Q by Luther Blissett Arrow $115 The first thing to note about this book is that the former Watford and AC Milan footballer Luther Blissett didn't write it. For years, Italian leftwing activists have been using this nom de plume as a kind of 'revenge on stupidity' (Blissett, the first black footballer to play in Italy, was the target for racist jokes during his season there). The authors - a postman, a bouncer, a librarian and a social worker - wrote the book as a co-operative project. With 650 pages of overwritten prose, it's clear no one author could maintain this level of intensity. Set in the 16th-century German reformation, the story is narrated by a 'survivor', a man of many names who reappears in all the hotspots in the second half of the century. If you can stick with it through the disjointed first half, the book settles down into a more readable narrative.