A Tragédia de Fidel Castro - Crítica no Rabit Readers Review

War is coming. Fidel Castro has a plan to engage and best JFK. One of God’s agents calls to warn him of the impending conflict and he hatches a plan to stop the war that hinges on his only son returning to earth. The Tragedy of Fidel Castro is a religious and political satire.

João Cerqueira is an award winning Portuguese author. The Tragedy of Fidel Castrowas named Book of the Year by Os meus Livros (a literary trade magazine based in Portugal).

I am so honored to have been asked to review this book in advance of its release in the United States (it has been out for many years in Portugal and well received there). The Tragedy of Fidel Castrodoes bear, in its writing, a different cultural tone to what we would normally see from a writer for whom English is a first language. The author brilliantly balances the formal tone and themes of capitalism, socialism and religion with an appropriate dose of the ridiculous. The novel opens with God getting a telephone call to tell him that war is coming “Oh, for God’s sake!” exclaimed God in exasperation. (location 40 – from the .pdf copy loaded to my Kindle).

The metaphorical lacing of the language is, at points, heavy handed. One of Castro’s prisoners is described as being armed with a sickle and hammer (location 1371) when Castro interrogates him which, as we know, is the symbol of the Communist Party. It is my impression as a reader, that these sorts of references may have been more subtle in the original language of composition.

The characterization within the novel is well done. God and Christ are written in the sense of traditional Greek gods as neither is all knowing or all seeing. They have their sources for information. JFK is more king than leader who makes snap decisions and has heavy faults. Castro tries to stack the deck in his favor by involving the devil. All elements make this novel a more interesting read. The feeling I got with each page was one that I compare to the first time I read The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. I might not get it completely at first but all ties together by the end and there’s a feeling or having expanded my world view a bit on every page.

Plot-wise this novel flows through a series of moves involving deep thought. As the characters look into themselves, we, the reader, look into ourselves and reflect on our thinking and the perceptions we’ve held.

If you’re a fan of satire, history or generally good literature, I highly recommend this novel. I would not recommend it if you take religious history too seriously.

Publicado em 17 Janeiro 2013

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