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Pandora in the Congo by Albert Sánchez…

Pandora in the Congo (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Albert Sánchez Piñol, Mara Faye Lethem (Translator)

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2932438,321 (3.64)33
Title:Pandora in the Congo
Authors:Albert Sánchez Piñol
Other authors:Mara Faye Lethem (Translator)
Info:Canongate U.S. (2009), Edition: Original, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Owned books
Tags:fiction, historical, Africa

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Pandora in the Congo by Albert Sánchez Piñol (2008)

  1. 00
    The People in the Trees: A Novel by Hanya Yanagihara (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Though they've quite a different feel to each other, these two books have a lot in common: jungle setting, fantastical elements made credible, ethical questions, and tricks of narration. And they're both first-rate adventure yarns.

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English (14)  Catalan (5)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  All (23)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Apparently this is the second volume in a trilogy that started with Cold Skin. It's a strange story of Englishmen in the Congo told by the only survivor of an expedition, now on trial for his life. I enjoyed it, though it wasn't quite as striking as Cold Skin. ( )
  annesadleir | Dec 27, 2011 |
I picked this up hoping for a fun adventure story. It started off in a sort of comic book, fanciful, comedic style, which I found quite refreshing and promising. Unfortunately, the author repeatedly switched from this comic style to a dense, depressing realism and back again throughout the book, which ultimately destroyed the story. He seemed to want to create a thrilling adventure, but also wanted to make a point. Unfortunately, he allowed a very simple point (that despite the evil in the world life is worth living) to destroy an otherwise interesting story. Had he simply told the story of the Congo, which would have made the book about half its length, this would have been a much better book. ( )
  Beej415 | Apr 16, 2011 |
I got lost in the jungle. And then I misplaced the book. ( )
  picardyrose | Apr 6, 2011 |
Just finished Pandora in the Congo by Abert Pinol, translated from the Catalan; quite a peculiar mash-up of genres. Looked at from a distance, as it were, it's a meta-meta-fiction - a ripping tale inside a prisoner's plaint inside a courtroom case in GB circa WWI as told to a ghostwriter's ghostwriter. But - mostly it's a sendup of the white mans burden genre of African adventure. The prisoner, Marcus Garvey, has washed back up on British shores - the sole survivor of a disastrous expedition into the Congo led by two wastrel scions of Brit. aristocracy, planning to recoup all their prior failures through the mineral wealth of the Congo. He's jailed for suspected murder of the brothers for the two enormous diamonds that are all that he's had upon his return.
The expedition turns immediately into a horror story as the brothers treat one and all w/ a malicious abandon, marching into the heart beyond the heart of darkness. For not only do they find gold - they find humanoid aliens - who initially appear as white natives but who turn into ever more effective opponents. Of course a love story emerges - Marcus and an alien lady fall for each other, to the disgust of the brothers. Battles and batterings occur. And, most of all, stories under, through and within stories emerge.

If you are willing to totally suspend belief (and ignore errors of fact - as ripping yarns were wont to do) there IS an oddly exciting adventure story here (translated from the Catalan) that bogs down a bit every now and again in its own cleverness and perverseness. But - hey - despite knowing the tricksy nature of the beast in advance, i still got well taken in. So, that's good - I think.
3.5 stars - if you like this sort of thing. ( )
1 vote bobmcconnaughey | Sep 6, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this as part of the early reviewers programme but I'm afraid I didn't get on well with it. The story gets very weird, which would not be a problem - I like weird - but I also found it rather sordid and the depictions of the Englishmen a bit heavy handed. When it came down to it, the story didn't interest me enough to keep going and the writing seemed a bit clumsy. Looking at the other reviews I am obviously in a minority, so maybe I will go back to it at some point and give it another try. ( )
  Eloise | Jul 29, 2008 |
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Albert Sánchez Piñolprimary authorall editionscalculated
Аврова-Раа… НинаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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1914: Marcus Garvey, a British manservant, emerges from the depths of the Belgian Congo, the sole survivor of a mining expedition in which both his masters, William and Richard Craver, died. He returns to London with 2 enormous diamonds, spinning a story so terrifying it isn't believed and he's arrested. Tommy Thomson, a London ghostwriter, is approached to document Garvey's odyssey. From his prison cell, Garvey recounts the horror the expedition encountered in the recesses of the Congo. How did the brothers die? What unearthly forces would drive men to commit such acts of immeasurable brutality? Could love have bloomed in the heart of such darkness?… (more)

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3 17
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