Synopsis (from Amazon)
When the spoilt and haughty Dona Constanza tries to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, she starts a running battle with the locals. The skirmishes are so severe that the Government dispatches a squadron of soldiers led by the fat, brutal and stupid Figueras to deal with them.
Despite visiting plagues of laughing fits and giant cats upon the troops, the villagers know that to escape the cruel and unusual tortures planned for them, they must run. Thus they plan to head for the mountains and start a new and convivial civilisation.
Note: I do not feel that this synopsis adequately describes the book. However I am at a loss of how I can describe it any better while still allowing some of the…plot to be hinted at so I am using this for lack of anything better.
Oh why had a never heard of this book before? I can’t even remember seeing it in bookstores (despite the fact that it is the first in a series and still in print). For so long I have been looking for a Louis de Bernieres novel which meets up to my experience of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which is one of my favourite books. I had seen Senor Vivo & The Coca Lord a number of times and considered buying it but was never convinced (it is probably a good thing seeing as it is further along in the same series). Well I can certainly say I want to read it now!
I suppose you can guess that I really enjoyed this book. I think it sis one of the most unique books I have ever read. It’s full of all kinds of strange happenings. Those who watch my twitter feed may have noticed me commenting that I had never read a book where a woman gave birth to a cat before, and that gives you just an idea of some of the strange things that happen in this book!
It did take me a little time to get into, but once I was into it you couldn’t get me away from it, and I generally find that I end up loving books more when they have been hard work. There was a point where the main strangeness was that I couldn’t work out how it would all come together. It seemed for a long time that there were just lots of individual storylines which weren’t connected, or at least barely connected, and I kept getting the characters mixed up. However after a while I began to work things out a bit more, and even became disappointed when a chapter end because I knew it would be a while before I found out what would happen to that character, and the stories began to join together a bit more.
I can’t say there was a character I didn’t enjoy reading about by the end but I did especially like reading about the President. I also enjoyed how different sides of the same story were shown so that even though there were some horrible acts they never really seemed to be done by horrible men because you not only saw their consequences but also how they came about.
I cannot wait to read the rest of the series
If anyone knows where I read the review of this book which prompted me to read it can you let me know so I can credit them please?