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Louis de Bernieres Box Set of 3 books: The War of Don Emmanuels Nether Parts / Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord / The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman
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Louis de Bernieres Box Set of 3 books: The War of Don Emmanuels Nether Parts / Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord / The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman (Latin American Trilogy)

4.51  ·  Rating Details ·  580 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
This rambunctious first novel by the author of the bestselling Corelli's Mandolin is set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny. "Walks a precarious edge between ...more
Paperback, 0 pages
Published August 4th 1997 by Vintage (first published 1994)
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Jul 26, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing
I became depressed as I neared the end of this trilogy because I was going to miss the characters and the adventure so much.
Rebecca Ryan
Mar 05, 2010 Rebecca Ryan rated it it was amazing
I've been sitting here for a few minutes trying to figure out how to say enough about these books. I laughed, I cried? Not enough. I read them 10 years ago and haven't been that overwhelmed by an author since? Not enough. This trilogy was one of those times in life where a book or books just hits the right need at the right time for the right person.

Beyond the personal connection with me, I found it hysterically funny, intensely thought provoking, and obsessively interesting.
Aug 05, 2009 Erik rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic-realism
Forget about the cinematic travesty of Corelli's Mandolin. These three were his best works. As a friend mentioned, these books will never translate properly to film because there are no throwaway characters or incidental acts. Everything matters and is interwoven to create a rich and complex tapestry of tragedy, comedy, and magical realism a la Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Highest recommendation.
Ryan Russell
Sep 12, 2014 Ryan Russell rated it it was amazing
I feel like I have had a pretty good grasp of how a book series should run. First act through Third act and all of that. This book serious not only ignores that structure, but kicks it in the butt, slaps a silly note on its back, and then chucks it out the door. And this series is all the better for it.

It has a loosely followed cast, with a couple million characters. Somehow, you want to be a part of all of their lives. These books are beyond entertaining. They make you fall in love ever single
Damian O
Nov 06, 2013 Damian O rated it it was amazing
A magical series by de Bernieres, each book is a dense, pacey sequence of outrageous incidents, punctuated by descriptions so delicious that they implore you to childishly agree to pretend are really plausible. Many of these incidents or stories will irritate you into stopping to considering the larger themes they evoke, from political theory, religious tradition, the justification of terrorism, class-divide and time and time again, love. De Bernieres doesn't seem to be doing anything to inhibit ...more
Oct 02, 2007 Jason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Marquez falooking for more insanityns
Shelves: favorites
Bernieres owes a lot to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and people who enjoy Marquez should get a kick out of this series. Bernieres is like Marquez on crack. I find Marquez a little more poetic and smooth, while Bernieres weilds magical realism like a scythe, cutting down reality without flinching and turning his crop into a hilarious and profound conglomeration of characters and stories about the people of South America. If you only know Bernieres through Corelli's Mandolin, you're in for a completely ...more
Charlie Wall
Jul 27, 2014 Charlie Wall rated it it was amazing
This magical realist trilogy is one of the best I've ever read. In parts hilarious, horrifying, fascinating, life affirming. Heavily influenced by Marquez, each book deals with a different issue affecting South America: 1st book details the destructive power of the army; 2nd the cocaine cartels; 3rd the Catholic church.
Feb 11, 2013 Amyss rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2014 Eithne rated it really liked it
Totally bonkers.
Aug 10, 2015 Val rated it it was amazing
I read this South American trilogy before Louis de Bernières's more famous Captain Corelli's Mandolin and still consider them his best work.
This trilogy obviously owes a huge debt to magic realism literature, but he has done something very different to any Latin-American author I have read. The magical and symbolic parts blend seamlessly into the narrative, he has mastered the technique, but the difference is in the real life parts of the books. Life can be earthy and funny and sometimes tragic;
Annie Moyes
Jul 07, 2013 Annie Moyes rated it it was amazing
The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman.

Another De Bernieres masterpiece introducing humble village people with extraordinary nerve, verve braveness and the bitter, tortured Cardinal Guzman whose exulted position has been one of hell because he has never been able to live up to it, sends his embattled priests on a mission to bring God back to the heathens. Accompanied by former guerrillas, defrocked priests, and an army of whores they set out on a their mission - an inquisition that will d
Jay Royston
Jul 03, 2016 Jay Royston rated it it was amazing
Loved these books - if you are into comedy/tragedy type plots, these are hard to beat. I laughed at times and I also was amazed at the tragedies Louis would put in there. It has an insane amount of insights into human nature and South American political comedy during a violent situation. I often recommend this for people who enjoyed Catch 22 or want something a bit deeper than Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett.
Dec 14, 2009 Jakes rated it it was ok
This book is competing with another novel set in South America -- Mutis's Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. At times De Bernieres' supercharged fantasy world carries the day -- at others I drift back to the more humanly believable and morally serious Mutis -- perverse huh? I know I should just settle down and read one or the other.
Clair Gorringe
Nov 27, 2010 Clair Gorringe rated it it was amazing
Bernieres paints a picture so vivid you want to jump on a plane (burro and epic hike) to visit his mythical South American destination. His cast of characters invite you to feel a gamut of emotions and many feel like old friends by the 3rd book. I have read this series many times and am enchanted and hooked every read.
Sep 03, 2007 Sally rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love the rollercoaster ride of horror and hilarity in one paragraph
I love to read his books purely for the beautiful turn of phrase but also the way he mixes spirit world with us on earth. He creates characters who are absurd, connected to the other world, tragic, horrifying but experience enough of the similiar emotions and problems to me that I can relate. Besides all of that, he is just damn funny in a most unexpected way.
Jan 10, 2011 Sally rated it really liked it
I started off loving this trilogy with its mixture of bizarre, grim and fantasy set in a corrupt mythical South American country. The macabre sat along side the weird in a compelling way. The end of the last book however jolts you into the realisation that this sort of corruptions and evil is everyday life for some people.
May 27, 2009 Nell rated it really liked it
This book gives the reader experiences he/she would never have - magic realism. the jungle, the mountains, the rainforest - the imagery is fantastic, so real that you feel as if you are there. The characters are so full tht when they experience tragedy or freedom or happiness, the reader does as well. Can't say enough about this book - great read.
Aug 21, 2008 Glenn rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Glenn by: Tara Healy
Major literary goldmine, recommended by Tara. Thick, substantial, riveting, immensely satisfying. And very entertaining, too. Great story telling, fascinating characters, all interwoven with obvious deep understanding of the history of every South American country. Best read in order (start w/Don Emmanuel).
Merits multiple readings.
Fred Gorrell
Jul 26, 2011 Fred Gorrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-adult
Wonderful, magical fantasy is deployed in these books as the essential resource needed to survive an otherwise unlivable environment. The characters are drawn with delightful comic exaggeration and exasperation, and the plot reels from one predictably incomprehensible indignity to the next, with ever increasing velocity.
Shona Macdonald
Sep 22, 2011 Shona Macdonald rated it it was amazing
The most astonishing set of stories i've ever read. Utterly brilliant. Also contained a description of a scene i've had nightmares about but it was appropriate to the story. Takes a while to get into the rhythm of but once you're in, the humour and cadence is addictive :)
Mar 13, 2012 Ana rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book and I keep remembering the characters a while after finishing the book. A bit depressing a bit funny, quite violent and very good descriptions of everything. One really gets attached to the characters.
Sezín Koehler
Mar 24, 2008 Sezín Koehler rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Sezín by: Marty
An absolutely magnificent trilogy about every social and cultural issue under the sun affecting South America. Gorgeously written, melding socio-economic theory with poetic magical realism. An absolute treat of a novel. You almost wish there was another trilogy to follow.
Daniel Watts
Jun 11, 2012 Daniel Watts rated it it was amazing
The most deeply engaging and moving books I have ever read. I read them years ago yet still have not read anything that comes close to the emotional power that I experienced reading these books. They are hilarious and deeply, tragically sad. A must read.
Dan Jones
Jan 06, 2010 Dan Jones rated it it was amazing
Funny and desperately sad at the same time. Magical and brutally real at the same time. My friend David bought me Senor Vivo as a Christmas present and I bought the rest. I like reading things set elsewhere in different cultures and this does that perfectly.
Oct 11, 2011 Dawn rated it it was amazing
I loved these books from page 1, the style & the humour. I also read them over 10 years ago but they have stayed with me. I would put these in my top ten favourite fiction...recommended!!
May 26, 2014 Gordon rated it it was amazing
Think of a word..any word and it will probably apply to these books. They are funny, intriguing, surprising, horrific, uplifting, depressing, thought provoking...the list goes on and on.
Sep 04, 2007 Michelle rated it really liked it
A surrealist novel that is both hilarious and horrifying at times, it parodies the history of Latin America from colonialism to the present.
Mar 18, 2008 Louise is currently reading it
Wonderfully witty satires of Latin American society from the Catholic Cardinals to the Communist revolutionaries.
Shawn Misener
Mar 07, 2013 Shawn Misener rated it it was amazing
a trilogy for all 100 Years of Solitude lovers. Just read them... you will fall in love with this place.
Claire Coverley
Apr 14, 2012 Claire Coverley rated it really liked it
Three of the most bizarre, obscure and entertaining books I've come across. Do not read whilst drinking wine or they will be even more surreal.
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Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst. After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London.

Before writing full-time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener, motor
More about Louis de Bernières...

Other Books in the Series

Latin American Trilogy (3 books)
  • The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts
  • Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord
  • The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman

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