One Big Damn Puzzler

One Big Damn Puzzler

by John Harding
4.3 10


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One Big Damn Puzzler by John Harding

On an island paradise somewhere in the South Pacific, Managua—the only native who can read or write—is busily translating Hamlet into pidgin English when a plane interrupts his noble work. Strapping on his false leg, he makes his way to the landing strip to greet the unexpected arrival: William Hardt, a young American lawyer driven by his misguided ambition to win reparations for the island's inhabitants.

Hardt is not the first white outsider to pay a visit; the British came earlier, bringing their language, the small pigs that run wild in the jungle, and Shakespeare . . . and the Americans followed with guns, land mines, and Coca-Cola. But in this place of riotously logical ritual, Hardt's determined quest to do good could make him the most devastating visitor of all.

Profoundly moving and achingly funny, One Big Damn Puzzler brilliantly explores the collision of the twenty-first century with unsullied pagan reality—and establishes John Harding as one of the most imaginative contemporary chroniclers of the human condition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061132186
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2007
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 668,434
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

John Harding was born in a small Fenland village in the Isle of Ely in 1951. He studied English at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor before becoming a freelance writer. Harding is the author of two previous novels, What We Did on Our Holiday, which was shortlisted for the WH Smith New Talent Award, and the acclaimed While the Sun Shines. He lives in Richmond upon Thames with his wife and two sons.

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One Big Damn Puzzler 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
librepuerco More than 1 year ago
This is such a creative story! There are so many great characters. I love the islanders manner of speaking. The main character is endearing with his o.c.d ways. There are so many different elements to the story, but everything put together makes a great read.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Life on a remote south pacific island juxtaposed with western notions of happiness and prosperity are explored in a touching, and unique tale which will have you laughing out loud. One Big Damn Puzzler is in a league of its own, it's too hard to compare it to anything else. Just read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Creative storyline that makes you laugh and think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has it all! If you can get past the graphic beach scenes you will love this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On a remote South Pacific island, most of the inhabitants have lost one or both limbs due to landmines left by the American military years ago. In that environs, American attorney William Hardt arrives to coordinate compensation for those native victims of the military¿s neglect. To his shock they all speak English, albeit the King¿s English not the Americanized version. --- However, he meets a strange bunch of locals starting with the seemingly articulate Managua, who plans to translate Hamlet into island pidgin. He finds more oddities as parents preferring daughter dress their sons in female garb, pigs running loose owning the island because they are descendents of the British colonization, and the use by apparently everyone of the hallucinogenic 'kassa'. However, the most stunning thing of all remains the all natural giant toilet bowl ¿shitting beach' where everyone goes to take a communal crap. Still Hardt completes the mission though he has no concept of what he wrought when the serpent reentered paradise. --- Nothing is sacred as John Harding acerbically rips the globalization of American military-big business exploitation f the world. The story line is filled with jabs, hooks, and crosses including several below the belt as ONE BIG DAMN PUZZLER satirizes everything from the misuse of the 9/11 tragedy to the ¿corporacizing¿ war fighting to the growing of big government by those claiming small government goals to the illusion of a giant toilet bowl beach dump where anyone can pollute with all natural crap. The natives sum up this humorous often gross satire by knowing the Brits gave them Shakespeare while the Americans left guns, landmines, and lawsuits. --- Harriet Klausner