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Monday, July 24, 2017

Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord (1991) by Louis de Bernières

Book Review
Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord (1991)
 by Louis de Bernières

    Louis de Bernières is an English author.  His most famous book is Captain Corelli's Mandolin, forever tainted by its association with walking human meme Nicolas Cage.  Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord is the second book in his "Latin American" trilogy, apparently based on his love for the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his stint teaching English in Columbia.  His take on magic realism is firmly grounded in the politics of "now," circa 1991.

  Señor Vivo is a philosophy professor, the son of a General, who takes a public stand against narco-business in a local newspaper.  He draws the wrath of the Coca Lord.  Magical realist flourishes aside, the violence and corruption depicted by de Bernières are very much real, or at least the reality that we are familiar with from television.

  I'm not sure it really stands up as a classic.  It's basically still within the 25 year quarentine zone that hovers around new releases and personally, I find it a tiny bit offensive that an English author feels so comfortable writing about Latin America in a magically realistic style, I mean who is he to judge?

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