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The Dancer Upstairsby Nicholas Shakespeare
Synopses & Reviews
The Peruvian guerilla leader Ezequiel is responsible for tens of thousands of fiendishly cruel murders, yet he consistently eludes capture. But in Agustn Rejas he has an indefatigable pursuer. From secluded city streets to the paths of a mountain village the policeman persists, tracking and anticipating Ezequiel's every move. Rejas' only reprieve is his love for his daughter's beautiful dance teacher — until he begins to pick up unmistakable signals that her circles — and Ezequiel's — intersect.
Based on the extraordinary manhunt for the leader of Peru's notorious guerilla organization, The Shining Path, The Dancer Upstairs is a story reminiscent of Graham Greene and John Le Carré — tense, intricate, and heartbreaking.
"[A] gripping literary thriller in which a detective's pursuit of a terrorist leader expands into a many-layered tale of politics and love....Shakespeare crafts his narrative with patience and skill, ratcheting up the tension with excruciating precision." Publishers Weekly
"Enviably good, a genuinely fine novel from a writer who possesses real heart and flair." Louis de Bernieres, The Sunday Times (London)
"Shakespeare is a good writer...and a clever and ingenious storyteller, and if he hasn't yet moved into the Graham Greene class, he is surely slowly getting there....
"[I]n addition to being a satisfyingly rich tale of romance...this is a highly intelligent examination of Peruvian — and South American — reality....Shakespeare shows enviable talent as a novelist in recreating the different worlds of the campesinos at one extreme and the society women of Lima at the other." Tony Gould, New Statesman & Society
"I cannot think of any other contemporary foreign writer who has ventured with such curiosity and such sure instincts into the labyrinth of the politics of my country and acquitted himself so well." Mario Vargas Llosa, author of Who Killed Palomino Molero?
"Brilliant talk, at times infused by as much darkness as the city in the blackouts that paralyze the populace. Nothing less than disturbing....A singular experience." Bonnie Smothers, Booklist
"In The Dancer Upstairs, passion propels the main characters forward, particularly Agustin Rejas, a police officer with a mission: to bring to justice the rebel leader Ezequiel." Christopher Atamian, The New York Times Book Review
"Riveting...an intriguing, well-crafted and powerful novel. The Washington Post
"A beautifully crafted tale of love, obsession, and terror." The Baltimore Sun
"Through Rejas's tale we descend into a world where the first casualty is reality, danger is everywhere, and nothing is certain." Library Journal
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Javier Bardem and directed by John Malkovich, The Dancer Upstairs is a gripping suspense novel based on the search for the leader of Peru's notorious guerrilla organization, the Shining Path.
An unnamed South American country has just put behind bars its most notorious rebel leader, the man known as Ezequiel, whose bloody war against the state has cost thirty thousand lives. And the man responsible for his capture, the police officer Agustn Rejas, has been pensioned off to a government sinecure, sworn to silence. But when he meets John Dyer, a British journalist, in a restaurant, something compels Rejas to break his vow. He describes how, after years of tracking Ezequiel, he finally determined the rebel leader was somewhere in the capital city. At the same time, Rejas was growing passionately in love with Yolanda, a beautiful dancer who was teaching his daughter ballet and whose commitment to her art was total. Narrating the final, tension-filled days of the manhunt, Rejas reveals the shocking truth that the headlines have missed.
About the Author
Nicholas Shakespeare is the author of The Vision of Elena Silves, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, The High Flyer, and Bruce Chatwin, a biography. He lives in London.
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