I have finally got round to reading another one of the novels specifically sent to me with a request for a review – I promise I will try and read the other two currently sitting in my inbox in the next couple of months! ’The Tragedy of Fidel Castro’ by Joao Cerqueira has a very interesting opening scenario: God receives a request from Fátima to help stop a war between Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
The themes of the book are difficult to summarise so it is probably best to quote the author in his own words here: “Because of the European crisis, protesters occupying Wall Street, India and China’s rise and the North Korea’s problems, I think this book – which debates Capitalism and Socialism – addresses issues of critical interest in discussions on the problems of today’s world. But people interested in religious subjects – with humor and irony – will also be drawn to the book (the miracle of Fátima in 1917 in which the Virgin Mary predicted the end of Communism).” It is a very eclectic and colourful mix of ideas.
The author states in the preface that the main characters (namely God, Christ, Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy) are entirely fictional in that these characters simply happen to have the same names as their very famous counterparts. This is an interesting, if slightly confusing concept which takes some time to get used to especially at the beginning of the story. The writing itself is very good though and the story is certainly original and imaginative although often bizarre with its varied mix of humorous satire and magical realism. Overall, I think ‘The Tragedy of Fidel Castro’ would definitely appeal to open-minded readers looking for something a little different but perhaps isn’t for those who like to play it safe in their reading habits.