Books: Fast Shuffle

TORQUEMADA by Howard Fast 192 pages. Doubleday. $3 95.

In Torquemada, Howard Fast has reached back 500 years to compose a bitter fictional parable about one of the most detested figures in the history of man or of man's religion—the Dominican Friar Thomas de Torquemada, Prior of Segovia and Grand Inquisitor of Spain. Or so it seems. A parable illuminates a complexity with a single truth. Fast's is a terrible, simple tale which raises more complex questions than it provides simple answers for.

Friar Thomas and his boyhood friend Don Alvero de Rafel ride from Segovia to Seville at the summons of Ferdinand...

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