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The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by…
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The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (1990)

by Louis de Bernières

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1,123197,318 (3.9)35
  1. 10
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (ShaneTierney)
  2. 00
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Pedrolina)
    Pedrolina: Both books take on the slightly surreal side to war, but with serious consequences nonetheless.
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» See also 35 mentions

English (17)  Dutch (2)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
It is possibly more a reflection on my current state of mind that I have abandoned this novel about half way through. It isn't a bad novel, I just lost patience with trying to remember who was who and where they were up to as the action flitted between different groups. Apart from being confusing it is otherwise well written and I may have enjoyed it at a less busy time in my life when I could sit all day and read.
The novel is full of wonderful characters: Don Emmanuel is a lovely comic character who is well drawn and I did not confuse him with other characters. However, I did get muddled between others. ( )
  Tifi | Sep 20, 2014 |
Political satire is hard--hard to write well and hard for me as a reader to enjoy. I read the first several chapters of this and founds bits of it sort of funny, but the combination of madcap wackiness and high tragedy didn't work for me. The violence was too violent to offset the jokes being cracked just a page or two later. The tone doesn't change much between the comic parts and the violent moments, so I ended up feeling like rape and murder wasn't being taken seriously. The treatment of women was especially difficult to take. Much of the violence involves rape, and many of the jokes involve how much sex the "whores" are having. Not my kind of book, so I'm setting it aside. I'm willing to give it another try at some point, if a fan whose taste I trust makes a good case for it and assures me that the treatment of women improves.
  teresakayep | Sep 9, 2014 |
So much better than Captain Correlli. Forget that book and read this series. Quirky, intelligent, mysterious; well rewritten. Nearest series I can think of is Dr Siri by Colin Cotterill. ( )
  libgirl69 | Apr 19, 2014 |
I loved this book and the whole trilogy. I read the trilogy in reverse order over a couple years. I've just finished this last (first) book now in preparation for my summer in Central America.

I love the way that de Bernières writes. I feel like I know his characters, his social critiques are piercing and spot-on while showing how the perpetrators of atrocities are often victims of their circumstances, and the entire trilogy is hilarious. The 'magic' feels perfectly natural, never provoking a raised eyebrow, and through it all the effect is to make me feel wiser and more compassionate with a better understanding of the world.

I am at a loss for words, so suffice to say that Louis de Bernières is a true master. ( )
  lucthegreat | May 10, 2013 |
Aaaahhhh!

How could I have forgotten this gem?

This is what arises when one reads old letters intended for friends that have remained unsent, a kind of temporal journal of misplaced memories in which startling revelations unfold: did I do that? Oh....yes, I remember - that's what happened...ooooh, that wasn't very clever, was it?

So...this book. I have no idea why it was so impressive so many years ago. It just was. Here's what I had to say about it in this long-lost-recently-resurfaced piece of correspondence:

I have started reading another book The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts, by Louis de Bernieres. I am alternatively amused at the irony, impressed with the use of language, and appalled at the viciousness of certain of the scenes described. I am envious that I cannot put pen to paper to create a fictitious (or actual) world in which to delineate and resolve my own philosophical conundrums or describe my journeys in time and space. Surely, if people are reading and appreciating these writers, I should find too an audience not threatened or bored by this tumultuous cascade of thoughts and ideas that yearns to find coherent expression through either the written word or the medium of film. Dear ???, do you find my letters entertaining, provoking, or simply eternally desultory spirals predominantly (and preponderantly) concerned with “I”?

As you can see, the piece of correspondence probably had no point in surfacing other than to remind me of the existence of the Don's nether parts.
( )
  Scribble.Orca | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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To the Incorrigible and Legendary Don Benjamin of Poponte, who entrusted me with several children and three horses.
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It had been an auspicious week for Captain Rodrigo Jose Figueras.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
This book is very dark, yet full of humor, and a superbly vivid depiction of both the supernatural and brutally realistic worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375700137, Paperback)

Louis de Bernières's sardonic pen has concocted a spicy olla podrida of a novel, set in a fictitious Latin American country, with all the tragedy, ribaldry, and humor Bernières can muster from a debauched military, a clueless oligarchy, and an unconventional band of guerrillas. There's a plague of laughing, a flood of magical cats, and a torture-happy colonel. The cities, villages, politics, and discourse are an inspired amalgam of Latin Americana, but the comedy, horror, adventure, and vibrant individuals are pure de Bernières. This masterpiece, the first of a trilogy, is followed by Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:36 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When the spoilt and haughty Dona Constanza tries to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, she starts a running battle with the locals. The skirmishes are so severe that the government dispatches a squadron of soldiers led by the fat, brutal and stupid Figueras to deal with them. Despite visiting plagues of laughing fits and giant cats upon the troops, the villagers know that to escape the cruel and unusual tortures planned for them, they must run. Thus they plan to head for the mountains and start a new convivial civilisation.… (more)

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