Allen & Unwin
Published by
Allen & Unwin (2019-07)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language
Historical adventure fiction


by Bartulin, Lenny

"The perfect jewel of epic brevity", this historical fiction is an ambitious and sweeping novel set across the world between 1806 and 1916. We follow six characters in alternating chapters in a thrilling tale of adventure told across centuries and continents.

Lenny Bartulin's remarkable new novel Fortune is an historical novel like no other. Opening on the day in 1806 when victorious Napoleon rides into conquered Berlin, and ending on the Western Front in 1916, this is a perfect jewel of epic brevity, a rollicking adventure set over a century and across continents, a love story for the ages, a meditation on fate and history and a very abbreviated history of crime and punishment in the Antipodes. It is unique and a thing of wonder.

History is fractal. Zoom out, and you see grand themes, mass movements, stirring oratory, and profound ideas. Zoom in, and it is countless individual acts and choices, smaller moments that often seem to be just footnotes, but are, on closer inspection,
immensely revealing. Lenny Bartulin's new novel zooms in on a single moment - the 27th October, 1806 - when a triumphant Napoleon rides into the newly-conquered Berlin on a white horse, and then zooms out again to follow the progress of a small
band of individuals whose paths cross on that momentous day.

What follows is an act of huge ambition - in terms of historical and geographic sweep, the narrative moves us forward to World War I and covers people, places and events in Europe, Latin America and the Antipodes - and intense concision, since the manuscript is only 180-odd pages long. This is a thrilling tale of adventure told across across centuries and continents. It is also a distilled meditation on the chance that guides individual and collective human fates.

LENNY BARTULIN is the author of the Jack Susko trilogy, a published poet and the author of Infamy (2013). Born and bred in Hobart before living in Sydney for many years, Lenny has returned to Hobart and works part?time at The Hobart Bookshop.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk


Full of action, humour and unexpected connections.

Review: The Advertiser

Those who love epic narratives, intrigue and detailed historical writing will find a lot to enjoy here.

Review: Books + Publishing

Full of energy and confidence.

Review: The Sydney Morning Herald

Fortune is a supremely entertaining novel - witty, gripping and endlessly surprising - told with great energy and charm. Lenny's great talent is showing that even if the great upheavals of history are usually set in motion by famous individuals, it is those lost to history who are left to pick up the pieces and find their way through the ensuing chaos.

Quote: Chris Womersley, author of Bereft and City of Crows

A thrilling tale of adventure told across centuries and continents... It made me laugh and cry and swear with astonishment. It is savage and nihilistic, wise and kind, never less than gripping, and it is over far sooner than you want it to be. And every line is marked with the author's unmistakable stylistic signature: somewhere between Roger Federer at the net and Mick Jagger's rooster strut.

Quote: Geordie Williamson, Chief Literary Critic, The Australian

I was enthralled by the historical puzzle, gripped by the character connections and disappointments (so tantalisingly close at times) and entertained by the colour and thrilling pace of Lenny Bartulin's storytelling.

Review: Booklovers Book Reviews

Throughout this epic novel, Bartulin shows himself to be an exceptionally strong wordsmith. He quips with wise little aphorisms... His sentences are taut, detailed and hyper-efficient, and he uses them to remind us of some important, timeless truths about the way of the heart.

Review: The Weekend Australian

USA: Skyhorse

Quote: Alln & Unwin

Fortune careens across history's epochs in the same way it gallops from continent to continent, its characters traversing a stage from Napoleonic Prussia to South America and Van Diemen's Land. It's an audacious, brilliantly crafted take on history - a novel about the past like no other. It draws your breath in the same way as if you'd witnessed a jigsaw puzzle tossed and scattered into the air only to have its pieces land on the ground in perfect unity.

Review: Guadian Australia

He shuffles the overlapping lives of characters as if they are cards in a deck of infinite possibility and combination, thus exposing their selfless acts and darkest secrets.

Review: Australian Book Review

Sparkling, witty, fast-paced and a joy to read.

Review: The Daily Telegraph

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