The Night of the Rambler

Overview


"Colorful detours into native lore, such as a rich Dutchman's fabled courtship of a local beauty, strike grace notes that echo Marquez...readers...will be rewarded with the little-known tale of how the underdog country demanded its own place in the 20th century."
--Publishers Weekly

Best Book of 2013 Selection, The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing

"This is a book about revolution and the underdog, about a small, isolated island fighting for recognition, opportunity and justice;...

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The Night of the Rambler

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Overview


"Colorful detours into native lore, such as a rich Dutchman's fabled courtship of a local beauty, strike grace notes that echo Marquez...readers...will be rewarded with the little-known tale of how the underdog country demanded its own place in the 20th century."
--Publishers Weekly

Best Book of 2013 Selection, The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing

"This is a book about revolution and the underdog, about a small, isolated island fighting for recognition, opportunity and justice; it is a compelling tale about a curious historical episode, but also a vital look at priorities, perspective and the right to live in dignity, issues that, much like Anguilla's rebellion of 1967, are all too easily forgotten."
--The Island Review

"[Readers] will be rewarded with deeper insight into the political and economic turmoil engulfing that region."
--Historical Novel Society

"Revolution and historic change--words that can remain detached concepts unless we can somehow connect them with their human face and the lives behind them. This is what first-time novelist Montague Kobbé achieves in marvelous style and depth in The Night of the Rambler--weaving a Caribbean tapestry of places, wider events, the individuals shaped by them, and how they ultimately come together to shape events themselves in the times leading to a revolution on Anguilla in 1967."
--Maco Magazine

"Vivid...funny, and thoughtful. Much like the revolution it covers, it's compelling."
--Columbia College Chicago/The Review Lab

"However unusual this revolution is, it is a prelude to Anguilla’s eventual divorce from St. Kitts and Nevis, before becoming a separate British territory; its unconventional LOL factor could diversify an elective college course on revolutions with something bloody peaceful."
--New Pages

The Night of the Rambler is revolutionary, a reliquary, an impressionist tale of men who are by turns melancholy, raging, and often comic, their voices unique to this place and given a singular story.”
--Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here

"This is a fine novel, a surprising novel, perhaps the first true novel I have read about the nature of revolutions. The Night of the Rambler is ambitious, smart, and successful. It raises all sorts of questions about what revolutions want, how revolutions fail, and why revolutions are necessary--challenging all the while how history remembers them."
--Percival Everett, author of Erasure

"The Night of the Rambler is exceptional. Riveting, deeply thoughtful, and constantly inventive, Montague Kobbé's novel is part literary thriller, part revolutionary study, part epic historical narrative. Altogether, it makes for one profound read."
--Joe Meno, author of Office Girl and Hairstyles of the Damned

A sympathetic and often humorous account of an obscure episode in the history of the remote island of Anguilla, in the northeast Caribbean, The Night of the Rambler revolves around a haphazard attempt by a dozen or so locals to invade neighboring St. Kitts in an effort to topple the government of the recently established Associated State of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla.

Ostensibly, the action maps the fifteen hours that lapse between the moment when the "rebels" board The Rambler, the thirty-five-foot motorboat that will take them across the strait to St. Kitts, and the break of dawn the following day, when it becomes obvious that the unaccomplished mission will have to be aborted. The novel is at turns highly dramatic and hilarious, all the while bringing deep honesty to the often-unexamined righteousness of revolution.

With echoes of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Mario Vargas Llosa's Conversation in the Cathedral, the novel presents an intricate pattern of subtly related anecdotes woven together by a handful of rich and complex characters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The pivotal moment in Anguilla’s fight for independence, as Kobbé tells it in his debut novel, was the uncertain night 16 Anguillans spent at sea in a 35-foot sloop, the Rambler, on their way to attack neighboring St. Kitts. The events of June 9, 1967, bookend a narrative that unspools the tiny Caribbean island’s history of subjugation. Anguillans, then subjects of the British associated state of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, lived cut off from the world: no electricity, no telephone lines, no ports. Kobbé interweaves backstories of the chief populist leaders—the diplomatic Alwyn Cooke and the hot-tempered Rude Thompson—while capturing how news of the grassroots uprising spread from person to person “like a virus.” Colorful detours into native lore, such as a rich Dutchman’s fabled courtship of a local beauty, strike grace notes that echo Marquez. But Kobbé, who is Venezuelan by birth, falls short of another bestselling Hispanic novelist, Junot Diaz: this narrator’s heavy-handed foreshadowing and stilted interjections want for the linguistic verve of a Yunior. Even so, readers who stick with the Rambler as it drifts in the waves will be rewarded with the little-known tale of how the underdog country demanded its own place in the 20th century. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617751813
  • Publisher: Akashic Books
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Montague Kobbé was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and for the past decade has resided at different times in Bristol, Leeds, London, and Munich. He has had close ties to the Caribbean island of Anguilla, the setting for his debut novel, for over twenty-five years. He maintains a regular literary column in the WEEKender supplement of Sint Maarten's Daily Herald and his work has been published in Anguilla, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Venezuela, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
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