As The Dream of the Celt opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade ...
As The Dream of the Celt opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man...Mario Vargas Llosa, with his incomparable gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-04-30 A Nobel Prize for Literature winner (in 2010) and one-time Peruvian presidential candidate, Vargas Llosa chronicles the life of Roger Casement, an Irish patriot and human rights activist, or "specialist in atrocities," who was executed by the British in 1916 after the Easter Rising, which heralded the beginning of Irish independence. This is a meticulously researched book about a deeply complex man; Vargas Llosa's admirable powers as a writer of fiction are apparent when he slows the pace of the narrative to allow access to Casement's thoughts as he languishes in prison, waiting to hear whether his stay of execution has been granted. Vargas Llosa (The Bad Girl) is at his best writing as a novelist rather than biographer, but the unnecessarily complex narrative structure in which Casement's life story unfolds at a galloping pace achieves neither the best of biography nor the best of fiction. Readers will wish that the book was either one or the other. Agent: The Carmen Balcells Agency. (June 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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