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From the Publisher"Oscar Wilde once quipped that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. Amen to that, says Blood of Paradise, David Corbett's powerful and deeply unsettling novel of Americans attempting to navigate the perilous waters of post-civil-war El Salvador. . . . Though Corbett's novel is as fast-paced as a political thriller and as blood-drenched as a Quentin Tarantino opus at its twisted best (or worst), his aspirations extend far beyond a place on this summer's beach reading list. In a concluding coda labeled "Dossier," the author writes that he drew several themes of the book from Sophocles' "Philoctetes," in which the son of Achilles is corrupted by a cunning Odysseus. And Blood of Paradise is a novel with a political viewpoint. The Dossier is subtitled "From Troy to Baghdad [Via El Salvador]." To those Bush administration officials who have proposed that El Salvador's movement from armed struggle to elections can serve as a model for Iraq, Corbett's Central American tableau responds with "God help us." . . . The plot is complex, multilayered, at times vertiginous. . . . With all of that, the central character of this tale is the land in which it unfolds . . . Corbett writes knowingly and often lyrically of what El Salvador looks, sounds and feels like: its heat, its plants and animals, its foods, its beaches and lagunas. . . . There were times when character development defered to the hurtling plotline and political message. But that has also been true of John le Carre's more recent and ideologically loaded fiction, such as The Constant Gardener, or of Robert Stone's Damascus Gate. Yet I found those books riveting, and Blood of Paradise should feel at home in their company."
—Dennis Riordan, San Francisco Chronicle
"This is, above all, a serious novel. Serious, of course, is not always good. Serious can be deadly dull. But seriousness, when combined with moral concern and novelistic talent, can produce outstanding fiction. A number of writers . . . provided advance praise for the novel, and some compared it to works by Graham Greene and Robert Stone that have also explored Americans caught up in troubling events in distant lands. The comparisons are apt. I would say of Blood of Paradise what I said of Done for a Dime: If you accept its politics, if you don't find it too dark or disturbing, it's an example of the best in contemporary crime fiction—or, if I may be so bold, in contemporary fiction, period."
—Patrick Anderson, Washington Post