Tower Struck by Lightning

Fernando Arrabal, Author Viking Books $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-81346-9
Acclaimed Spanish avant-garde playwright Arrabal has delivered himself of a bracingly intelligent, caustically funny first novel. Rebellious, artistic, ex-Jesuit seminarian Elias Tarsis, an Andorran Spaniard, is locked in struggle with Marc Amary, a coldly brilliant Swiss physicist turned financial speculator and Marxist terrorist. The battlefield: the final game of the world chess championship. Ostensibly the antithesis of one another, each protagonist increasingly appears to be the other's doppelganger, as the book progresses with the aid of diagrams and flashbacks of their lives. Tarsis is convinced that Amary is behind the Paris kidnapping of a top-ranking politburo official and the ensuing demand that the Soviet Union bomb the Saudi Arabian oil fields. This mysteryand the matchare resolved to considerable effect with a surprising twist. Despite a tendency to be overly didactic, this is a stimulating examination of how emotion drives intelligence and how the innocent become pawns in the cycle of evil and human suffering. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-14-013021-8
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