Four revolutionaries — a student, a baron, a soldier, and a poet —
are imprisoned in an desolate island fortress. On the eve of their
execution, the prison governor offers to spare their lives if any one of
them will reveal the identity of their leader, a court figure known only
as God the Father
. Left for their final night with a fifth prisoner,
a notorious brigand, each of the four tells a story about his life.
But are these tales told for themselves, for their fellow prisoners,
or as part of a broader plan? Who is deceiving whom?
Both the framing story and the four sub-stories of Night's Lies
(Le menzogne della notte) are effectively fables. The characters are
intriguing but at the same time distant, while the historical setting
and the slightly archaic language help to maintain a certain detachment.
But the evocation of atmosphere and setting is superb and the narrative is
totally compelling, never the least bit contrived or forced. While the
plot might not withstand close inspection, nothing ever prompts that,
and the final twists follow one another in dramatic crescendo.
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