The Malta Independent 20 April 2024, Saturday
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Kapitali: welcome to the real new way of doing politics

Friday, 10 November 2017, 14:21 Last update: about 7 years ago

Welcome to the real new way of doing politics. Meet two young Members of Parliament: one a lawyer from a "noble" dynasty in the PN, with a history of family MPs on the 10th district and the other a Labour doctor who climbed his way out of a difficult childhood in the south.

What they don't know is that both their paths have been laid out by a chess-playing hidden hand. At the right time, the hand strikes, pulls the strings and both politicians become its puppets.

Kapitali is a political novel by Wayne Flask, author of the 2015 theatrical production Sibna ż-żejt! that caused a stir at the Manoel Theatre.

In his first novel Flask takes a satirical - and rather worrying - look at Maltese politics through the life and voices of his two fictional protagonists Daniel Borg, the Labour MP, and Robert Rutter Miceli, the Nationalist MP.

We follow how they climbed the political ladder, the compromises they made (or did not make), and the skeletons in the cupboard which would promptly kill their political career if they had to be made public. It's a grand tour of Maltese politics: from Renzo Piano's new parliament to the office of Joseph Muscat and the corridors of the Dar Ċentrali.

Flask's pen power lies in his humour. Basically, he spares no one and nothing: from politicians, to Mepa, to contractors and even the pre-election rallies under tents. But it is the hilarious blend of his fictional characters with the real ones, MPs, journalists, television personalities we see every day, which makes for the most compelling reading.

One of the first readers of Kapitali, cultural journalist Ramona Depares, said: "You read, you get to know the characters and you laugh out loud. Until ... you realise that neither the characters nor the story are very improbable and then the laughter turns to concern." Is the book fact or fiction? she asks. According to Depares, Flask fuses both, leaving the reader short of breath right up to the astounding gran finale.   

The Sunday Times of Malta columnist Claire Bonello believes that Flask's fictional tale may be closer to the truth than we ought to wish. "In Kapitali we can see the other side of the story - that of political jackpots and how the winners and the leaders are truly chosen," she said. She describes Flask's story as "maybe more true than the truth we think we know".

By way of honouring the two Kapitali narrators from opposite political camps, the book has been published with two covers - one red and one blue. Readers can opt for the colour they feel most comfortable with. 

'Kapitali' is a Merlin Publishers publication and is on sale from all bookshops, from the Merlin stand at the Book Festival or directly online from www.merlinpublishers.com


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