Saturday, October 29, 2011


by Edd Doerr

If you liked Joseph C0nrad's novel Nostromo, about late 19th century Colombia, which Conrad calls "Costaguana", you will also like Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vasquez's novel The Secret History of Costaguana, recently published in English (Riverhead, $26.95).

Vasquez' novel, which I read in Spanish before it same out in English, plays off of the Conrad novel in an utterly fascinating way, which would spoil matters if I revealed any more. It delves into Colombian history, includes Conrad in the story in a big way, and touches on US and French involvement in the development of the Panama Canal.

I give the novel five stars.

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