Fabian's Reviews > The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman

The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman by Louis de Bernières
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Jul 16, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 19 to 25, 2012 , read count: 1

The finale of this stupendous trilogy is not unlike the 3rd Batman/Dark Knight movie-- seriously complex + overblown. "Troublesome" is the longest of the three, and unfortunately for those who were devastated by the central love story in "Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord"-- calling it a quintessential love tragedy-- will recognize rather this type of "communicating vessel" plot system (more than 65 separate vignettes which are wisely inter-cut to make the story seem all too sprawling and incredibly vast) from the first book, the topsy-turvy prone "War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts." (What unites a trilogy is, I would guess, the coming back to the origin tale, or part I, in the last part of the series.) What I love in de Bernieres' fantastic fantasias ("The English answer to Gabriel Garcia Marquez" states its back book cover) is his dog gone playfulness--absolute & rather enviable. For instance, the central story is NOT the central story, or, rather, Cardinal G's dilemma stemming from his "offspring" (which is bizarre and o-so-right--giving way to a religious, if not pretty unethical, conclusion which makes me smile with absolute satisfaction) reminds us that in this trilogy no one has the center stage at any given time...the convolusion thence creates intricate/comedic/dramatic stages fueled by wit and utmost originality. Louis de Bernieres loves to devastate his reader with tragedy piled upon tragedy, albeit all gloriously intercut by episodes of complete and utter hilarity. It is truly rollercoasteresque... the air leaves your lungs freely only to be the cause of your intense suffocation later on. Belonging next to, I am quite serious, Tolkien, this fake Latin American community belongs, where mere mortals and ghosts and even omnipresent gods convene and all have a merry, satirical, whimsical, and sometimes quite tremendously sad, time. I call it lovely, I call it wondrous--unlike all the Latin writers because it possesses authentic Britishistic flair. There should be an edition which unites all three tomes... hell, it should be available on the nook since sadly it isn't!

The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts: A-
Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord: A
The Troublesome Offspring: B+
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