War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts: A Novel

War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts: A Novel

by Louis de Bernieres
     
 

This rambunctious first novel by the author of the bestselling Corelli's Mandolin is set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny. "Walks a precarious edge between… See more details below

Overview

This rambunctious first novel by the author of the bestselling Corelli's Mandolin is set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny. "Walks a precarious edge between slapstick and pathos, never once losing its balance."—Washington Post Book World.

Editorial Reviews

Susan Lowell
From its style, one would assume that The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts is Latin American magical realism, expertly rendered into English. Yet the author is British, and his book is a riposte that merits translation into a Romance language....Fought by means of guerrillas, soldiers, pranks, spells, venereal disease, Spanish muskets, M-16's and a bulldozer, it's a comedy—and tragedy—of errors. The novel's pace is brisk, its prose epigrammatic. Farcical incidents alternate with graphic descriptions of torture, ribald sex scenes with tender love stories, political satire with supernatural events....Mr. de Bernieres is funnier than most magical realists, and more hopeful—perhaps too optimistic, in spite of the grimness of his political and military satire.
The New York Times
Washington Post Book World
Walks a precarious edge between slapstick and pathos, never once losing its balance.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A blend of scathing political satire and magic realism, De Bernieres's furiously sardonic, intensely lyrical first novel portrays an imaginary, impoverished Latin American country run by an oligarchy, terrorized by fascist army officers and propped up by U.S. support while Yanqui corporations suck its economy dry. No better than the rapacious and murderous military, the revolutionaries loot and kill in the name of an abstract ideal. The motley cast includes Dona Costanza Evans, an upper-class housewife kidnapped by guerrillas, who actively joins the revolution; Olaf Olsen, a Norwegian industrialist whose innocent daughter becomes one of the ``disappeared''; Aurelio, a jungle Indian versed in magic, and Don Emmanuel, oddball son of a progressive English educator. About halfway through, friendly, charming cats, which grow to the size of pumas, invade the narrative and do magical things that confound even fascist generals. De Bernieres, who taught in Colombia, captures the beauty, hope and desperation of Latin America as few other writers have done. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This rollicking, disturbing first novel celebrates (or parodies?) the recurrent themes of modern Latin American fiction: politics, corruption, and war; love, sex, and family; nature, religion, and magic. A motley assortment of horrific or hilarious vignettes resolve themselves into an imaginative story set in a troubled, fictional, but familiar South American country. A basically innocent village finds itself the focal point of a clash between a mindlessly brutal military and a nebulous Communist threat. Many trysts and torturings later, the villagers make an exodus to a new Eden, accompanied by sympathetic guerrillas, an Indian guide, and an ever-growing band of large, affectionate cats. As one of the numerous characters points out, ``In this country reason does not apply to anything.'' Recommended for public libraries.-- Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
A. S. Byatt
Louis de Bernieres is the direct line that runs through Dickens and Evelyn Waugh.
The Evening Standard

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688111298
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/01/1992
Pages:
363

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