

Robert Antoni's tragic ancient novel, accented with West Indian cadence and desirable humor, offers an unforgettable glimpse into nineteenth-century Trinidad & Tobago.

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It was his genius which was being cultivated; it was his taste which set the standards. Beauty didn’t really know anything about music, except for dancing. She liked pretty tunes, but didn’t know why everything had to become so complicated and so noisy. But that was the way Kurt liked it, and that was the way he had it. Now here was another kind of genius, another strange and bewildering art; Beauty listened, and it seemed to her a chaos of sound, going on without any discoverable reason for either starting or stopping.

From watching him rather than from listening, Beauty had come to understand that he was trying to find something to take the place of the war; trying to vent his rage and despair, his love for his own people, his grief at their humiliation and defeat. Watching his face while he played, Beauty lived through her agonies with Marcel, and then those with Kurt, shifting back and forth between the German soul and the French. The composition was supposed to have an orchestral accompaniment; Lanny could read this with his swiftly flying eyes, and would sit with the score and imagine it while Kurt played the piano part.

Lanny saw his father on board the steamer, and gave him messages for the many Budds, and hugged him hard, and then stood on the quay and watched the steamer warped out into the harbor. Waving to the receding figure on the deck he thought: What a wonderful world, what a blessed state, when one can see one’s father off on a comfortable seahotel, and know that neither in the Mediterranean nor in the outside ocean will there be any submarines watching for a chance to send it to the bottom! II Three months had passed since Beauty and Kurt had returned from Spain, and nobody had manifested the least suspicion of or hostility toward a Swiss music-teacher; so gradually peace settled in the woman’s heart, and there began the burgeoning of new impulses toward her fellow-creatures.

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