Closer to Houston

Richard R. Fagen, Author John Daniel & Company Books $8.95 (157p) ISBN 978-0-936784-83-0
This first novel set in a fictional Central American country in the mid-1980s opens with a barrage of violence, but from that point on the brutality remains on the periphery. Charlie, an officer on a fact-finding mission for the Sterling Foundation, and Michelle, a freelance journalist, find themselves in the sierra en route to a guerilla camp of the National Liberation Front. The two Americans sympathize with the guerillas as they learn about their military and political views, their attempts to treat women as g equals, their feeling that ``with the people, everything is possible.'' But then, unwillingly and unwittingly, Charlie and Michelle are drawn into the bitter struggle between the government forces and the muchachos, or guerillas. It's a struggle they don't understand, but not for lack of trying. Charlie and Michelle refer a few times to an affair they had many years ago and the numerous regrets they suffer daily because of their chosen lifestyles. The novel abruptly ends before either the couple or the larger situation quite succeeds in coming to life. Fagen is a professor of Latin American studies at Stanford. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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