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Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog NO SECRET TOO SMALL. A Novel of Old New Mexico by Loretta Miles Tollefson. New Mexico historical fiction that confronts some painful truths #historicalfiction

Hi all:

I bring you a new book by an author I read last year for the first time. Recommended to readers of historical fiction.

No Secret too Small by Loretta Miles Tollefson

No Secret Too Small. A Novel of Old New Mexico by Loretta Miles Tollefson

A novel dedicated to all the world’s children caught in the cross fire of adult squabbles.

New Mexico, 1837. As New Mexico teeters on the verge of revolution, eight-year-old Alma’s family experiences an upheaval of its own. Ten years ago, her father, Gerald, chose not to tell her mother, Suzanna, that some of his ancestors were born in Africa. Now Alma’s mother has learned the truth.

Stunned and furious, Suzanna leaves the family’s mountain valley and takes Alma and her younger brother, Andrew, with her. Gerald allows the children to go because he believes they’ll be safer with their mother than with him in the mountains. However, as Suzanna, Alma, and Andrew reach Santa Fe, revolt breaks out and the children are exposed to sights no child should ever have to experience.

This trauma and the prejudice the children experience because of their heritage makes Alma long for home. But even if her mother can forgive past secrets, the way is now blocked by wintery weather and entrenched rebels. Will Alma’s family ever be reunited?

A heart-breaking yet ultimately triumphant story about secrets, prejudice, love, and the impact of adult conflict on our children.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K9DBCNC

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08K9DBCNC

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B08K9DBCNC

Author Loretta Miles Tollefson
    Author Loretta Miles Tollefson

About the author:

Loretta Miles Tollefson has been publishing fiction and poetry since 1975. (She’s not old–she started young!) Growing up in foothills of the Olympic Mountains in the log cabin her grandfather built and her father was born in led naturally to an interest in history and historical fiction. When she retired to the mountains of northern New Mexico, writing historical fiction set there was a logical result. The Moreno Valley Sketches books are the first in many planned books set there.

Before turning to historical fiction full time, Loretta wrote Crown of Laurel, a novel set in Seattle in the recession of the early 1980’s. Loretta holds a B.S. in Bible Education from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. This background informs her poetry collections Mary at the Cross: Voices from the New Testament and And Then Moses Was There: Voices from the Old Testament.

In the mid-1980’s, Loretta and her husband suffered the loss of their first child in the fifth month of pregnancy. Her poetry collection But Still My Child came out of that period and is designed to help others deal with the pain of miscarriage.

Loretta holds M.A.’s in Communication and in English Literature from the University of New Mexico. Most days, you’ll find her researching New Mexico history in the 1800’s and writing furiously. She publishes short historical fiction every week at LorettaMilesTollefson.Wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.com/Loretta-Miles-Tollefson/e/B00I47VVZ4?

https://lorettamilestollefson.com/

My review:

I discovered Loretta MilesTollefson’s writing through Rosie’s Book Review Team when I first read and reviewed one of the novels in the Old New Mexico series, Not My Father’s House  (you can read my review here). That was the second book that tells the story of Gerald Locke and his family. The series also includes short stories and microfiction set in the same territory during the XIX century, and also a novel based on real events, The Pain and the Sorrow. I loved the setting of the previous novel and the characters and thank the author for offering me an early ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review and enjoyed.

While the previous novel was set in the Moreno Valley, and we lived the life of mountain settlers, with its harshness, its dangers, its challenges, and also its moments of wonder and joy; this novel sees Suzanna and her two children (Alma and Andrew) move from town to town (from the Valley to San Fernando de Taos, to Chimayó and then to Santa Fe.  In the process, they get involved, although marginally, in the political upheaval of the era, coming into contact with both, rebels and supporters of the Mexican government, and witnessing some tragic events. And although their lives in the Valley weren’t easy, they soon discover that sometimes, hard work and stubbornness are not enough to ensure a decent living.

At the heart of the novel is a secret, something Gerald kept from Suzanna, although, to be fair, she insisted she didn’t need to know. The situation reminded me of one of Antonio Machado’s poems: ‘Dijiste media verdad. Dirán que mientes dos veces si dices la otra mitad.’ ‘You told half a truth. They’ll say you lie twice if you tell the other half.’ The secret (if you read the description carefully, you’ll find out what it is) involves the assumption that we are not all the same, and some are better than others just based on our ancestors and their origins/skin colour. Such prejudice is more deeply rooted than Suzanna realised (or wanted to acknowledge), and it challenges her own opinion of herself and others. Her beliefs and her attitude are put to the test while she is away, and she learns truths about herself that she does not like but ultimately make her stronger.

As was the case in the previous novel, we can find a mix of fictional and true historical characters, and the author provides a summary of historical events at the end, which help provide a more detailed background to the story, a glossary of terms (both Spanish and also English of the period), and also brief biographical notes on the real historical figures that appear in the text. Some of my old favourites from the previous novel appear as well: Ramon, although he stays behind for much of the action, Old One-Eyed Pete, the trapper, Old Bill, Gregorio García, and some new ones that I love as well, especially señora Ortega (who can appear grumpy, harsh, and keen to tell unpalatable truths, but also a fair and honest woman happy to give other women a chance), and Antonia García, the mother of Gregorio, who grabs a second chance when it comes her way.

The story is told in the third person in present tense, not a common choice, but one that works particularly well as we see things form the point of view of Alma, an eight years old girl forced to grow up far too quickly for her age. She tries hard to be strong, to do her part, and to support her mother and brother, even if she doesn’t agree with what her mother has done. I love Alma and she is easier to empathise with than her mother, whose behaviour is sometimes petulant, unreasonable and selfish. She puts her children and herself in danger, and although her husband is in the wrong as well, her stubbornness drives her too far. Having read the previous novel, and knowing how hard Suzanna had to fight to survive in the valley, and the horrific experiences she went through, make her disappointment and her inflexible attitude easier to understand, although not so much some of the deep (and perhaps even not fully conscious) reasons behind it.  The fact that others in her life don’t dare oppose her or prefer to let her do and keep the peace could have had dire consequences, for her and the children, although, of course, nobody realised how quickly the political situation would deteriorate, or how hard making a living would be for a mother of two on her own. (Or they underestimated Suzanna’s stubbornness).

The author manages to provide a strong sense of the setting, the historical period, and the customs and traditions of the era without overdoing the descriptions or disrupting the action. The story flows and ebbs, as does life, and we have quiet moments, of routine, work, and everyday life, but the three main protagonists (Suzanna, Alma, and Andrew) also travel, are exposed to dangers, and are shocked and traumatised by the violence around them. We learn about weaving, about life in the New Mexico of the late 1830s, and about the prejudices of the period. Unfortunately, some things don’t change, but at least the main characters in the novel learn from their mistakes. One can but wish the same would happen in real life in the here and now.

The ending is satisfying, and I am sure all readers will enjoy it. I don’t know if we’ll hear more about the Locke family and their adventures, but, somehow, I know they’ll be all right.

I think readers who get to this story without having read the rest of the series will be able to connect with the characters and follow their adventures without too much difficulty, although it will be easier to understand the motivations and appreciate more fully the relationships and the background to the story for those who have read the other two novels related to the Lockes’ (and I hope to catch up on Not Just Any Man at some point in the future). Although we don’t witness any violent acts directly, there are scenes illustrating the consequences of the violence bound to be upsetting for some readers of the book, and prejudice and racism are an important theme, so prospective readers need to take that into consideration when deciding if this might be the book for them. As I usually say, it is worth checking a sample of the book to see if the voice and the narrative style is a good fit for those thinking about purchasing it.

I recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction keen to learn about a little-known period of the history of the United States, to those interested in the life of pioneer women, and also any readers looking for a story that is as relevant and inspiring. And the bonus is that there are other books in the series for those who enjoy this one.

Thanks to the author for the novel, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and keep safe (and smiling)!

 

 

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Not My Father’s House: A Novel of Old New Mexico by Loretta Miles Tollefson Recommended to lovers of historical fiction, pioneer narrations, and women’s stories #historical fiction #RBRT

Hi all:

I bring you a review of one of the books from Rosie’s group and one I recommend to people who love historical fiction, especially stories of New Mexico and settlers.

Not My Father's House: A Novel of Old New Mexico by Loretta Miles Tollefson
Not My Father’s House: A Novel of Old New Mexico by Loretta Miles Tollefson

Not My Father’s House: A Novel of Old New Mexico by Loretta Miles Tollefson

Suzanna hates everything about her New Mexico mountain home. The isolation. The short growing season. The critters after her corn. The long snow-bound winters in a dimly-lit cabin.

But she loves Gerald, who loves this valley.

So Suzanna does her unhappy best to adjust, even when the babies come, both of them in the middle of winter. Her postpartum depression, the cold, and the lack of sunlight push her to the edge.

But the Sangre de Cristo mountains contain a menace far more dangerous than Suzanna’s internal struggles. The man Gerald killed in the mountains of the Gila two years ago isn’t as dead as everyone thought.

And his lust for Suzanna may be even stronger than his desire for Gerald’s blood.

https://www.amazon.com/Loretta-Miles-Tollefson-ebook/dp/B07VXFP2KY/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loretta-Miles-Tollefson-ebook/dp/B07VXFP2KY/

https://www.amazon.es/Loretta-Miles-Tollefson-ebook/dp/B07VXFP2KY/

Author Loretta Miles Tollefson
Author Loretta Miles Tollefson

About the author:

Loretta Miles Tollefson has been publishing fiction and poetry since 1975. (She’s not old–she started young!) Growing up in foothills of the Olympic Mountains in the log cabin her grandfather built and her father was born in led naturally to an interest in history and historical fiction. When she retired to the mountains of northern New Mexico, writing historical fiction set there was a logical result. The Moreno Valley Sketches books are the first in many planned books set there.

Before turning to historical fiction full time, Loretta wrote Crown of Laurel, a novel set in Seattle in the recession of the early 1980’s. Loretta holds a B.S. in Bible Education from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. This background informs her poetry collections Mary at the Cross: Voices from the New Testament and And Then Moses Was There: Voices from the Old Testament.

In the mid-1980’s, Loretta and her husband suffered the loss of their first child in the fifth month of pregnancy. Her poetry collection But Still My Child came out of that period and is designed to help others deal with the pain of miscarriage.

Loretta holds M.A.’s in Communication and in English Literature from the University of New Mexico. Most days, you’ll find her researching New Mexico history in the 1800’s and writing furiously. She publishes short historical fiction every week at LorettaMilesTollefson.Wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.com/Loretta-Miles-Tollefson/e/B00I47VVZ4?

https://lorettamilestollefson.com/

My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, check here), and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel.

When I first read about this book, I was intrigued by the setting (one I must confess I’m not very familiar with but I’ve always been interested in) and the period of the story most of all. I’ve become an eager reader of historical fiction, and I’ve learned plenty about times and places I knew nothing about. This is another perfect example of the way novels can inform and entertain at the same time, immersing us on a time and place completely at odds with our everyday experience. This is book two in the series of novels of Old New Mexico, and although it can be read independently, I must admit I would have liked to be better acquainted with the previous lives of the characters.

Suzanna is very young. Newly wed and only sixteen, she is thrown in at the deep end. She is not very domesticated for a woman of the period (the story is set in the early XIX century): she does not know how to cook, and she was brought up by her father to love books rather than other more feminine tasks, although she does sew, cleans, and knows how to keep a house, more or less (but she did have help back at her father’s house, in Taos, and she still has some help here, because Ramón does the cooking, otherwise they’d die of hunger). She loves to be outdoors and grow plants and vegetables most of all and that is another source of irritation for her in her new location, as this is high mountain territory, and neither the weather nor the seasons are as mild as what she was used to at home.

Suzanna finds fault with everything and she is not the most likeable of characters to begin with, although as we keep reading, the sheer drudgery and harshness of her life, and her brave attempts at making the best out of it end up by endearing her to the reader. We also come to understand that there is something more behind the changes in mood and she needs help, although it is difficult to imagine what form it could take at that point and in that place. Gerald, her husband, does his best and tries to understand her, although he has little time and no workable solutions to make things better. Ramón is a quiet presence and a likeable one, as he is always at hand to help. A perfect example of the strong and quiet type, Mexican style. He and the main characters in the novel experience major and very traumatic losses, and they use different coping strategies to deal with very difficult circumstances. There are other very colourful characters that make their appearance in the book, including Native Americans of different tribes, trappers, Mexican Army soldiers, and assorted animals as well. Some of them, as the author explains at the end of the book, where real historical characters, and they seamlessly mix with the fictional characters whose story we are reading.

The story is a slow burner, rather than a quick page turner, and it is narrated in the third person, mostly from Suzanna’s point of view, but also from a pretty nasty character’s viewpoint (I’m trying to avoid spoilers, although the description will give you a fair idea of the plot), that gives us a different perspective and also creates a fairly uncomfortable reading experience, as we get to share in the thoughts of a man who does not seem to have a single redeeming feature. The author does an excellent job of capturing the natural rhythm of the seasons, and we experience the harshness of the natural environment, the difficulty of coping with extreme weather conditions and having to survive on one’s own wits, but she also brings to life the beauty and the joy of the landscape and the location.

Another very strong point of this novel is the way it reflects the mental health difficulties of Suzanna. Her dark moods, the way she is influenced by the seasons and the lack of light and exercise in the winter months, her irritability, her difficulty explaining her feelings, and how she is further hindered by several losses throughout the book and the effect the birth of her children has on her already fragile mental health are explored and made palpable. Because we share in her perspective, although at first we might think she is just too young and immature for the situation she has landed herself in, we later come to see how hard her circumstances would be for anybody. And when her father visits and explains that she’s always had difficulties in certain times of the year, but they’d managed it well, we understand that she had not been aware of these problems until she had to face them by herself, in more extreme and tough conditions. The author explains her research on depression (post-natal depression and also seasonal affective disorder) and provides the historical context as to how the condition would have been dealt with at the time, in her note at the back of the book. From my experience as a psychiatrist, having talked to and looked after many patients suffering from similar conditions, her portrayal is realistic and vivid, and it reflects well the feelings and desperation of the sufferers.

I learned plenty about the New Mexico of the era, its inhabitants, its customs, and its politics. The author’s research shines through, and she makes an excellent use of it without overbearing the reader. The book also includes an index of the sources used, and a list of the historical characters that make an appearance in the series.

I would recommend this book to anybody who loves historical fiction of this era and location, in particular people who enjoy books about the pioneers and the settlers of the Southern United States. It is not a book for people looking for constant action or for a light read. There are humorous moments, and there is light relief (mostly provided by the dogs. I loved all the dogs, although my favourite was Chaser), but there are also sad and scary moments, and although the book is not terribly graphic in its depiction of violence (and there is no erotica at all), there is violence and a sense of menace and threat that permeates a lot of the novel. If you are fans of Little House in the Prairie and prefer narrations that build up slowly but have a realistic feel, you must check this novel out. I am intrigued by the series, and I hope to learn more about the further adventures of Suzanna and her family.

Thanks to the author and to Rosie and her wonderful group, thanks to all of you for reading, and thanks for liking, sharing, commenting, clicking, and don’t forget to review and always keep smiling!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Rosie's Book Review Team Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog FREAKY FRANKY: Santa Muerte followers discover the horrifying consequences of worshipping with evil intentions by William Blackwell (@wblackwell333) #horror #RBRT

Hi all:

Today I bring you a book I have reviewed as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I was intrigued by the title (not sure it fitted into the genre, and wondered about the long subtitle that seems more a description than a title, but I checked the beginning of the story and I had to keep going) and it seemed very relevant to the book I just reviewed yesterday. And here it is:

Freaky Franky by William Blackwell
Freaky Franky by William Blackwell

Freaky Franky: Santa Muerte followers discover the horrifying consequences of worshipping with evil intentions by William Blackwell

When an enigmatic town doctor saves the life of Anisa Worthington’s dying son, she abandons Christianity in favor of devotion to the cult of Santa Muerte or Saint Death. Some believe the mysterious skeleton saint will protect their loved ones, help in matters of the heart, and provide abundant happiness, health, wealth, and justice. But others, including the Catholic Church, call the cult blasphemous, evil, and satanic.

Anisa introduces Santa Muerte to her friend Helen Randon, and soon one of Helen’s enemies is brutally murdered. Residents of Montague, a peaceful little town in Prince Edward Island, begin plotting to rid the Bible belt of apostates.

Anisa suspects Helen is perverting the good tenets of Saint Death. Before she can act, a terrible nightmare propels her to the Dominican Republic in search of Franklin, her long-lost and unstable brother, who mysteriously disappeared without a trace twenty years ago.

To her horror, Anisa learns Franklin is worshiping Saint Death with evil intentions. As a fanatical and hell-bent lynch mob tightens the noose, mysterious murders begin occurring all around Anisa. Unsure who’s an enemy and who’s an ally, she’s thrust into a violent battle to save her life, as well as the lives of her friends and brother.

https://www.amazon.com/Freaky-Franky-consequences-worshipping-intentions-ebook/dp/B077X41V9J/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Freaky-Franky-consequences-worshipping-intentions-ebook/dp/B077X41V9J/

I’m sure this is not William Blackwell, or at least I hope it isn’t but…

About the author:

William Blackwell studied journalism at Calgary’s Mount Royal University and English literature at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia. He worked as a print journalist for many years before becoming an author. Currently living on an acreage in Prince Edward Island, Blackwell loves to travel and write fiction.

He’s written many titles including: Brainstorm, Nightmare’s Edge, The Rage Trilogy, Assaulted Souls trilogy, Orgon Conclusion, Rule 14, Resurrection Point, The Strap, A Head for an Eye, Blood Curse, Black Dawn, The End Is Nigh and Freaky Franky.

To learn more about Blackwell’s work and read the musings of a meandering mind, please visit his website: http://www.wblackwell.com Twitter: @wblackwell333

Thanks for stopping by.

My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, check here), and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel.

I have been reading a book called Paperbacks from Hell (check my review here) and when I saw this book, it reminded me so much of many of the covers and topics I had been reading about that I could not resist, although I was not sure about the title (was it horror, humour, or something else entirely?).

The novel begins with quite a bang. A strong scene where we are introduced to la Santa Muerte (Saint Death) a religion/cult (depending on whose point of view you take) that has flourished in Mexico and is spreading to many other places. Although we all have heard about the Mexican Día de los Muertos, this might cover new ground for many of us, but the author is well informed and provides good background into the history and the various opinions on Saint Death, that is an interesting topic in its own right.

But don’t get me wrong. This book is not all tell and not show. We have a number of characters who are linked (unknowingly at first) by their devotion to Saint Death. What in the beginning seem to be separate episodes, which show us the best and the worst consequences of praying to Saint Death, later come together in an accomplished narrative arc. Whilst praying for health and good things can result in miracles, praying for revenge and death carries serious and deadly consequences.

The story, written in the third person, alternates the points of views most of the characters, from the main characters to some of the bit actors, good and bad (although that is pretty relative in this novel) and it moves at good pace. It is dynamic and full of action, and this is a novel where the plot dominates. The characters are not drawn in a lot of detail and I did not find them as cohesive and compelling as the story, in part, perhaps, because they are, at times, under the control of Saint Death (but this is not a standard story of satanic possession). Although none of the characters are morally irreproachable,  Anisa and Dr. Ricardo are more sympathetic and easier to root for. Yes, Anisa might resent her missed opportunities and the fact that she is stuck in Prince Edward Island looking after her son, but she goes out of her way to help her friend Helen and her brother Franklin and warns them not to pray for revenge. Dr. Ricardo threads a fine line between helping others and protecting himself, but he does the best he can. Franklin, the Freaky Franky of the title, is a much more negative character and pretty creepy, especially early in the novel. Although we learn about his past and the tragedies in his life, he is Anisa’s brother, and she’s also gone through the same losses, without behaving like he does. He uses Saint Death’s power mostly for evil, although he seems to change his mind and attitude after Anisa’s intervention (I was not totally convinced by this turn of events). I found Natalie, the American tourist visiting the Dominican Republic with her fiancé, Terry, difficult to fathom as well. Perhaps some of it could be explained by the love/lust spell she is under, but she clearly suspects what Franklin has done to her, and her changed feelings towards a man she has known for five minutes makes no sense, at least to me (sorry, I am trying to avoid spoilers). Much of the action and events require a great deal of suspension of disbelief, but not more than is usual in the genre.

The novel keeps wrong-footing the readers. At first, we might think that everything that is going on can be explained by self-suggestion and that all the evil (and the good) is in the mind of the believer. These are desperate characters holding on to anything that offers them a glint of hope. And later, when bad things start to happen, it seems logical to believe that the characters we are following have acted upon their negative thoughts and impulses (and even they have doubts as to what they might have done). But nothing is quite as straightforward as it seems.

Although there is plenty of explicit violence and some sexual references (those not as explicit), I did not find it frightening or horrific as such. However, it is a disquieting, dark, and eerie book, because of the way it invites readers to look into the limits of morality and right and wrong. Is revenge ever justified? Is it a matter of degrees? Who decides? It seems la Santa Muerte has very specific thoughts about this, so be very careful what you wish (or pray) for.

An eye-opener with regards to the Saint Death cult and a book that will be enjoyed by readers who don’t mind supernatural novels with plenty of violence, and prefer their plots dynamic and action-driven.

Thanks to Rosie and to her team for the great suggestions, thanks to the author, and thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click and REVIEW!

[amazon_link asins=’B007JQTHE8,B0094XQSLE,B008F6GV86,B01KNK4JNK,B01NAP1WEO,B00NDCO4D6,B00INC8L1C,B00D8AQJPO’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’wwwauthortran-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7ea9e396-0dd8-11e8-8813-7bb083d34186′]

Categories
Book launch New books

#TuesdayBookBlog New translation THE ROCK OF THE MISSING by Antonio Flórez Lage. A unique story of childhood adventures, heroes, and incredible landscapes

Hi all:

As you know, I translate books for other authors and nothing makes me happier than bringing you one of this when they see the light. I must thank not only the author but also Wendy Janes for her help with the corrections. Here it is:

The Rock of the Missing by Antonio Flórez Lage
The Rock of the Missing by Antonio Flórez Lage

THE ROCK OF THE MISSING: Aeinape International Book Awards Finalist de Antonio Flórez Lage  (Autor), Olga Núñez Miret (Traductor)

A BEST-SELLING NOVEL IN SPANISH. SPECIAL LAUNCHING OFFER.

RECEIVED WITH CRITICAL ACCLAIM. “Full of humour, sensitivity, action and mystery.” Discover a not-so-touristic Mexico and the bleakest Galicia.

SYNOPSIS: In the outskirts of a tiny Galician fishing village there is a huge rock that hides a mysterious submarine cave. What happens to those who dare to go diving there? Several events from their childhood drag the protagonist and his peculiar friend back to that eerie place. They meet again, years later, and set off on a seedy trip around Mexico, full of action and dangers. The unexpected outcome of that journey changes the life of the protagonist forever. This novel is one of a kind: it offers the readers a special something; a unique quality that means the story does not leave us when we close the book. Some readers are already applying its lessons to their own lives…

THE REVIEWERS SAY “‘If I jump, I’ll kill myself; if I don’t jump, they’ll kill me.’ With these words, in an eerie landscape full of rocks and black waves that reminded me of Hitchcock, begins the novel The Rock of the Missing. This book keeps moving, from the initial Hitchcockian scene, later becoming a chilling road movie that takes us across a scorched Mexico, full of gunshots, drug dealers and dead bodies, and ending in a permanent return to Galicia, where the whole thing begins… I recommend you read this novel if you wish to enjoy the art Antonio Flórez uses to carve his sentences if you want to join in an adventure full of humour, sensitivity, action and mystery.”Lavadora de textos, Ramón Alemán.

Autor Antonio Flórez Lage
Autor Antonio Flórez Lage

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Antonio Flórez Lage (A Coruña, 1977). A vet, passionate about the sea, travelling, and books, who writes about a world he knows very well.

10% of the profits obtained from the Kindle Book will be donated to ASOCEPA Coeliac Association.

Links:

E-book:

http://rxe.me/1FSPRW

Paperback:

http://rxe.me/846973783X

Antonio was kind enough to agree to an interview that I shared in Lit World Interviews. In case you are interested and haven’t come across it, you can check it here.

A few words:

I don’t want to write a review of the book, as it would seem suspect (although I have no stakes on the sale of the book) but I could not let this opportunity pass without recommending you this book.

If you follow my reviews you’ll know that I am a big fan of narrators, and the more unreliable and suspect, the better. Here we have a wonderful narrator who tells us a story that mixes two time-lines, one when he was a teenager in the North-West of Spain, Galicia (the part of the country where my father was from, famed for its fantastic food, particularly seafood, but also fish and meat, and its natural beauty, although it rains a fair bit) and lived many adventures with a friend, and years later, as a young man, in Mexico, where by chance he meets the same friend, and old stories rear their heads and new adventures ensue.

This is one of those books (like The Great Gatsby or Heart of Darkness) where a narrator seems to be there to tell us somebody else’s story and he is no more than an observer, although…

Full of irresistible characters, set pieces you won’t forget in a hurry (one that reminded me of the Westerns my father was so fond of), and an incredible sense of landscape and menace, this is a book about male friendship that goes beyond easy jokes and tall-tales (although there might be some of those). Do not miss this great book. Ah, and check the promotion for the book launch!

Thanks so much to the author for this opportunity, to Wendy Janes for her help and thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click and REVIEW.

Categories
Book reviews New books

#Bookreview ORPHANS OF THE CARNIVAL by Carol Birch (@CarolBirch) The sad story of an incredible historical figure and an exploited woman

Hi all:

As you know on Friday I bring you new books and/or guest authors. Today I bring you a book by a well-known writer although I hadn’t read any of her books yet. I’ve read and reviewed this extraordinary book, but it got me thinking, so this is a bit more than ‘just’ a book review. It’s one of those topics one can’t stop thinking about.

But first, let me tell you about the novel (sort of).

Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch
Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch

Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch. 

Canongate Books Literary FictionHistory

Description

The dazzling new novel, evoking the strange and thrilling world of the Victorian carnival, from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Jamrach’s Menagerie
A life in the spotlight will keep anyone hidden
Julia Pastrana is the singing and dancing marvel from Mexico, heralded on tours across nineteenth-century Europe as much for her talent as for her rather unusual appearance. Yet few can see past the thick hair that covers her: she is both the fascinating toast of a Governor’s ball and the shunned, revolting, unnatural beast, to be hidden from children and pregnant women.
But what is her wonderful and terrible link to Rose, collector of lost treasures in an attic room in modern-day south London? In this haunting tale of identity, love and independence, these two lives will connect in unforgettable ways.

Advance Praise

Orphans of the Carnival is a rich and wonderful book. Carol Birch can see a world in a grain of sand – and then furnish it for you, vividly and unforgettably.’ M.R. CAREY, author of The Girl With All the Gifts

‘In this dazzling novel Carol Birch paints an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary woman. Orphans of the Carnival encourages us to wonder what is revealed by the way a society treats those people who are unusual, who look different or who have their own unique view of the world.’ CATHERINE CHANTER, author of The Well

Praise for Jamrach’s Menagerie:
‘An imaginative tour-de-force encompassing the sights and smells of 19th-century London and the wild sea . . . Gripping, superbly written and a delight – The Times
Riveting. Birch is masterful at evoking period and place . . . A teeming exhibition of the beautiful and the bizarre – Sunday Times
One of the best stories I’ve ever read . . . A completely original book – A. S. Byatt

Here my review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Canongate book for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Although I’ve never been to a circus I’ve always been interested in stories, books, films and artworks about the circus. And I’ve never forgotten the movie Freaks (1932) directed by Tod Browning, that is as beautiful and touching as it is horrifying (not because of the ‘freaks’ of the story, but because of the way they were exhibited and exploited) , since I first saw it many years back. Human beings have always been fascinated by the unknown and by those who are similar but different to us (not only from a different country and race, but sometimes truly different, something that Freud tried to explain when he defined the ‘uncanny’ as something that is familiar and strange at once  and can cause attraction and repulsion at the same time.

This is the first novel by Carol Birch that I read, and although I was interested in her literary career, what made me pick it up was the subject matter. The author writes about Julia Pastrana, a woman born in Mexico in 1834 with two severe genetic malformations that resulted in her body being covered in hair and in her having a protruding mouth and lips with two rows of teeth. There circulated strange stories about her origin (still available nowadays), and she was spotted in a Mexican house by somebody in showbiz and ended up in the circus and carnival circuits, first in the US and then throughout most of Europe. The novel tells her re-imagined story, although, as the writer explains at the end, she used the basic known facts of her life as scaffolding that allowed her to fill in the gaps and create a fictionalised account of her short but intense life.

Julia’s story is interspersed in the novel with some chapters about Rose, a woman of our time (or thereabouts) who lives in a small apartment in London and who is could be defined as a hoarder. But more than a hoarder, she seems to feel an affinity for the objects she finds, no matter how broken and tatty, as if their stories called to her and she feels she has to rescue them and give them a home. When she finds a strange and half-destroyed doll at the beginning of the novel we don’t know yet what the link with Julia is. We don’t find that out until the very end (or close enough, although I missed one of the clues, so intent I was on following Julia’s story at that point) and it’s sad but somehow it offers a sense of closure. The mention of the island of the Dolls that also exist in reality adds another layer of strangeness and creepiness (or enchantment, it depends on one’s point of view) to the story.

The book is written in the third person from the various main characters’ points of view. The historical account is mostly from Julia’s point of view (and giving her a voice, after so many years of being the object of the gaze is a great decision), although later when she meets Lent the points of view alternate between the two and I feel that the author makes a good job of trying to get into the mind of her husband, a man difficult to empathise with or understand, especially from a modern point of view (although I’m sure people at the time wouldn’t have been comfortable with his behaviour either, at least the most enlightened ones). Rose’s chapters, although far less numerous, are told from her point of view and later from Adams’s, a neighbour, friend and lover. The novel is beautifully written; it does not only manage to create a sense of place and of the historical period, but it also succeeds at building up a psychologically consistent portrayal of both Julia and her husband. I felt there was far less detail about the contemporary parts of the story and although I did appreciate the eventual confluence of plots (so to speak, but I’ll avoid giving away any spoilers), I’m not sure that the two parts fit perfectly well, enhance each other rather than distract from one another, or that we get to know or understand the contemporary characters other than superficially. To be fair to the author, I can’t imagine many fictional stories that could compete with Julia’s real life (and afterlife).

This is a book where those who are deemed less than human run rings around the self-professed echelons of society, and I’m sure I’ll keep thinking about this story that touches on colonialism, misogyny, exploitation, issues of race, disability, diversity… Yes, I felt compelled to check the story of Julia Pastrana and other than some discrepancy about the date of her marriage, the novel is accurate regarding the facts, proving the adage that reality is stranger than fiction. And history for sure.

This is a book that will interest people who enjoy Victoriana and historical fiction of the era, and anybody who likes to read a well-written novel with great characters. It is a sad story (and I cried more than once) but it deserves to be told and read. Perhaps we don’t have carnivals or shows of the style described in the book any longer, but we shouldn’t be complacent because we are not as enlightened as we might like to think. A fascinating novel about a fascinating human being and the society of her time.

Links:

e-book:

https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-Carnival-Carol-Birch-ebook/dp/B01CGI005S/

Hardback:

https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-Carnival-Novel-Carol-Birch/dp/038554152X/

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-of-the-Carnival/dp/1782119299/

Audiobook:

https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-of-the-Carnival/dp/B01IRX8WM4/

As I said at the beginning, the story of Julia Pastrana fascinated me and I found quite a few articles talking about her, some in more detail than others. If you’re not familiar with the kind of images and pamphlets around these shows you might be surprised at the objectification and descriptions, but see what you think.

Links about Julia Pastrana:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Pastrana

https://www.buzzfeed.com/timstelloh/behold-the-heartbreaking-hair-raising-tale-of-julia-pastrana?

http://pictorial.jezebel.com/the-life-and-death-of-julia-pastrana-bearded-woman-on-1695330616

http://www.thehumanmarvels.com/julia-pastrana-the-nondescript/

http://www.sideshowworld.com/110-Mummy/Julia/Pastrana.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/arts/design/julia-pastrana-who-died-in-1860-to-be-buried-in-mexico.html

It made me think about how museums sometimes contained (I hope no longer do) actual embalmed human beings of faraway lands that were considered educational displays. This is a particularly strange example (and yes, although I don’t think I ever saw him, I visited Banyoles quite a few times).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negro_of_Banyoles

A link to the Isla de las muñecas (Island of the Dolls) in Mexico, that’s also mentioned in the novel:

http://www.isladelasmunecas.com/

And as I mentioned Freaks in the review, I thought I’d leave you a trailer, in case you’ve never watched it.

Thanks so much to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for the novel, and for bringing to my attention Julia Pastrana (I’m pleased she’s finally back home), thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

 

Categories
Autores Invitados Novedades literarias

#Autorinvitado Antonio Rittscher (@Ant69Rit ). Lecturas muy especiales

Hola a todos:
Hoy os traigo un autor invitado al que he conocido hace poco a través de Twitter, Antonio Rittscher, y sus libros me han llamado mucho la atención. No he descubierto gran cosa sobre él, aunque he encontrado esta entrada:

Antonio Rittscher
Antonio Rittscher

Biografía de Antonio Rittscher
Nació en 1969, en la Ciudad de México. Fue estudiante de Literatura Hispánica en la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Fue finalista del Premio La Trama que convoca Ediciones B con una novela que se titula: “Réquiem para Dios”. Además, ha publicado una colección de cuentos, y varias novelas.

http://www.letrasdeencuentro.es/escritores.php?autor=359&nombre=Antonio%20Rittscher

Y sus libros por orden de publicación en Amazon:

No hay más dios que Eros

No hay más dios que Eros
Mi nombre es Ernesto Valverde. Yo soy un genio de la Publicidad, yo he creado los anuncios más impresionantes y creativos de la Historia de la Publicidad. Para no andarnos con chiquitas: yo era el puto amo de la Publicidad de todo el mundo, hasta que conocí a una mujer fatal, una de esas mujeres fatales que nos putean a los hombres porque les sale de las narices. Ahora soy un pobre diablo, deambulo por todos los barrios más sórdidos de la ciudad, buscando a la madre de mi futuro hijo. ¡Tengo que encontrar a esa cabrona antes de que cometa una locura!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TAER2LM/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00TAER2LM/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00TAER2LM/

Vale la pena vivir

¿Vale la pena vivir?
Sara es una mujer judía que está recluida en un campo de concentración nazi que es comandado por un antiguo pretendiente al que ella rechazó. Ella tiene un sueño profético en el que es rescatada por su novio David, no obstante, Sara se entera de que probablemente David la traicionó y la entregó a los nazis. Harta de tantos abusos por parte de los nazis, Sara decide organizar un motín para asesinar a los nazis y liberar a todos los prisioneros.
Por su parte David nos relata todos los óbices que tiene que enfrentar para rescatar a Sara del campo de concentración nazi; David es un espía que trabaja para los Aliados, él espera recibir la ayuda de los espías norteamericanos para liberar a Sara, pero antes debe sabotear el proyecto nazi para construir una bomba atómica, amén de engañar a los nazis sobre la ubicación exacta en donde se realizará el desembarco de los Aliados en el norte de Francia.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TCK47LM/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00TCK47LM/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00TCK47LM/

Amor Fati

Amor Fati
Ibrahim Bolanski es un filósofo que se enfrenta ante dos misterios inextricables: en Atenas compró una cotorra que parlotea, en varias lenguas muertas, frases sobre la reencarnación. Ibrahim se desespera tratando de averiguar por qué la cotorra parlotea frases sobre la reencarnación. Además, se enfrenta a otro misterio: él finge una personalidad ficticia de un alpinista para seducir a las mujeres de la vida alegre. El problema surge cuando conoce a una persona que vio una foto de Ibrahim con otros alpinistas, en la falda de un pico muy peligroso. Ibrahim tiene una pésima memoria, por lo que no sabe si su personalidad de alpinista es falsa, o no. Emprenderá una búsqueda rocambolesca y desternillante para averiguar la verdad. Pero también debe impartir sus lecciones de Filosofía que revolucionarán el pensamiento occidental.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TBWO0L8/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00TBWO0L8/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00TBWO0L8/

Rematando a gol

Rematando a gol
El asesino serial de árbitros los asfixia con unas medias. La Policía sospecha que el asesino es un aficionado radical de alguno de los equipos perjudicados por los árbitros asesinados, sin embargo, el asesino no mata a los árbitros por motivos balompédicos, sino para vengar la muerte de su madre. La Policía solicita la ayuda de Montserrat, una periodista deportiva catalana que escribe artículos muy polémicos para desmontar las supuestas ayudas arbitrales al Fútbol Club Barcelona, también escribe artículos satíricos contra la Caverna madridista, además de que critica con rotundidad al entrenador del Real Madrid, lo que ocasiona que un aficionado radical del equipo blanco intente matarla.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TDZ6WD2/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00TDZ6WD2/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00TDZ6WD2/

La conspiración Lohengrin

La conspiración Lohengrin
Isaac Perelmann es un historiador judío del nazismo, Isaac recibe, en circunstancias muy misteriosas, unas cartas inéditas que se escribieron dos personas: Adolfo Hitler y un desconocido que firmaba como Lohengrin. En esas cartas Lohengrin le explica a Hitler su filosofía que es tan lúcida como profunda. Lohengrin argumenta que el verdadero Evangelio no es otra cosa que el Amor Fati. Isaac tratará de averiguar quién era Lohengrin, aunque tenga que arriesgar su vida.
Jacobo Belfagor es un ex espía del Mossad que debe investigar sobre La Conspiración Lohengrin, según la cual, Richard Wagner fundó una logia secreta llamada El Valhalla, cuya misión es suplantar el cristianismo por el paganismo germánico. El ex espía también debe averiguar si Nietzsche perteneció a dicha logia, si es verdad que un cardenal prefecto del Santo Oficio, la moderna Inquisición, intentó matar a Nietzsche, debido a que el filósofo alemán estaba por publicar su libro El Anticristo. Según esta conspiración, Nietzsche fingió su locura, su posterior muerte; el filósofo alemán fue ocultado por varios miembros de la logia, y llegó a vivir hasta el año de 1939. El ex espía debe investigar si es verdad que Hitler y muchos otros nazis pertenecieron a la logia El Valhalla, cuya misión en la actualidad es resguardar un manuscrito que escribió Nietzsche en el año de 1929, y cuyo título es El Evangelio según Zaratustra. Libro que se publicará cuando aparezca el Superhombre. Libro que ocasionará el colapso absoluto de la Iglesia Católica.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TG2WWH2/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00TG2WWH2/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00TG2WWH2/

Relatos perturbadores

Relatos perturbadores
Relatos Perturbadores es una colección de ocho relatos en los que se entreveran la ciencia ficticia, el terror psicológico y la especulación filosófica. En el primero de los relatos, el protagonista adquiere un diario en el que se escriben sus peripecias futuras. En el segundo, el protagonista viaja a través del tiempo al momento exacto en el que está por nacer en otra dimensión espacio-temporal. En el tercero, el protagonista compra un televisor que transmite sus imágenes mentales. En el cuarto, el protagonista tiene el poder de imponer su voluntad sobre la realidad, escribiendo sus deseos en un libro mágico. En el quinto, el protagonista se regodea sobremanera porque es invisible, pero más tarde se atormenta hasta la desesperación suicida. En el sexto, el protagonista sueña unos asesinatos de unos niños, pero esos sueños son idénticos a unos infanticidios reales que están ocurriendo en su barrio. En el séptimo, el protagonista adquiere un espejo que es capaz de retener las imágenes que ha reflejado desde hace dos mil años. En el último relato, el protagonista escribe una novela ficticia que al parecer se traslada a la vida real de una familia que el protagonista cree que ha creado de la nada.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U1RJ74W/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00U1RJ74W/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00U1RJ74W/

El mayor monstruo, los celos

El mayor monstruo, los celos
Mi nombre no te importa, lector entrometido, lo único que importa es mi profesión: yo soy una periodista que se dedica a investigar los casos más abominables de la violencia machista. En mi larga carrera he investigado los casos más execrables de esa lacra que es la violencia misógina, no obstante, en esta ocasión me quedé pasmada cuando tuve que investigar un doble asesinato perpetrado por un celópata, instigado por las cartas muy fraudulentas de un psicópata que parecía un fantasma, pues nadie sabía cómo aparecía, ni cómo desaparecía. Mi labor fue precisamente desenmascararlo. ¡Y vaya sorpresa tan desagradable que me llevé! ¡Ojalá nunca lo hubiera descubierto!

Este relato que te voy a contar, lector entrometido, es el más espeluznante con diferencia que yo haya visto, leído o escuchado. Con decirte que la tragedia de Otelo me parece una tira cómica después de haber investigado el caso de los celos más esquizofrénicos, truculentos y aberrantes que yo haya visto. ¡El mayor monstruo, los celos!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U87HIE6/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00U87HIE6/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00U87HIE6/

Réquiem para Dios

Réquiem para Dios (finalista I premio La Trama)
Después de permanecer atrapados durante más de dos meses dentro de una mina derrumbada en Guanajuato, treinta y tres mineros son rescatados ante la mirada entusiasta de millones de televidentes en todo el mundo. Sin embargo, hay una persona que no está alegre por dicho rescate tan mediático, su nombre es Fabrizio Madrid Satrústegui, es un asesino profesional cuyo padre falleció treinta años atrás, cuando se derrumbó una mina asturiana. Fabrizio viaja al estado de Guanajuato, en México, para asesinar a todos los mineros rescatados. Y comienza a matarlos, ante la mirada impotente de la Policía de Guanajuato, que sospecha del líder de los mineros, que estaría vengándose de un motín orquestado en su contra antes de ser rescatados. No obstante, un ex policía llamado Porfirio Parra tiene otra línea de investigación en la que porfiará hasta sus últimas consecuencias, a pesar de que fracase varias veces.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YXJ6BVQ/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00YXJ6BVQ/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00YXJ6BVQ/

El Ángel Exterminador

El Ángel Exterminador
“Buenas tardes, doctor Rosenbaum… Mi nombre es Rafael Nietzscky, soy judío, nací en Polonia el día 2 de mayo de 1945. Casi toda mi familia, incluido mi padre, murió en Auschwitz… Vengo con usted porque tengo un problema gravísimo: creo que soy la reencarnación de Adolfo Hitler…”

Así comienza esta novela que nos narra el psiquiatra Daniel Rosenbaum, a cuya consulta acuden los personajes más estrambóticos, como ese judío polaco que cree que es la reencarnación de Hitler. Durante la entrevista, el doctor Rosenbaum cree que el señor Nietzscky le está mintiendo, no obstante, unas semanas después de esa primera y única sesión, ocurre una circunstancia muy extraña que da visos de realidad a la preocupante situación del señor Nietzscky. El doctor Rosenbaum buscará entonces al señor Nietzscky por toda Francia, intentando hallar una respuesta a tan misteriosa cuestión.

Durante su periplo, el doctor Rosenbaum recibe varias llamadas de una persona que le advierte que alguien quiere matarlo. Las llamadas son muy misteriosas, sobre todo porque el doctor Rosenbaum no le ha informado de su paradero a nadie. Daniel tratará de averiguar quién le llama y quién puede estar concibiendo la idea de matarlo. Puede ser uno de sus pacientes, alguien que se sintió injuriado por el diagnóstico tan duro e implacable que le proporcionó el doctor Rosenbaum, que ha desarrollado una teoría sobre el origen etiológico de las pulsiones autodestructivas: el resentimiento neurótico que el hombre alberga contra sí mismo, resentimiento que es generado por la conciencia de la muerte. Daniel expone algunas de sus teorías que escribirá en un libro que revolucionará la Psicología.

Daniel tuvo una relación sentimental con Érika, una famosa directora de orquesta. Ella tiene varios sueños en los que Daniel le advierte que alguien quiere matarlo, no obstante, Érika tiene muchas dudas sobre si debe llamar a Daniel. Ellos rompieron su relación años atrás, a pesar de que se complementaban perfectamente. A raíz de su separación y debido a un comentario injurioso de Daniel, Érika concibe una gran idea que expone en una clase magistral, dicha idea trata sobre la afirmación dionisíaca de la vida que ha encontrado en la música de los más geniales compositores.

Esta novela versa sobre una relación amorosa de dos personajes excepcionales que buscarán una segunda oportunidad, si acaso lo permite el Ángel Exterminador…
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012965X0O/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B012965X0O/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B012965X0O/

El parnaso perdido

El parnaso perdido
Roger de Flor quería ser comediante, pero fracasó estrepitosamente. Sin embargo, su vida es muy cómica, pues se ha visto involucrado en muchos sucesos muy estrafalarios. La profesión que más detestaba, ser policía, es la que ejerce hoy en día. Su carrera de policía ha sido un éxito apabullante, vertiginoso. Tanto es así, que en la actualidad Roger de Flor es el director adjunto operativo (DAO), de la Europol. Ha logrado escalar casi todo el escalafón policíaco, gracias a que ha capturado a muchos asesinos seriales por toda Europa. Lo ha conseguido merced a que utiliza los métodos más estrambóticos para capturarlos: crea blogs, escribe artículos, ha escrito una novela de ficción, también una obra de teatro, ha concebido programas de televisión y de radio, incluso ha filmado una película de bajo presupuesto; Roger ha gestado un sinfín de estratagemas surrealistas para capturar a los asesinos seriales. Ahora tiene que capturar a un asesino serial de poetas, para ello ha pensado en un programa de televisión que presenta una poeta.
Eugenio Samper es un poeta, ha escrito varios libros de poemas que no obstante nunca se han publicado. Eugenio está enamorado de Laura Bembo, la poeta que presenta un programa de Poesía en la 2 de Televisión Española. Eugenio sueña que algún día podrá conocer a Laura, que ella lo entrevistará dentro de su programa. Sin embargo, el hermano de Eugenio, cuyo nombre es Ulises, quiere matar a todos los poetas. Eugenio se niega a colaborar con su hermano, hasta que un día Ulises le pide a su hermano que le ayude a matar a un poeta que apareció en el programa de la poeta Laura Bembo. A partir de ese primer asesinato, Eugenio colabora con su hermano Ulises para secuestrar y matar a los poetas que aparecen en el programa de la poeta Bembo, y que reciben muchos elogios a su labor poética por parte de ella. No obstante, Eugenio siente muchos remordimientos, por lo que abriga el deseo de denunciar a su hermano ante la policía…
En esta novela policíaca, el lector se adentrará en la locura más terrible, en la más inquietante.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0160VCRYY/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B0160VCRYY/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B0160VCRYY/

El evangelio según Zaratustra

El evangelio según Zaratustra. Esta obra es una traducción de la obra del mismo título de Nietzche, pero ya puestos decidí incluirla también.
Friedrich Nietzsche escribió un último libro durante los períodos de lucidez de los que pudo disfrutar en la última década de su vida. No obstante, el propio Nietzsche quiso que este libro permaneciera inédito durante más de cien años, justo por ello nunca se lo entregó a su hermana, que lo cuidaba a causa de su locura.
Este es el último libro de Nietzsche, un libro que ha permanecido inédito hasta ahora, debido a los temas tan polémicos de que trata. Este libro consta de tres tratados, en el primero, Nietzsche nos habla del origen del repudio cobarde hacia la vida, que no es otro que la conciencia de la muerte. Nietzsche menciona en este libro que la conciencia de la muerte engendra miedo, angustia, desazón, malestar contra sí mismo, todo ello se convierte en un resentimiento que es reprimido por la propia conciencia.
Sin embargo, en el segundo tratado, Nietzsche ahonda en ese resentimiento neurótico que genera a la voluntad de venganza, el deseo abominable de vengarse contra los padres que nos engendraron. Tan fuerte es este resentimiento contra la vida, afirma Nietzsche, que la voluntad de venganza alcanza hasta “dios”. La venganza contra “dios”, nos advierte el genial filósofo alemán, es lo que se esconde detrás de la cruz cristiana.
En el tercer tratado, Nietzsche profundiza en la inversión de los valores. Comienza afirmando que el Evangelio es el Amor Fati, el amor a la vida, el santo decir sí. No existe ningún otro evangelio. Nietzsche concluye que todo aquello que propicia el santo decir sí a la vida es evangélico, uno de estos valores es la creación y contemplación estéticas.
En este libro, Nietzsche critica con una profundidad abismal al fundador del cristianismo, a Jesús de Nazaret, al que llama sepulcro blanqueado. Nietzsche afirma que Jesús era un charlatán megalómano que predicó en contra del Evangelio, que es la afirmación dionisíaca de la vida. Para decirle sí a la vida, nos conmina el filósofo alemán, debemos decirle no a la cruz cristiana, debemos repudiar al cristianismo, que fue fundado por un predicador nihilista. Contra el fundador de la secta cristiana, Nietzsche contrapone al superhombre, el verdadero mensajero de la Buena Nueva, que es la afirmación evangélica de la vida.
Este es el libro más lúcido de Nietzsche, el más oscuro, el más profundo, el más lúdico de todos. Es la gran culminación de su filosofía vitalista.
El Evangelio según Zaratustra es la afirmación dionisíaca de la vida.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016J2R6J0/
http://www.amazon.es/dp/B016J2R6J0/
http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B016J2R6J0/

Para mayor gloria de Baco

Para mayor gloria de Baco
Mercedes Martorell es una escritora catalana de novela negra, ha logrado el éxito comercial gracias a una inspectora ficticia, muy incorrecta políticamente, con la que guarda una relación de amor/odio. Su más reciente novela se titula “El Cuarto Reich”, una novela que versa sobre un supuesto nieto de Adolfo Hitler que vive en España, y que planea un golpe de Estado, que logra evitar un topo infiltrado.

Mercedes nos cuenta que está escribiendo un thriller político en el que critica con tanta dureza como lucidez a la democracia de nuestros días. Mercedes asevera que esta democracia de nuestros tiempos debería llamarse oclocracia, es decir, el gobierno de la muchedumbre en el que pululan los populistas. Mercedes les quita las máscaras a los fundamentalistas demócratas, quienes, asegura, son unos adolescentes resentidos. Para Mercedes, la democracia no es sino una manifestación del resentimiento neurótico que los fundamentalistas demócratas incuban en contra de sus padres. Mercedes afirma que la democracia ocasionará el colapso de la civilización en menos de cincuenta años.

Sofía Pertegaz es una pintora tan genial como controvertida. Ha pintado cuadros como “Nietzsche Crucificado”, o “La Anunciación de Eva”. Sofía conoce a Mercedes en una exhibición pictórica, y ambas se enamoran. Inician una relación extraordinaria de amor lésbico.

Thomas Müller es un nieto secreto de Adolf Hitler, que nació en España, en donde se ha coludido con un militar de postín para perpetrar un golpe de Estado que implemente un gobierno fascista. No obstante, tiene que posponer su golpe de Estado, a raíz de la publicación de “El Cuarto Reich”, en donde se relata ese fallido golpe de Estado. Thomas decide que debe encontrar a la escritora Martorell para averiguar quién le informó de su golpe de Estado. Thomas está dispuesto a todo, incluso secuestrar y torturar hasta la muerte a los mejores amigos de Mercedes, a fin de saber dónde está. No desea otra cosa que encontrar y secuestrar a la escritora catalana para averiguar quién es el topo infiltrado en su organización fascista, después deberá matarla.

Mercedes no recuerda si alguien le informó sobre esa novela, sobre Thomas Müller, porque ella es una borracha empedernida, tanto es así, que Baco la nombra su profeta, para que adoctrine sobre el Evangelio etílico.

Intriga, humor, sexo lésbico, la redención báquica, la crítica más lúcida y profunda a la democracia, y algunas cosas más encontrará el lector en esta novela.
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Muchas gracias a Antonio por traernos su extensa obra (yo creo que os guste lo que os guste, algo encontraréis), gracias a todos vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC! Y a seguir leyendo!

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