Cold Skin ) is a fanciful metafiction that lampoons adventure stories while telling one with great enthusiasm. Nineteen-y"/>

Pandora in the Congo

Albert Sanchez Pinol, Author, Mara Faye Lethem, Translator , trans. from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem. Canongate $15.95 (441p) ISBN 978-1-84767-187-5

Piñol’s second novel (after Cold Skin ) is a fanciful metafiction that lampoons adventure stories while telling one with great enthusiasm. Nineteen-year-old orphan Tommy Thomson, a ghost writer struggling to make a living in WWI London, is hired to record the account of a man on trial for murdering two sons of a duke on an expedition in the Congo. The tale that unfolds draws from Stanley, Conrad and Verne, and borrows names from historical figures, often with irony (the man on trial, for instance, is named Marcus Garvey). Tommy spends four years writing and rewriting Marcus’s tale in which the doomed brothers and their enslaved African porters turned miners encounter a subterranean race reminiscent of Verne’s Morlocks. (Marcus calls them Tectons and portrays them as a barbarous threat to above-ground civilization.) Piñol has layers of commentary at work, touching on perception, the nature of literature, the need for heroes and the faults of hubris. It’s a smart book, and Piñol poses piercing questions; the adventure yarn that ties it all together is great entertainment. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 11/17/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.