The major new novel by Mexico's leading novelistCarlos Fuentes won the Spanish Royal Academy Prize for the Best Book of 2004 with This I BelieveCarlos Fuentes is on the judge's list of contenders for the Man Booker International Prize 2007
Carlos Fuentes, Mexico's leading novelist, was born in 1928. He has been his country's ambassador to France and is the author of more than ten novels. Kristina Cordero is the translator of the same author's This I Believe.
An ailing Mexican president, two years into his mandated six-year term and manipulated by everyone around him, has banned oil exports to the U.S. and called for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from occupied Colombia. In retaliation, American President Condoleezza Rice has, through the magic of an unimagined technology, shut down all of Mexico's telephone, fax and Internet communications. That's the fanciful but not entirely implausible futuristic backdrop for this corrosive political satire from Fuentes (The Old Gringo), considered Mexico's leading novelist (and one-time ambassador to France). His darkly comic tale of backbiting, double-crossing, murderous duplicity, sexual scheming and outright assassination is primarily epistolary, and it's a format that suits Fuentes's flowery prose style, though the voices of his various characters tend to blur into one another. Readers with even a smidgeon of familiarity with Mexico's unkempt political traditions will wallow in this caustic indictment. (May 16) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
'A compelling drama ... Fuentes at his best' Sunday Times '[Fuentes] writes with an energy, passion and humour that are as compelling now as when he first published a novel, more than forty years ago ... rattlingly good entertainment' Daily Telegraph 'A man of remarkable gifts ... Fuentes has produced a narrative crammed with penetrating insights and provocative comments not merely on politics but also on history, art and literature' Spectator 'This is Fuentes at his satirical best, mixing political wisdom, biting wit and poignant self-realisation' Scotland on Sunday
The year is 2020, and Mexican politics is dirtier and more violent than ever. Condoleeza Rice is the President of the United States, and the Big Brother to the North has just sent troops to occupy drug-infested Colombia. Owing to Mexico's vigorous opposition to the invasion of Colombia, the United States has invoked Operation Cucaracha, whereby all communications to and within Mexico, controlled by the Florida Satellite Center, have been cut off. There are no phones, no faxes, and no Internet, and because Mexicans have had to return to old-fashioned means of communication, the action of this page-turner depends entirely on letters exchanged between a wide array of ruthless intellectual characters, among them two politically gifted women, Maria del Rosario Galvan and Paulina Tardegarda. As the septuagenarian Fuentes tantalizingly reveals the identity and parentage of new interim president Nicolas Valdivia, it is obvious he is at the top of his storytelling mastery, and his insights into Mexico's sad decline into global thuggery will further heighten the fascination for this book. Highly recommended.-Jack Shreve, Allegany Coll. of Maryland, Cumberland Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.