"The Dark Angel" by Mika Waltari
This is a favorite passage from "The Dark Angel" by Mika Waltari. The narrative takes place during the seige of Byzantine Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Check out the large size photo view so you can better read the text that I’ve posted.
Waltari, who is known in the US for his historical fiction (bestsellers in the 1950s), is a favorite author. The hero who bumbles into it is his usual MO, and he does it with wonderful color. Waltari is Finnish. The translator of this (and most of Waltari's books in English) is Naomi Walford. She does a terrific job conveying the mix of seriousness and ironic humor.
This PB is in bad shape... falling apart. I have a HC of the book somewhere, but can't find it.
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
If you read the next paragraph, it will give away one of the best things about the passages I posted in the photo...
In these pages from "The Dark Angel"... What a powerful buildup to explode in despair - not that there may be oblivion rather than the afterlife we're taught to believe in - but that, with his certainty that there is an afterlife, the main character is in despair that there is no oblivion! Whew! Great stuff...