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God's Favorite

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A fascinating work of historical fiction from an award-winning New Yorker writer captures all the gripping drama and black humor of Panama during the final, nerve-racking days of its legendary dictator, Manuel Antonio Noriega.
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published March 9th 2000 by Simon & Schuster
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Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright describes the late 1980’s Panama awash in drugs and US dollars (military and CIA). He grafts a personality on to the stone (pineapple to some) faced Dictator Manuel “Tony” Noriega as he holds power.

Tony as portrayed understands his predicament, and he is cynically prepared to do anything to stay in power. He must stay in power, because, ugly and deformed, he would never be respected without it. One sub-plot is that he is in love and thinks that money
This was an unusual and odd story. It was enjoyable but it illustrates the danger of historical fiction. You think you're learning something - and you are - but you have no real way to separate the facts from the fiction. Turns out this story is basically true to the historical timeline of Panama under General Noriega but the character of Noriega himself is a complete fiction. This character was the most interesting part of the story, and until I read the comments at the end, I believed that he ...more
I have read two of Wright's non-fiction books and was excited to try out this piece of historical fiction. Wright has a lot of credibility -- if accuracy were measured by the quantity of endnotes, then he would be the king -- so I trust all that I learned from God's Favorite about the colorful events in Panama in the mid- to late-1980's. Unfortunately, Wright's fiction writing leaves a lot to be desired. It often struck me as overly dramatic, cliche, and sometimes downright cheesy. Bummer. I hav ...more
In the first few pages there are very descriptive deaths by rape and other torture. I decided I did not want to continue as a scan ahead showed more of the same.
Chelsea Ursaner
Funny, philosophical, and somewhat educational. Doesn't really matter to me that the book 'does not pretend to be a historical account' of Noriega and the Panamanian revolutions. The fictionalized characters were fun.
Terry Edelbrock-mcglone
I really liked the book and found it hard to put down. Now going ti check out what really happened...the actual documented history!
Semi-interesting story. Not really impressed with the writing. I give it a solid "meh".
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Lawrence Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. He is a graduate of Tulane University, and for two years taught at the American University in Cairo in Egypt.

Wright graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas, Texas) in 1965 and, in 2009
More about Lawrence Wright...
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