Red April (Vintage International)

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9780307388384: Red April (Vintage International)

A chilling political thriller set at the end of Peru's grim war between Shining Path terrorists and a morally bankrupt government counterinsurgency.
 
Associate District Prosecutor Felix Chacaltana Saldivar is a by-the-book prosecutor wading through life. Two of his greatest pleasures are writing mundane reports and speaking to his long-dead mother. Everything changes, however, when he is asked to investigate a bizarre and brutal murder: the body was found burnt beyond recognition and a cross branded into its forehead. Adhering to standard operating procedures, Chacaltana begins a meticulous investigation, but when everyone he speaks to meets with an unfortunate and untimely end, he realizes that his quarry may be much closer to home. With action rising in chorus to Peru’s Holy Week, Red April twists and turns racing toward a riveting conclusion. 

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Review:

Book Description
A chilling, internationally acclaimed political thriller, Red April is a grand achievement in contemporary Latin American fiction, written by the youngest winner ever of the Alfaguara Prize—one of the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world—and translated from the Spanish by one of our most celebrated literary translators, Edith Grossman. It evokes Holy Week during a cruel, bloody, and terrifying time in Peru’s history, shocking for its corrosive mix of assassination, bribery, intrigue, torture, and enforced disappearance—a war between grim, ideologically-driven terrorism and morally bankrupt government counterinsurgency.

Mother-haunted, wife-abandoned, literature-loving, quietly eccentric Felix Chacaltana Saldivar is a hapless, by-the-book, unambitious prosecutor living in Lima. Until now he has lived a life in which nothing exceptionally good or bad has ever happened to him. But, inexplicably, he has been put in charge of a bizarre and horrible murder investigation. As it unfolds by propulsive twists and turns—full of paradoxes and surprises—Saldivar is compelled to confront what happens to a man and a society when death becomes the only certainty in life.

Stunning for its self-assured and nimble clarity of style—reminiscent of classic noir fiction—the inexorable momentum of its plot, and the moral complexity of its concerns, Red April is at once riveting and profound, informed as it is by deft artistry in the shaping of conflict between competing venalities. As the New York Times declares, “Lima is once again one of Latin America’s brightest literary scenes.”

Amazon Exclusive: Santiago Roncagliolo on Red April

I have always loved thrillers. In particular, I’ve always loved serial killer thrillers, like David Fincher’s Seven or Allan Moore's From Hell. Serial killers puts readers or spectators in touch with their darkest and most animal impulses, while making an intriguing plot.

I also wanted to write about war, or at least, about the scars from war. As a Peruvian, I was raised in a society where 70,000 people died during the eighties. Army and terrorists were killing so many people that they were hardly different from each other. In the last few years, the same things have happened in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And the same fear I felt in Lima under the bombs and blackouts is felt by people from New York after September 11th or Madrid after March 11th. Therefore, I thought I had a story to tell that would be interesting to read all over.

A thriller needs a good location. I had the traditional Holy Week from Ayacucho, a really scary celebration representing the Death and Resurrection of Christ. During one night of Holy Week, everyone turns off all the electric lights in the villages. Among the only light of thousands of candles, a naked and blood-bathed image of Christ is taken all around the city, as if it were slowly floating in the dark. And that is just one night. Holy Week was the perfect place to convey the Catholic myths of eternal life as well as the Andean concept of eternal return, two versions of death, and triumph over death. Any psycho would love to work there. --Santiago Roncagliolo

(Photo © Eric Molgora)

About the Author:

SANTIAGO RONCAGLIOLO was born in Lima, Peri, in 1975. He is the author of two other novels; Red April, which will appear in eleven languages, marks his debut in English. He currently lives in Barcelona.

EDITH GROSSMAN is the award-winning translator of such masterworks as Cervantes’s Don Quixote and García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.

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Book Description Vintage Books USA, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 202 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A chilling political thriller set at the end of Peru s grim war between Shining Path terrorists and a morally bankrupt government counterinsurgency. Associate District Prosecutor Felix Chacaltana Saldivar is a by-the-book prosecutor wading through life. Two of his greatest pleasures are writing mundane reports and speaking to his long-dead mother. Everything changes, however, when he is asked to investigate a bizarre and brutal murder: the body was found burnt beyond recognition and a cross branded into its forehead. Adhering to standard operating procedures, Chacaltana begins a meticulous investigation, but when everyone he speaks to meets with an unfortunate and untimely end, he realizes that his quarry may be much closer to home. With action rising in chorus to Peru s Holy Week, Red April twists and turns racing toward a riveting conclusion. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780307388384

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Book Description Vintage Books USA, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 202 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A chilling political thriller set at the end of Peru s grim war between Shining Path terrorists and a morally bankrupt government counterinsurgency. Associate District Prosecutor Felix Chacaltana Saldivar is a by-the-book prosecutor wading through life. Two of his greatest pleasures are writing mundane reports and speaking to his long-dead mother. Everything changes, however, when he is asked to investigate a bizarre and brutal murder: the body was found burnt beyond recognition and a cross branded into its forehead. Adhering to standard operating procedures, Chacaltana begins a meticulous investigation, but when everyone he speaks to meets with an unfortunate and untimely end, he realizes that his quarry may be much closer to home. With action rising in chorus to Peru s Holy Week, Red April twists and turns racing toward a riveting conclusion. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780307388384

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Book Description Vintage Books,, New York:, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st ed.. On its surface an exciting and fast-moving whodunit set during Lent and Holy Week of 2000, Red April revolves around the seemingly hapless, bureaucratic public prosecutor Félix Chacaltana Saldívar as he investigates an unusual death only to find that everyone he speaks to in his inquiry soon meets a grisly demise. The extreme brutality of the murders suggests there may be a resurgence of the "terrorists" (el Sendero Luminoso). It's not particularly difficult to sense otherwise, as early on, Roncagliolo is none too subtle in narrowing the field of would-be culprits. But that's hardly the point. We're given historical insight as to why this conflict was so ugly, but, more importantly, we're forced to confront the implications and aftermath of war and how its brutality affects both the individual and the society at large. "We waged a just war, that is undeniable, but sometimes I have difficulty distinguishing between us and the enemy," bemoans Saldívar, "and when that happens, I begin to ask myself what exactly it is that we fought against." His concerns are, indeed, universal. 8vo, wrps, 271 p. Bookseller Inventory # 154817

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 134mm x 17mm x 206mm. Paperback. A chilling political thriller set at the end of Peru's grim war between Shining Path terrorists and a morally bankrupt government counterinsurgency.Associate District Prosecutor Felix.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 271 pages. 0.231. Bookseller Inventory # 9780307388384

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