The Adventures of the busts of Eva Peron by Carlos Gamerro

 

THE ADVENTURE OF tBoEP _RGB

The adventures of the busts of Eva Peron by Carlos Gamerro

Argentinean fiction

Original title – La aventura de los bustos de Eva

Translator Ian Barnett

Source – Review copy

Please, holy Eva, will you feed a hungry child?
For I love you–tell Heaven I’m doing my best
I’m praying for you, even though you’re already blessed
Please, mother Eva, will you feed a hungry child?
For I love you–tell Heaven I’m doing my best
I’m praying for you, even though you’re already blessed

CHE
Turn a blind eye, Evita,
Turn a blind eye

I have watched Evita the film once and a book about Eva Peron in a small way maybe need lyrics about her .

Another trip to latin America for spanish lit month ,this time to Argentina . I revisit a writer that I have reviewed twice before on the blog Carlos Gamerro his books Open Secret and The islands  . Like his earlier books this looks again at the past of Argentina and like the other stories it takes a different angle . Carlos Gamerro has written a number of books , he has also translated a number of works into English by writers such as Shakespeare , Auden and Harold Bloom .This is his third book to be translated to English .

Yon know the latest thing they’ve come up with ? They want us to put a bust of Eva Peron in each of our offices .Even in this one !Can you think of anything more absurd ?

Marrone didn’t answer , as he was already mentally totting up the number of busts needed to meet the new demand .eighth floor : the “Vahalla” , the meeting room and two other offices ; seventh floor : nine offices , hallway … The hallways too

The task ma be absurd but Ernesto is up for the task .Like Don Quixote with his absurd tasks .

The book is set in the 1970 the time of the dirty war in Argentina a subject I have touch on before with other books from Argentina I have reviewed on the blog a book like A funny dirty war for example . This as ever being Carlos Gamerro has an angle to it a business magnet has been kidnapped and the people who have kidnapped him have set a task of getting a bust of Eva Peron put in every office of Fausto Tamerlan construction company . Now the man tasked with obtaining the bust is one of Tamerlan underlings Ernesto  Marrone ,here is a man who reads the books on success , books about Don Quixote .In fact to him this is maybe the mission of a knight errand to save the man by getting the maid .This journey takes him through the past to the present from top to bottom of Argentinean society how does a man who is maybe caught in the rat race given the chance to escape and become a hero cope .He has the books but is that all he will need ?

In this very spirit  Cervantes celebrated hero , Don Quixote of La Manche , decides one fine day to turn his back on the meagreness of his material life and the shallowness of the world around him – gutless mediocre folk devoted to traditional ways of doing things , for whom creativity is anathema – and strikes out on the highways in search of adventure .Don Quixote’s gesture encapsulates the adventurous spirit of today’s businessmen

One of the business books that Ernesto likes to read happens to be about Don Quixote using his deeds in the modern business world .

 

There is many echos to me to the great Cervantes and his classic book Don Quixote  in this book, Ernesto like the Don Quixote  likes to read books now given his books aren’t about knight .But the knights of the modern age those business men . We see what in a way would be a good reality show to prove yourself to your boss with the impossible task .Add to that a splatter of history about the time and about the woman herself Eva Peron , her story gets wound up in the story .So  Ernesto is tasked with his modern crusade of getting the busts in place .To the backdrop of the mad seventies in Argentina .

Have you a favourite books about Argentina’s past .

Advertisements

Polaroid by Suso De Toro

 

POLAROID

Polaroid by Suso De Toro

Spanish (Galician) Fiction

Original title – Polaroid

Translator – Jonathan Dunne

Source – review copy

We were strangers.
We were strangers, for way too long, for way too long,
We were strangers, for way too long.
Violent, violent,
Were strangers.

Get weak all the time, may just pass the time,
Me in my own world, and you there beside,
The gaps are enormous, we stare from each side,
We were strangers for way too long.

I remember nothing by Joy division Ian Curtis summed up the world around him ,like Suso De Toro does in this book .

I was contact after a comment on Tony’s post earlier this month for the book the One million crows by Manuel Rivas a writer that I have reviewed myself  twice on the blog . I was contacted by his new publisher who is also his translator Jonathan Dunne who has started a new small press celebrating all Galician fiction , Small Stations is based in Bulgaria ,this is a wonderful example of how fiction in translation in English is becoming a truly Europe wide enterprise .Now Suso De Toro has written over twenty books in Galician , this was his first Adult book and a sensation when it first came out thirty years ago .he is also a journalist and tv scriptwriter he also won the Spanish national literature prize in 2003 for his book Thirteen chimes . I have included this in spanish lit month as i view any lit from spain as well as spanish fiction in the wider sense so also Basque and like this Galician fiction .

In the centre of the picture is a plump , white-haired old woman dressed in mourning , with a colourful shawl around her shoulders. She staring at the camera with a mile . In front of her , she is holding the shoulders of a dark , little girl in a pink dress ,who is also smiling at the camera ,

(You have to move , it’s a video!) is a short piece about a woman making a video but not moving .

Now I was sent four books by Small station and this jumped to the top of the list when I read the synopsis as it had a mention of Raymond Carver and he is a writer that in pre blogging days , I enjoyed . So this is a collection of short and I would say flash fiction glimpses of ordinary lives and strange historic figures out of context Cain and Abel in modern days . This is a flash of the underbelly of the Galician world porn models criminals and wives poisoning there blind husbands . I loved the jumping in and out of worlds in this collection .One of my favourite was a short paragraph of a women making a video but just stood staring at the video camera .Talking camera the books is splattered with actual polarioids that range from the boring to the gory to glimpses of lives .

A blind man with blond hair and dark glasses sits at a table on the pavement in front of a cafe , holding lottery tickets in one hand and a a white stick in the other , with his head and foot marking the rhythm of a song on the cassette player he has on the table .From time to time the waiter , an overweight , swarthy man with sideburns and a white jacket , appears in the doorway of the cafe and watches the world go by with a bored expression .

A blind man but is he the same man blind man in a later story ?

Now there writer himself described this as inspired by punk . To me I was reminded of those post punk bands in fact at times there is a scene in the film Control where they are recording their debut album with Martin Hanett and he says to the drummer play the drums slower but faster ,this is short fiction that is shorter but longer in that case . He isn’t being clever no this is three chords and the truth in writing  . As for the carver yes it is easy to compare them they both use sparse words but with a full punch behind them .This would been huge thirty years ago at the height of Carvers fame and with the punky feel of the book .

Have you read many books from Galicia  ?

Marks of Identity by Juan Goytisolo

 

Marks of Identity by Juan Goytisolo

Spanish fiction

Original title – Sensa de Identitad

Translator – Gregory Rabassa

Source – personnel copy

 

“Paper Planes”

[x2]
I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make ’em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait

[x2]
Sometimes I think sitting on trains
Every stop I get to I’m clocking that game
Everyone’s a winner, we’re making our fame
Bona fide hustler making my name

[x4]
All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)
And (KKKAAAA CHING!)
And take your money

Paper planes by Mia a song about escaping and becoming and Exile was perfect choice for this book .

Well on to book three for spanish lit month and I feel its time to throw a classic into the mix and the second book on this blog by Juan Goytisolo .He is often mentioned as a future Nobel winner , even thou he is quite controversal figure in Spain  as a writer .This is the first in a trilogy of books about exile , Spain and being  Spanish , the other two books Count Julian and Juan the landless I think will be review in the next two Spanish lit months next year and the year after . He is married to Proust cousin and lives in Marrakech , both his siblings are writers as well .

Established in Paris comfortably established in Paris more years of residence in France than in Spain with more french habits than Spanish ones including even the classic on of living with the daughter of a well-known exile a regular resident of the Ville Lumiere  and episodic visitor to his homeland in order to bear parisan witness to aspects of Spanish life …

The opening lines a man who is more French now than Spanish , but Spanish in his heart

Marks of Identity is the story of Alvaro Mendiola . The basic story is he is return in the early 1960’s after spending the years following the Spanish civil war in Exile in France , switzerland and round europe with his wife . He returns to see the world he left behind change , this is the start of the package holiday era and Alvaro see a changed landscape . In which he remembers his past the childhood year before the civil war , his student days what made him and what became his identity is in the roots of his youth .Add to this a number of piece about the history of the time .

While you were passing through the residential and aristocratic section – “modern” or Gaudi mausoleums; the hybrid cross between tomb and a summerhouse – you cast your eyes around for the tomb of the Mendiolas – an exact and prim copy , you remembered , of the pretentious Dumo of Milan .

Alvaro remember in his present , the  places he saw in exile (also it mentions Gaudi as I referenced his build in my review )

Well it all sounds straight forward doesn’t it . But no this  novel is maybe is like that great Spanish church Sagrada familia in Barcelona in fact the city Alvaro is returning to , this book is a mix of styles and even the narrative isn’t straight but more a mosaic of a man’s life-like those great mosaics in the Sagrada . Alvaro’s story has been broken up and is feed to us piece by piece as we build a picture of this man’s life and youth those young years that make the man  and why he choose exile  rather than staying .This is a book about place and the deeper questions that brings to us  , why are we here , where do we belong ? what is our home ? and does time change how we feel about our homeland ? Given that Juan Goytisolo himself has spent most of his life in exile from Spain in Paris , which is the main place Alvaro spends his exile .

Have you a favourite book about exiles ?

 

Uppsala woods by Alvaro Coloomer

UPPSALA WOODS

Uppsala woods by Alvaro Colomer

Spanish fiction

Original title – Los bosques de Upsala

Translator – Jonathan Dunne

Source – review copy

I never realised the lengths I’d have to go,
All the darkest corners of a sense I didn’t know.
Just for one moment, I heard somebody call,
Looked beyond the day in hand, there’s nothing there at all.

Now that I’ve realised how it’s all gone wrong,
Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long.
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway,
Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late.

I chosen the last two verses of 24 by Joy Division as they maybe reflect Ian curtis mind for those of you that don’t know he commit suicide shortly after record the bands second album.

 

Now my second book for this years Spanish lit month is from a Spanish based publisher Hispabooks  whos motto is a great one for Spanish lit month I feel Spanish literature for worldwide readers isn’t this just what this month is about . I have read two books by them and enjoyed them both there is a number on their site to check out .Alvaro Colomer is a journalist reporting on such things as prostitution .this book is the last part of a rough trilogy of urban death . Also according to his spanish wiki page he is a huge Thomas Bernhard fan ( aren’t we all lol ) . This is his first book to be translated into English and I am only a year late in reviewing it .

My wife isn’t hiding under the bed , or behind the shower curtain , or anywhere else in this apartment , but she has left her bag on the coffee table , so te only place she could be is at the neighbour’s house , This old woman who lives in apartment two on the seventh floor .

Julio maybe for the first time glimpse what is to come with Elena here when he arrives home and she isn’t there

Uppsala woods deals with a married couple Julio and Elena . Elena tells her husband she is losing the will to live , she wants to die . This is the story of the days that follow him finding out his wife no long wants to live and how he goes to work every day and pictures coming back to her hanging from the centre of their house which is built-in the shape of the cross . This shows how the Husband tries to stop Elena getting drawn further into the darkness and what do you do when you can’t stop this happening .What happens when he returns on their wedding anniversary and there is no one there it seems ? Why has she suddenly hidden in their closet

All of a sudden three days have gone since my wife sought the confines of the closet . In all this time , we have avoided talking about what happened , letting the television chat in our place and even turning a deaf ear when , on a tabloid talk show , a guest described his grotesque attempt to hang himself using his mother’s pantyhose .

Suicide and mental illness are two of the hardest things to talk about maybe more books like this would make it less of a taboo .

Now I have made this seem doom and gloom , but no this is maybe a spanish cousin to Bernhard Julio is like a Bernhard character in that laconic way of trying to battle his wife’s depression . Julio is a classic Bernhard male in the way he views the world  in terms of black and white .But never quite getting it right he is an entomologist so sees the world maybe to black and white where as Elena is firmly caught in the grey of the world getting drawn ever closer to the Black abyss . I like how he tackled death and Suicide here it is a subject not often touch on in fiction in the right way .As Julio tries to hold on to his wife by holding in safety . Also the allusion to the church in a subtle ways the house being built-in a cross and Elena may die in (or on the cross ) so to speak .Powerful book I hope Hispabook publish the other two books in this trilogy .

Have you a favourite book dealing with mental health ?

 

Spanish Lit month

Well I’m late announcing my Spanish Lit month announcement . Richard announced a few days ago we are doing it again this July for the third time . WE have choosen a short book as the group read . The invention of morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares a book by the great friend of Jorge Luis Borges .

20150625_181506

Well I ve chosen to reuse my first post for spanish lit month for this intro again  I’m excited to see what books every one has chosen but if your still struggling for a book to read for Spanish language lit month ,I ve a few tips here to help my co host richard has done two posts of book lists .the first has 200 books that have been picked on various lists  the second had a further list of 100 plus books from classic to the modern age from spain and latin america .

Right another great port of call is the complete review Michael the guy behind complete review has many more reviews of spanish fiction here  and Latin american fiction here .Mostly modern but it has best selection of Latin american fiction I ve seen .

The site for new Spanish books available to be translated is a great site to see what is happening in Spanish .Nick Caistor and Stefan Tobler advise on here two  people I know are trustworthy .

Then I ll give you five to read from my blog

1.Don Quixote –

This is the head water of all modern european fiction we may think use in the english speaking world got the ball rolling on the novel no its  this book has it all ,meta fiction ,playful story lines ,History and oh the mad don and his faithful friend .2015 I will maybe reread this next spanish lit month in 2016 as that may be the time Terry Gillam has his film of it out or nearer being made .

2 Three trapped tiger G Cabrera Infante

The cuban Ulysses the call it but actually it is very different it has a very cuban feel you can feel a jazz beat as your read about a day in Havana just before the revolution . 2015 A lost classic this one .I have another by him on the blog both worth trying .

3 I the supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos

Another classic of latin american fiction ,the story of a 19th century dictator in latin america echos of the present in the past image ,controlling the media and writing your own history still go on in the present day .2015  One that everyone interested in the dictator fiction

4 Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras

One of my favourite books of recent years ,the dirty war seen through a young boys eyes .It is touching and entertaining  and with a believable child narrator .2015 still a hidden gem !

5 Exiled from almost everywhere by Juan Goytisolo

He is the wonderful master of spanish fiction I ve read a few but this only one since I ve blog a wonderfully wacky tale that maybe needs a wider audience  . As does Juan he may win the Nobel one day soon and if you’ve not read him you’ll kick your self .2015 more exile tales to come this year from the same writer .

Oh and needless to say Borges is a must read anything by him is going make your reading life a little brighter .

Back to 2015

Again I must start my Borges project , I have read a second Goytisolo for this year already the first of his best known  trilogy marks of identity .I have Desire for chocolate by Care Santos a prize winning Spanish novel due out in August . Also a couple of books about the Peron years in Argentina .

What books may you read next month .

 

Spanish lit calling

image

You know I was just talking last night an out Spanish lit month on twitter turned and decide to start Beings a collection of Peruvian short stories I was sent earlier this month .I have a couple of books from Peru on mu blog and one story in this collection is by Cueto who I have reviewed before .Then  if by Chance today in town I was busy shopping and found The invention of morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares second hand which I saw as a sign so I need to chat to richard my cohost and we need choose some books for next month but as you see I have two already do you ever get Book deja vu like finding the Casares today and seeing it as a sign of where to go in you reading ? I for one am a sign reader if I hear something see something and connect to a book I tend to read that book next .

Spanish Lit month 2014 Marquez week

spanish_speaking_countries_flags

Well it has been two years since Richard and I .hosted the first Spanish lit month and now we are back so this July ,join in with all literature translated or written in Spanish .Like last time we have chosen two readalong books the first is Three trapped tiger by Guillermo Cabrera Infante this is Richards Choice ,I will be rereading and rereviewing this one as I had read it and review it a few years ago and Loved it he earns his title as the Cuban Joyce my review

three trapped tigersThe second readalong book is the tie in to Marquez ,as I want the last of the four weeks to be dedicate to books By him and also with influences  from Gabriel Garcia Marquez our second readalong book is News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez .I had promised to do a Marquez week and with recent events it seems a great time to remember one of the biggest stars of the Spanish writing world .

news of a kidnapping

We hope you join in picking some of the great books past and Present written in Spanish .Near the time I will do a post about great books of Spanish and connect to some lists for inspiration for every one .

Lost Luggage by Jordi Punti

Jordi-Punti lost luggage

Lost luggage by Jordi Punti

Spanish fiction

Original title -MALETES PERDUDES

Translator – Julie Wark

Source – review copy

Jordi Punti is one of the rising voices in Catalan literature ,born in 1967 ,he moved to Barcelona to study  philology ,then went to work for a publishing house in Barcelona ,where he has worked translating writers such as Pennac ,Nothomb and Auster .He also writes poetry and in the newspapers regularly as well as novels and short stories .Lost luggage is his first book to be translated to English.

If we’re going to make progress we Christopher’s now need to return to carrer to Napols The first time we four brothers met in Barcelona , incredulous,suspicious and still dumbfounded by the revelations . Cristòfol showed us our fathers Mezzanine flat .

They start on their quest for Gabriel .

Well lost luggage as a title has a double meaning, the first comes from the main figure in the book. Gabriel a truck driver ,he was an orphan and went into trucking with his two friends he knew growing up ,after he left the orphanage .They literally on every trip the took in the truck around Europe, lost luggage  a box  Would disappear and the three friends divide them up all this was during the reign of Franco in Spain dark days indeed .The second meaning is lost luggage is what Gabriel left behind ,this is how we are introduced to him via his first son  Cristòfol the Spanish son and until this point when contact by the police that his father has gone missing ,he hadn’t seen him in 20 years ,he doesn’t know him to well has disappeared .This leads him to met three other  men called Christof, Christophe and  Christopher ,they are his half brothers his father had whilst trucking  .And are from Great Britain , France and Germany .So they meet not til this point,they were  unaware  of one another’s existence to this point  .All the more than they only have  slim facts from  their  respective mothers told them about Gabriel so the go on a quest to find him and learn about him .Along the way they become the Christopher’s like one and did his father ever got to Italy ? all this and more we find out .

Gabriel had learned to pace his relationship with his three equidistant women and three sons and ,like a good plate spinner ,he seemed to keep his cool .Of course ,the rules of the game were in his favour :he had his base camp in Barcelona ,where he lead a bachelor’s existence and ,thanks to removal work ,went to visit his famlies from time to time .

Gabriel described as plate spinner sounds right not easy what he did .

Well this book when it arrived reads like a headline from one of those women magazine” shock horror I discover my three half brothers with the same name “

the sort of thing you think oh no. I don’t want to read that .But no this is not that it is funny ,dark and at heart of this book is about how a moment of discovery can change the course of four lives for ever .We also get to the bottom of what motivate Gabriel to have these four children and why have they all got the same name ?Why did he run away from them ? Under all is the meaning of being lost whether boxes ,sons ,father ,mothers and living under Franco .Not overtly political we sense the wrongs of Franco regime .Punti as a Catalan a language that until after Franco wasn’t taught .This book is hard tom place in the cannon of Spanish fiction I ve read I think I need to read Monzo another Catalan writer to compare him too ,Like one of my favourite Spanish writers the Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga ,Punti shows how different the writing can be in Spain Catalan is language that developed separately to Spanish and one that seems to have a strong voice in its fiction if this book is anything to go out .

Ways of going home by Alejandro Zambra

ways of going home by Alenjandro Zambra

Ways of going home by Alejandro Zambra

Chilean fiction

Original title Formas de volver a casa,

Translator – Megan McDowell

Source Review copy

I have read him before Kim from reading matters sent me The private lives of trees a couple of years ago ,I read it but never review it so with Spanish lit month  in July I decided to review this now and The private lives of trees .Alejandro Zambra is a Chilean born writer he studied in Chile  a degree in Hispanic languages  ,and currently teaches in Santiago and contributes to magazines and papers in Chile his first novel was describe stunningly as “The publication of Bonsai … marked a kind of bloodletting in Chilean literature. It was said (or argued) that it represented the end of an era, or the beginning of another, in the nation’s letters” in El Mercurio .

THE NIGHT OF THE EARTHQUAKE I WAS SCARED

But I also, in a way enjoyed what was happening .

In the front yard one of the house ,the adults put up two tents for the children to sleep in ,and at first it was chaos because we all want to sleep in the one that looked like an igloo

As I said halves scared /but enjoyed

SO we get to ways of going home it is one of those short novellas that seem much longer and deeper after you have put it down if you know what I mean .It’s a book of memory and halves .The book is in two section we meet a young boy in the dark days of Pinochet’ s regime ,but our narrator has a fairly normal life as it appears to him in fact if anything slightly boring ,but then there is an earthquake and almost like the Shibbolth artwork (the crack in the floor of the turbine hall of Tate modern Doris Salcedo a fellow Latin american ),out of this crack  of the earthquake appears Claudia a slightly older girl than him, we  sense our narrators immediate attraction and liking of this girl as he spies on her from afar but getting closer  ,they get to know one another and she gets him to look at her uncle to she what he is up to.No as quickly as she appears, no sooner  has her and her family disappeared from his life but he never forgets her  ,til they meet in adult life  ,he is full of remorse for the violence of the Pinochet years and how him and his family didn’t do a lot ,Claudia family did that is why she went ,find out how these two getting together changes our narrators life for ever .Also what really happened during those years though unspoken at times is always lurking in the background .

When I was a child I liked the word Blackout .My mother would come and get us and bring us into the living room.”In the past,people didn’t have electricity “, she would say as she lit the candles .It was hard to imagine a world without lamps , without outlets in the wall .

As an adult remembering the past .

I said this is a book of memories our narrator rather like my self ,ok I didn’t have a violent dictatorship ,but had a bad divorce of my parents a step father I didn’t get on with and a being clumsy skin and tall was a target for bullying .But now as I look back on my younger years these events thou there are second place to family holidays ,evening spent with friends ,day trips in fact all the best bits .I feel this is our narrators problem his is the reverse as a child to him it all seemed wonderful he almost blanked out the bad parts ,til they reappeared in adulthood .I also said halves well-being young /being old ,being safe /having to run ,being quiet like the narrators parents / speaking out like Claudia’s  parents ,moving on /not forgetting.Also the shadow of the dark days of being Chilean in the 80’s looms large in the background   .Zambra is a writer of true  style in fact that sparse writing style that yet seems fuller ,like Carver did in his short stories the novella has been worked to a delicate lace of words that thou fragile and thin is truly beautiful .

Have you read Zambra ?

Do you have a favourite Chilean writer ?

The dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa

dream of the Celt Mario Vargas Llosa

The dream of the Celt  by Mario Vargas Llosa

Peruvian Fiction

Translator – Edith Grossman

Original Title -El sueño del celta

Source Library

Just other two yyears ago after he had won the Nobel prize for Literature I reviewed his novel the bad Girl which I enjoyed ,this is his latest book published in Spanish in 2010 ,this translation was published last Year and done by the Wonderful Edith Grossman .Mario Vargas is easily the most well known name from Peruvian fiction this book is his 15th novel in a career that dates back to 1959 and the start of the Latin American Boom .

When in Liverpool with his cousins ,Roger sometimes conquered his timidity and Asked Uncle Edward about Africa ,a vontinent whose mere mention filled his head with Jungles ,wild animals and interpid men .

The first time we see the draw of Africa on Roger Casement

This book focus on the well Known Irish nationalist figure Sir Roger Casement ,I say well-known before I read the book I knew he was associated with Ireland had been executed by the british and he was part of some sort of scandal .So to the book Yes Roger Casement was from Ireland and the book takes you through his youth there then to time spent in Africa ,Peru and the amazon basin then back to Ireland .The book is about a man’s journey  Form Idealist , British Diplomat to Disillusioned ,humanitarian and Irish freedom Fighter .We see  this youth In Ballymena (just thought mention this it isn’t a large part but my step mother is also from this town in Northern Ireland ) he is a quiet and quite shy young man growing up much different to the figure he later became ,Then in his late teens  joining the British government as a diplomat . Where he ends up being sent to Congo ,where he see the horrors of the dying embers of the slave traders and How the white Europeans treat the natives ,whilst in Congo he meet two well-known figures in History ,the Explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley and the Novelist Joseph Conrad .Then he is sent to sort out and report back on a dispute in Peru involving the Local tribes of Indians Seven in all and The rubber company .The Indians have decided they need more rights ,because we see people whip and mistreated for not following the company lines or doing what was expected .Following all this he returns to Ireland where his views on his own home land and nation have changed radically and he ends up on the Gaol waiting to be killed  .Well  a lot as you see ,oh and he was gay and tend to like younger men than himself (rather well handle by Llosa it is easy to make this the main theme of the book ,which it could but this is a book on the wrongs of Empire really ) at a time when this was against the law .

O what has made that sudden noise?
What on the threshold stands?
It never crossed the sea because
John Bull and the sea are friends;
But this is not the old sea
Nor this the old seashore.
What gave that roar of mockery,
That roar in the sea’s roar?

The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

John Bull has stood for Parliament,
A dog must have his day,
The country thinks no end of him,
For he knows how to say,
At a beanfeast or a banquet,
That all must hang their trust
Upon the British Empire,
Upon the Church of Christ.

The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

Instead of a second quote I choose to put two verse of the W B yeats poem about Casement which is also quoted in the book

So I suppose like me reading this book on the blurb , the first name that came to mind with this book Is Conrad ,Yes it is similar settings but this is more a view of the natives downfall through a European eyes that Conrad’s books are ,I was also reminded of the recent novels by Bernardo  Atxaga  seven house in France  which I review  here and other book dealing with  the horrors in the Congo at roughly the same time as this book .Another book Ithat sprung to mind was the last but one book by Juan Gabriel Vasquez which I also reviewed on here The secret history of Costaguana another book which set in Latin america and based on a Conrad novel .Vargas has tried to show through one man the wrongs of empire and also how empires are able to fall .The horror of the treatment the locals around the world is eye-opening to you as a reader ,but also to Casement and lead him down a new path seeing these horrors .

Have you read this book ?

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

%d bloggers like this: