God Carlos

God Carlos

by Anthony C. Winkler
     
 

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A Finalist for the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction!

God Carlos has been long-listed for the OMC Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in Trinidad.

"A gusty, boisterous, and entertaining slice of historical fiction. In scenes of a mixture of pride, madness, and comedy, Carlos plays out his role as deity among the naked islanders, living a fantasy…  See more details below

Overview

A Finalist for the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction!

God Carlos has been long-listed for the OMC Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in Trinidad.

"A gusty, boisterous, and entertaining slice of historical fiction. In scenes of a mixture of pride, madness, and comedy, Carlos plays out his role as deity among the naked islanders, living a fantasy that most readers will find believable, if horrific. Along with the horror, the book does offer some beautiful moments of discovery, as when, as Winkler narrates, the ship takes the Mona Passage to Jamaica...we hear of an Edenic island, green and aromatic, opened like a wildflower. For all of its scenes of braggadocio and brutality, the book often works on you like that vision."
--Alan Cheuse, NPR, All Things Considered

"Readers are transported to Jamaica, into Winkler's richly invented 16th century, where his flawless prose paints their slice of time, in turn both brutally graphic and lyrically gorgeous. Comic, tragic, bawdy, sad, and provocative, this is a thoroughly engaging adventure story from a renowned Jamaican author, sure to enchant readers who treasure a fabulous tale exquisitely rendered."
--Library Journal

"A tale of the frequently tragic--and also comic--clash of races and religions brought on by colonization...Anthony Winkler spins an enlightened parable, rich in historical detail and irony."
--Shelf Awareness

"Darkly irreverent...With a sharp tongue, Winkler, a native of Jamaica, deftly imbues this blackly funny satire with an exposé of colonialism's avarice and futility."
--Publishers Weekly

"With perceptive storytelling and bracing honesty, Mr. Winkler, author of a half-dozen well-reviewed books, has a lovely way of telling a good story and educating concurrently...God Carlos teaches history in a subtle but meaningful way. Too literary to be lumped in with typical historical fiction, and too historical to be lumped in with typical literary fiction, God Carlos defies categorization."
--New York Journal of Books

"God Carlos provides a welcome opportunity to glimpse...the lives of ordinary people, both European and Caribbean, as they experience the calamitous effects of the encounter of two worlds."
--Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language,&Culture

"The author's piercing narrative drives home...Here, Winkler's brilliance as a storyteller is unmistakable...God Carlos is a literary tour de force--atmospheric and incisive. It effuses raw emotion--perplexing, bewildering, and dark...On multiple levels, Winkler proves his salt as a genuine raconteur...the architect of an invaluable literary work."
--The Jamaica Gleaner

"Well-written...Winkler's descriptions of sea and sky as seen from a sailing ship, and of the physical beauty of Jamaica, are spot-on and breathtaking."
--Historical Novel Review

"In God Carlos and The Family Mansion, Anthony Winkler, the master storyteller, has provided us with texts of both narrative quality and historical substance that should find place in the annals of Caribbean literature."
--SX Salon

God Carlos transports us to a voyage aboard the Santa Inez, a Spanish sailing vessel bound for the newly discovered West Indies with a fortune-seeking band of ragtag sailors. She is an unusual explorer for her day, carrying no provisions for the settlers, no seed for planting crops, manned by vain, arrogant men looking for gold in Jamaica.

Expecting to make landfall in paradise after over a month at sea, the crew of the Santa Inez instead find themselves in the middle of a timid, innocent people--the Arawaks--who walk around stark naked without embarrassment and who venerate their own customs and worship their own Gods and creeds. The European newcomers do not find gold, only the merciless climate that nourishes diseases that slaughter them. That the Arawaks believed that the arrivals were from heaven makes even more complicated this impossible entanglement of culture, custom, and beliefs, ultimately leading to mutual doom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The protagonist of Winkler's darkly irreverent new novel (after Dog War) is a 16th-century Spanish sailor named Carlos, cursed with a "misshapen" face, "gnomic" features, and a "voracious appetite for slaughter." Despite his physical and intellectual shortcomings, the "instinctively submissive" Carlos has long entertained a "dream of being godlike." An opportunity to fulfill his heretical fantasy arises when he is offered passage on the Santa Inez, a ship bound for Jamaica, where, a fellow sailor informs him, the natives "were exceedingly friendly with their visitors from overseas, whom they regarded as gods." Once the ship arrives, "unannounced like a thief," the "merciless" crewmembers slay the native Arawak men and rape the women, yet Carlos nevertheless manages to find a believer in the young, impressionable, Orocobix, who kneels before "God Carlos," and watches as his idol engages in many of the same activities as his countrymen, "such as eating, sleeping, and relieving themselves." Though the sailor revels in his newfound deism, one devotee may not be enough to save Carlos from the consequences of his vanity. With a sharp tongue, Winkler, a native of Jamaica, deftly imbues this blackly funny satire with an exposé of colonialism's avarice and futility. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Set in the sixteenth century, Winkler's latest novel is something like Heart of Darkness meets Animal Farm. But what happens when Jamaica's most flamboyantly irreverent and fiercely contemporary novelist tackles the past? Why, the past becomes flamboyantly irreverent and fiercely contemporary. Winkler's achievement here is not that he remakes himself as a historical writer, but that he remakes history."
--Kei Miller, author of The Last Warner Woman

"Winkler is renowned in the West Indies for his comic genius. In God Carlos, he undertakes the formidable task of imagining the region's damaged history--unwritten and seemingly unreachable--with such ease and insight that we find ourselves transported to sixteenth-century Jamaica, as we watch the story unfold before our eyes."
--Robert Antoni, author of Carnival

"A vivid and powerful account of the tragedy unleashed upon the native peoples of the Caribbean in the years following the arrival of Christopher Columbus."
--Jaime Manrique, author of Cervantes Street

"Winkler never glosses over Jamaican deprivation, prejudice, and violence, yet the love of language--and the language of love--somehow conquers all. It's almost as if P.G. Wodehouse had strolled into the world of Bob Marley...Winkler's fiction magics the island into a place of rough-edged enchantment."
--The Independent (UK)

"Every country (if she's lucky) gets the Mark Twain she deserves, and Winkler is ours."
--Marlon James, author of The Book of Night Women

"Winkler has a fine ear for patois and dialogue, and a love of language that makes bawdy jokes crackle."
--The New Yorker

Library Journal
Bound for the West Indies, the Santa Inez crew sets off in much the same direction as their predecessor, Christopher Columbus. The ragtag group of arrogant men aboard her head for the New World for little reason beyond personal gain and glory, with no intention of colonizing and showing no regard for the rights or concerns of the peaceful Arawak native settlers they encounter when they arrive. Readers are transported along with them to Jamaica, into Winkler's richly invented 16th century, where his flawless prose paints their slice of time, in turn both brutally graphic and lyrically gorgeous. VERDICT Comic, tragic, bawdy, sad, and provocative, this is a thoroughly engaging adventure story from renowned Jamaican author Winkler (The Guppy), sure to enchant readers who treasure a fabulous tale exquisitely rendered.—Joyce J. Townsend, Pittsburg, CA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617751417
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
200
File size:
828 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

GOD CARLOS


By ANTHONY C. WINKLER

Akashic Books

Copyright © 2012 Anthony Winkler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-61775-139-4


Chapter One

He was a short brown man who lived in a world some believed was flat while he himself was adamant that it was round. Standing half naked in the gloomy candlelit room, his pantaloons crumpled on the floor, he was explaining his reasoning as to why the world could not be flat to the plump naked whore awaiting him on the sagging wooden bed.

The whore was not interested in the shape of the world or his opinions about it, but by encouraging him to talk she bought time to massage his short, thick cock with the palm oil coated on her thumb and forefinger, making him easier to take. Wise to the ways of men like him, she knew that they took pleasure in hurting her.

As he ranted on passionately about why the world could not be flat, she pretended to listen while she slowly worked the palm oil into the knobby engorged head. He shuddered once as she did this, and she quickly stopped her massaging, knowing that if he discharged now, he would not want to pay her.

"It can't be flat!" he exclaimed, as she pulled him firmly by the cock toward the pink vulva gaping obscenely between her legs.

"No?" she mumbled uncaring, her focus on slipping the thick cock inside her without too much discomfort. She spread her legs wide open, placed both hands on his naked butttocks, and with a powerful thrust, stabbed him inside her with a groan.

He stopped talking about the flat earth and began a vigorous thrusting. He had not had a woman in months, and the fluids that were dammed up inside him had begun to vaporize and affect his head with poisonous humors. He believed that if he left any of them inside him he could develop a fever and possibly get sick, even die. What he was doing to the whore, and what the whore was doing to him was, in his mind, a beneficial draining.

He plunged into her as deep as he could go, feeling her wince under him and hearing her groan, which was good, for it meant she would tap deep into the old fluids and draw them completely out of him. He wanted to last long, believing that the more he could delay his discharge, the better for his health, but the palm oil and the massaging had done their work. Moreover, she was squeezing him like an anaconda snake swallowing prey, making a flexing movement over the head of his entrapped cock that was driving him mad. He exploded with a loud grunt like the bark of a wild animal and pumped the whore with a frenzied energy.

In a moment, it was over. He collapsed atop her with a wheeze of exhaustion.

She pushed him off her bosom abruptly, and with a gyrating movement of her hips, expelled him, glistening and drooling, from between her legs. She glanced over at the table, where he had placed the money, and sat up in bed with a sigh of weariness. He was the fifth man she had taken tonight, and she'd had enough.

"I have climbed the crow's nest of a ship at sea," he said, feeling suddenly vulnerable and weak, "and seen the curve of the earth."

She sat down on a chamber pot, spread her legs, and began to openly wash her pussy, which dribbled disgustingly. He shuddered, for she suddenly seemed ugly and loathsome. It was inconceivable that just a minute ago his loins had been afire for her.

He dressed hurriedly while she sat on the chamber pot and wiped herself with a soiled rag and hummed a song she had learned as a child. From the doorway he threw a defiant, parting shot at her: "No matter what anybody tells you, our world is not flat. It is round."

She did not even look up as he slipped out of the seedy room and closed the door behind him, so engrossed was she in scrubbing between her legs with the absentminded distraction of an artisan cleaning a prized tool.

She only glanced at the table where he'd left the twenty maravedis to be sure he didn't try to steal her money as many men had done before. Under the flickering lamp light, she could make out the pile of copper coins that cast a wavering shadow, small and cylindrically shaped like a turd.

She had the money. That was all that mattered.

She didn't even know his name.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from GOD CARLOS by ANTHONY C. WINKLER Copyright © 2012 by Anthony Winkler. Excerpted by permission of Akashic Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Anthony C. Winkler was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942 and is widely recognized as one of the island's finest exports. After being expelled from Cornwall College for refusing to submit to corporal punishment (which entailed being beaten with a cane), he eventually made his way to California where he attended Citrus College and California State University, earning a BA and MA in English. His first published novel, The Painted Canoe (1984), received critical acclaim and was followed by The Lunatic (1987), The Great Yacht Race (1992), The Duppy (1997), Crocodile (2009), Dog War (2007), God Carlos (2012), and The Family Mansion, among others. Trust the Darkness: My Life as a Writer, his autobiography, was published in 2008. His writing credits also include film scripts and plays. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Cathy.

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