Preface History and Chapter 1
• The atomic century begins 1900-1905, and various discoveries are made concerning the nature of matter. World War I begins in 1914, and ends after four years with ten million casualties.
• Gunther is introduced as a German soldier, visiting Rome in 1941. He is large for his age but immature, and preparing for a deployment to Africa, about which he is apprehensive.
• Gunther wanders the streets of Rome, feeling homesick, scared and excited about his upcoming deployment. He happens upon a tavern, while searching for a brothel.
• When Gunther enters Remo's tavern, he is treated with distrust, which makes him belligerent. He doesn't eat, gets drunk, and confronts a woman, who is terrified of him.
• Ida Mancuso is introduced. She is a timid 37-year-old elementary school teacher. Ida was an only child, and her mother was part Jewish but changed her name to hide it.
This section contains 4,617 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)