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The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by…
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The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (1987)

by Salman Rushdie

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I loved the breadth and brilliance of Rushdie's Midnight's Children, admired his clever, biting and sly portrait of Benazir Bhutto (the 'Virgin Ironpants') in Shame, was confused with the immature ramblings of Grimus, bored with the Satanic Verses, but to some extent sympathised with the author's viewpoint in The Jaguar Smile.

One of many anti-American, or at least pro-socialist, books that seeks to cast doubt on US involvement on foreign soil in the name of political freedom and the expansion of market, this one is also somewhat of a travelogue and occasionally entertaining. As in almost all Rushdie books, the reader is assumed to be well-read and to be able to catch all the literary allusions which so amuse the author himself, just as they did his hero James Joyce.

If you are a Rushdie afficianado then you will love this book, otherwise you might find its greatest virtue is its brevity. ( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
Interesting travelogue, though a bit outdated. In the 1980's Salman Rushdie was invited to Nicaragua by the Sandinista regime. He spent 3 weeks in the country, and on this basis alone he wrote this entire book. I would say that 3 weeks is not a lot to fully get to know a country or get a grasp on its political situation. It is easy to be charmed by poets and writers who have become politicians and by ladies who keep a pet cow in their home.

Luckily Salman Rushdie is a good writer so this book is well written and a pleasure to read. The observations are sharp and sometimes funny. What I also liked about it is the continuous doubt inside the author about a regime which on the one hand claims to be a true democracy but on the other shut down a newspaper. Which on the one hand had to fight for survival against a very mighty enemy but on the other hand seemed to misuse its own power against its native Amerindian inhabitants. ( )
1 vote Tinwara | Aug 20, 2011 |
bizar verhaal, gast die denkt dat hij de engel gabriel is, een ander verandert in een duivel, kwaad en goed lopen wat vervelend door elkaar, net als wonderen en perfect scientific explanations ( )
  Hopsakee | Apr 2, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
"Rushdie winds up writing a great deal of admiring drivel at the knees of various Sandinista commanders who have been more interestingly interviewed elsewhere . . . [But] Rushdie's effort is worth a second look because it is also an account of the confusion any one of us might feel if we visited Nicaragua and gave it a chance to affect us . . ."
 
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Epigraph
There was a young girl of Nic'ragua
Who smiled as she rode on a jaguar.
They returned from the ride
With the young girl inside
And the smile on the face of the jaguar.
ANON
Dedication
For Robbie
First words
Ten years ago, when I was living in a small flat above an off-licence in SW1, I learned that the big house next door had been bought by the wife of the dictator of Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza Debayle.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670817570, Hardcover)

In this timeless, haunting portrait of the people and the politics of Nicaragua, Rushdie brings to life the palpable human facts of a country in the midst of a revolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:14 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Contains primary source material.

» see all 2 descriptions

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