Dark Diversions: A Traveler's Tale

Dark Diversions: A Traveler's Tale

by John Ralston Saul


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In Dark Diversions, acclaimed author John Ralston Saul stages a black comedy of international proportions that takes the reader from New York to Paris to Morocco to Haiti in the 1980s and 1990s. When he’s not encountering dictators in Third World hot spots, Saul’s narrator moves in privileged circles on both sides of the Atlantic, insinuating himself into the lives of well-to-do aristocrats. Through his exploits we experience a fascinating world of secret lovers, exiled princesses, death by veganism, and religious heresies. The emotional fireworks of these inhabitants of the First World are sharply juxtaposed with the political infighting of the dictators and the corruption, double-dealing, and fawning that attend them. But as the narrator becomes further enmeshed in these worlds, his outsider status grows more ambiguous: Is he a documentarian of privileged foibles and fundamental inequity, or an embodiment of the very “dark diversions” he chronicles?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

[A] lean, caustic and darkly comic yarn.” - Toronto Star

“An ingenious read, Dark Diversions will be a solid end-of-summer choice for a wide and varied audience.” - Winnipeg Free Press

"A delightful novel, invigoratingly wicked." - Le Monde

Library Journal

The narrator of this series of encounters is a journalist of sorts. In the 1980s and 1990s, he interviews dictators, bankers, princesses, and other high-ranking officials from New York to Paris to Morocco to Haiti, while insinuating himself into their lives and luxurious lifestyles. Each encounter is a story in itself, sometimes tied to another vignette but often contrasting markedly, with different worlds featured from one story to the next. The common thread is the voice of the dark, tongue-in-cheek, dead-pan narrator and his delivery of the facts. In one story, he confesses to choosing to let readers draw their own conclusions about the tales he tells. Toronto-based, prize-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction, Saul is the recipient of the Governor General's Award, Premio lettarario Internazionale and Chile's Pablo Neruda Medal. Readers of modern short stories will enjoy this new collection.

Verdict Recommended.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143183457
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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