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The first of Louis de Bernieres' magical, tragic, hilarious trilogy set in a fictional South American country.

‘Surreal and hilarious’ Independent
Enter Louis de Bernières' magical, tragic and hilarious South American odyssey.

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…

Reviews

A very good book indeed, the sharpest and funniest I have read in quite some time

Financial Times

A fat, juicy, tropical fruit of a narrative... There is astonishing landscape. There are numerous good jokes. And, indispensably in such a novel, there is magic

Independent on Sunday

A wonderful mixture of the mythical and the poetic, of the cruel and clinical aspects of life... I have seldom read a finer first novel. It is one to savour and revisit

Scotland on Sunday

Sureal and hilarious [...] perfect for anyone lucky enough to be on an South American gap year

Katy Guest, The Independent

A tour de force

Time Out

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781448113798

    November 30, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    384 pages

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  • Paperback

    9780749391300

    September 1, 1991

    Vintage

    384 pages

    RRP $22.99

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