Dionisio Vivo, a South American lecturer in philosophy, is puzzled by the hideously mutilated corpses that keep turning up outside his front door. To his friend, Ramon, one of the few honest policemen in town, the message is all too clear: Dionisio's letters to the press, exposing the drug barons, must stop; and although Dionisio manages to escape the hit-men sent to get him, he soon realises that others are more vulnerable, and his love for them leads him to take a colossal revenge.
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Sharp, funny, engaging...de Bernieres is doing for Colombia's drug culture what Tom Sharpe did for apartheid. His approach is flippant, but the purpose behind it is deadly serious - Financial Times
Vibrant, lucid, charged with wild jokes and harrowing scenes smelted with torture...a book which shudders with memorability...satirical and splendid - Scotland on Sunday
It's a delightfully mesmerising book. Set in a mythical South American country that's a composite of real South American history and Bernières's fertile imagination, and therefore a perfect companion to take on a south-of-the-border vacation - the book is awash in the realities and flavour of South America and the lunacies of Bernières's genius - Stephanie Gold
Amusing, terrifying and ultimately sobering - New York Times Book Review