At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig
Travels Through Paraguay
By (author) John Gimlette
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At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig by John Gimlette
Book DescriptionParaguay - the name conjures up everything most exotic and extreme in South America. It's a place of hellish jungles, dictators, fraudsters and Nazis, utopian experiments, missionaries and lurid coups. It's not a place for the timid tourist. It doesn't even have its own guidebook. But Paraguay, as revealed in this outstanding new travel book, is among the most beautiful and captivating countries in the world. The beguiling Paraguayans, despised and feared by their neighbours, are unfathomable. They adore Diana, Princess of Wales, as if she were still alive and hundreds volunteered to fight for Britain in the Falklands War. Their politics are Byzantine but when the Vice-President is murdered, they call in Scotland Yard. Discover more about the unique traditions of South American culture through this fascinating piece of travel journalism.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099416555
(198mm x 130mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publish Date: 5-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author John Gimlette
Elephant Complex, Paperback (August 2016)
A Spectator Book of the Year 2015. From Ceylon to the Tamil Tigers, the first in-depth account of Sri Lanka by an award-winning travel writer.
Panther Soup, Paperback (January 2009)
By the end of World War II much of Western Europe was in chaos. The future of our world had been contested here, in the hinterlands of France and across the German plains. But what's become of the battlefields? Or the people that lived on them? With questions like these, this title sets off on a journey into the past.
Theatre of Fish, Paperback (May 2006)» View all books by John Gimlette
John Gimlette's travels through the eastern extreme of the Americas, which mirrors that of Dr Eliot Curwen, his great-grandfather, who spent a summer there as a doctor in 1893. Using Curwen's journal, John Gimlette revisits the places his great-grandfather encountered, and along the way explores his own links with this land.
UK Kirkus Review » One of the most isolated countries on the planet, Paraguay is never going to be top of anybody's holiday list, existing in a near-permanent state of surreal chaos and Napoleonic tyranny since being violently 'discovered' by the Conquistadors in the 16th century. A favoured destination for Nazi war criminals, Paraguay's political history is a complicated series of dictatorships, coups and shocking brutality, while their barely functional train network and the distinctive character of the people make it feel like another universe. No official guidebooks exist, and first-time author John Gimlette has responded by crafting a strange and sometimes fascinating mixture of travelogue and history, intercutting his various journeys around Paraguay with an in-depth and well-researched look at the history of this eclectic and peculiar nation. The lurid cover gives the impression of a light-hearted travelogue romp, but what Gimlette has delivered is a somewhat gruelling read that tackles head-on the appalling atrocities perpetrated throughout Paraguay's history. Keeping up an urbanely witty prose style throughout, the seemingly endless list of bizarre horrors and catastrophes finally becomes rather wearing, particularly when phrased in such a deliberately jaunty manner. Dividing the book into 131 short, staccato chapters hardly helps, resulting in a frequently bitty and unsatisfying tone, while Gimlette's style is better suited to the Paraguayan past than involving the readers in his meandering travels. Without a specific route or journey to follow, it feels more like a compendium of anecdotes, but the immense factual and historical detail keeps the book readable and interesting, while there's also a number of photographs (both colour and black-and-white), as well as maps and reproductions of period drawings. Anyone wanting to find out more about the strange, vibrant and bloody history of South America will find this a useful and informative read. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - John Gimlette
Although this is his first book, John Gimlette is already well established as a travel journalist, having won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for an essay which has led to this book, and the Wanderlust Travel Writing Award. He writes regularly for the Telegraph. When not deep in the jungles of Paraguay he practises as a barrister in London. He is currently writing his second book, Theatre of Fish: Travels through Newfoundland and Labrador.
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