Tyrant Memory

Tyrant Memory

Book - 2011
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The tyrant of Horacio Castellanos Moya's ambitious new novel is the actual pro-Nazi mystic Maximiliano Herna´ndez Marti´nez -- known as the Warlock -- who came to power in El Salvador in 1932. An attempted coup in April, 1944, failed, but a general strike in May finally forced him out of office. Tyrant Memory takes place during the month between the coup and the strike. Its protagonist, Hayde´e Aragon, is a well-off woman, whose husband is a political prisoner and whose son, Clemente, after prematurely announcing the dictator's death over national radio during the failed coup, is forced to flee when the very much alive Warlock starts to ruthlessly hunt down his enemies. The novel moves between Hayde´e's political awakening in diary entries and Clemente's frantic and often hysterically comic efforts to escape capture. Tyrant Memory -- sharp, grotesque, moving, and often hilariously funny -- is an unforgettable incarnation of a coun- try's history in the destiny of one family.
Publisher: New York : New Directions, 2011.
ISBN: 9780811219174
Branch Call Number: FIC CASTELL
Characteristics: 270 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Silver, Katherine


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May 15, 2015

Another entry in the Latin American dictator novel subgenre. Exiled Salvadoran writer Horacio Castellanos Moya bases his novel on the true story of a pro-Nazi tyrant, nicknamed "Warlock," who ruled El Salvador in the 30s and 40s. Though it's described as "comic," and "brilliantly funny," it's pretty bleak to be a comedy. I liked "The Dream of My Return Better." Other good dictator novels: "The House of the Spirits," "In the Time of the Butterflies," "Feast of the Goat," "The Autumn of the Patriarch," and "I, the Supreme."


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