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The Uncomfortable Dead: A Novel of Four Hands

by and

The Uncomfortable Dead: A Novel of Four Hands Cover

ISBN13: 9781933354071
ISBN10: 1933354070
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $7.95!

 

Review-A-Day

"[A] stunning narrative about the various ghosts that continue to haunt contemporary Mexican politics and national identity. It is also uproariously funny, as if Marcos and Taibo are trying to make each other laugh to keep from crying. The American edition features a marvelous translation, in which both the authors' poetic sensibility and penchant for wry one-liners come across in equal measure. This is the contemporary world mystery at its finest: an intricate and engaging page-turner that keeps one guessing at how the authors are going to pull it off." Kevin Carollo, Rain Taxi (read the entire Rain Taxi review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In alternating chapters, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos and the consistently excellent Paco Ignacio Taibo II create an uproarious murder mystery with two intersecting story lines.

The chapters written by the famously masked Marcos originate in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. There, the fictional Subcomandante Marcos assigns Elias Contreras — an odd but charming mountain man — to travel to Mexico City in search of an elusive and hideous murderer named Morales.

The second story line, penned by Taibo, stars his famous series detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne. Hector guzzles Coca-Cola and smokes cigarettes furiously amidst his philosophical and always charming approach to investigating crimes — in this case, the search for his own Morales.

The two stories collide absurdly and dramatically in the urban sprawl of Mexico City. The ugly history of the city's political violence rears its head, and both detectives find themselves in an unpredictable dance of death with forces at once criminal, historical, and political.

Review:

"Mexican crime writer Taibo and a real-life spokesperson for the Zapatista movement, Subcomandante Marcos, provide alternating chapters for this postmodern comedic mystery about good, evil and modern revolutionary politics. Elas Contreras, a detective for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (and Marcos's creation), heads to Mexico City to investigate the case of a nefarious government-backed murderer named Morales. Taibo brings back one-eyed Mexico City detective Hctor Belascoarn Shayne (Return to the Same City, etc.), who becomes involved in the case when he learns of strange telephone messages about this same Morales. Taibo's expertise ensures a smart, funny book, and Marcos brings a wry sense of humor. The authors mix mystery with metafiction: characters operate from beyond the grave or chat about the roles they play in the novel, and Marcos writes his fictional self into the story. Literary readers will nod and smile knowingly, though serious mystery devotees who prefer more grounded noir might be mildly annoyed by the hijinks. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A lot of strange stories have been circulating about the elusive Osama bin Laden, but none stranger than one put forward by a character in the Mexican novel 'The Uncomfortable Dead.' This fellow insists that the bin Laden we see on television is not the Saudi millionaire and purported evildoer at all. The man we see is, rather, a tall, gaunt taco vendor named Juancho who made his way to Burbank, Calif.,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"As one might expect, the political trumps the personal in this curious mix of crime novel and position paper, but it is just strange enough to attract a cult audience." Booklist

Review:

"This lively crime noir presents a very sad picture of present-day Mexico. Recommended..." Library Journal

Review:

"Messy detective story with a sharp, self-important political agenda....A disjointed work." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"It's one thing to write fiction informed by your own supple leftism. It's another to use the conventions of noir...in the service of a cut-and-dried worldview." New York Times

Review:

"[T]he novel is more whimsical than political....At best, the novel is a hoot, but at worst it's a mishmash of cornball humor and warmed-over revolutionary musings." Washington Post

Review:

"What does The Uncomfortable Dead prove? Only that the endeavor was idle from the start. Is there a message it advances? Not that I can discern..." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"The novel careens from slapstick to sentimental to thoughtful and back again, often in the same sentence....On its face, the novel is a murder mystery, and at the book's heart, always, is a deep love of Mexico and its people." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Original, funny, biting, and sincere, The Uncomfortable Dead is Huckleberry Finn by Thomas Pynchon." Tim McLoughlin, editor of Brooklyn Noir

Review:

"This isn't your ordinary left-wing noir satire co-written by Mexico's most famous crime novelist and the world's best-known revolutionary leader — it's a singular event in world literature." Neal Pollack, author of Never Mind the Pollacks

Review:

"It doesn't get much more delicious than this: the mythic, surreal Subcomandante Marcos and the wonderfully ironic Paco Taibo playing duet on a most unexpected story — a noir! But their collaboration is not just any noir — this one's tender, funny, sly political, smart, and just plain fun!" Achy Obejas, author of Days of Awe

Synopsis:

The highly anticipated surreal noir collaboration between Mexico's greatest writer and its most courageous revolutionary.

Synopsis:

In alternating chapters, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos and the consistently excellent Paco Ignacio Taibo II create an uproarious murder mystery with two intersecting storylines.

 

The chapters written by the famously masked Marcos originate in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. There, the fictional "Subcomandante Marcos"assigns Elias Contreras-an odd but charming mountain man-to travel to Mexico Cityin search of an elusive and hideous murderer named Morales.

 

The second story line, penned by Taibo, stars his famous series detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne. Hector guzzles Coca-Cola and smokes cigarettes furiously amidst his philosophical and always charming approach to investigating crimes-in this case, the search for his own "Morales."

 

The two stories collide absurdly and dramatically in the urban sprawl of Mexico City. The ugly history of the city's political violence rears its head, and both detectives find themselves in an unpredictable dance of death with forces at once criminal, historical, and political.

 

Subcomandante Marcosis a spokesperson and strategist for the Zapatistas, an indigenous insurgency movement based in Mexico. He first joined the guerrilla group that was to become the Zapatistas in the early 1980s. Marcos is author of several books translated into English, including the award-winning children's book The Story of Colors(Cinco Puntos Press) and Our Word is Our Weapon(Seven Stories Press).

 

Paco Ignacio Taibo II was born in Gijon, Spain, and has lived in Mexicosince 1958. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including a mystery series starring Mexican Private Investigator Hector BelascoaranShayne (a protagonist in this book as well). He is a professor of history at the Metropolitan University of Mexico City. He has won various literary prizes, including the National History Award from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

About the Author

Subcomandante Marcos is a spokesperson and strategist for the Zapatistas, an indigenous insurgency movement based in Mexico. He first joined the guerrilla group which was to become the Zapatistas in the early 1980s. Marcos is author of several books translated into English, including the award-winning children's book Story of the Colors (Cinco Puntos) and Our Word Is Our Weapon (Seven Stories Press).

Paco Ignacio Taibo II was born in Gijon, Spain and has lived in Mexico since 1958. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, which have been published in many languages around the world, including a mystery series starring Mexican Private Investigator Hector Belascoaran Shayne (a protagonist in this book as well). He is a professor of history at the Metropolitan University of Mexico City. He has won various literary prizes, including the National History Award from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

711peterhoffman, December 10, 2013 (view all comments by 711peterhoffman)
Told by two unique authors in alternating chapters this book is hilarious and intriguing. Having read quite a bit of Subcommandante Marcos' political writings it was extremely pleasurable to read his lighter side in this book. This is just a fun book to read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Douglas, February 27, 2007 (view all comments by Douglas)
This was a delight as a magic realist political screed mystery thriller comedy tragedy. Subcomandante Marcos, writing every other chapter, a character in his own fiction, is charming, heartbreaking, preachy (but it's okay), and very funny. Who knew revolutionaries were funny? I do, now. The other writer, Mexican academic and mystery writer Paco Taibo II, already a favorite, brings his legendary hard-boiled detective, Hector Belascoaran Shayne, to the mix. I only give this four out of five because, being a good American liberal, the preachiness bugged me a little. Yeah, yeah, my problem, right? Anyway, read this book! And read the other Taibo mysteries! I'm going to check out Subcomandante Marcos' kid's book now. Go, Zapatistas!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781933354071
Author:
Paco Ignacio Taibo II and Subcomandante Marcos
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Translator:
Lopez, Carlos
Author:
Paco Ignacio Taibo III
Author:
Paco Ignacio Taibo II
Author:
Taibo III, Paco Ignacio
Author:
Taibo II, Paco Ignacio
Author:
E
Author:
Marcos, Subcomandante
Author:
Marcos, Subcomandant
Author:
Taibo, Paco Ignacio, II
Subject:
Mexico
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Private investigators
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
September 2006
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
268
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 in 9.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Uncomfortable Dead: A Novel of Four Hands Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 268 pages Akashic Books - English 9781933354071 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Mexican crime writer Taibo and a real-life spokesperson for the Zapatista movement, Subcomandante Marcos, provide alternating chapters for this postmodern comedic mystery about good, evil and modern revolutionary politics. Elas Contreras, a detective for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (and Marcos's creation), heads to Mexico City to investigate the case of a nefarious government-backed murderer named Morales. Taibo brings back one-eyed Mexico City detective Hctor Belascoarn Shayne (Return to the Same City, etc.), who becomes involved in the case when he learns of strange telephone messages about this same Morales. Taibo's expertise ensures a smart, funny book, and Marcos brings a wry sense of humor. The authors mix mystery with metafiction: characters operate from beyond the grave or chat about the roles they play in the novel, and Marcos writes his fictional self into the story. Literary readers will nod and smile knowingly, though serious mystery devotees who prefer more grounded noir might be mildly annoyed by the hijinks. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[A] stunning narrative about the various ghosts that continue to haunt contemporary Mexican politics and national identity. It is also uproariously funny, as if Marcos and Taibo are trying to make each other laugh to keep from crying. The American edition features a marvelous translation, in which both the authors' poetic sensibility and penchant for wry one-liners come across in equal measure. This is the contemporary world mystery at its finest: an intricate and engaging page-turner that keeps one guessing at how the authors are going to pull it off." (read the entire Rain Taxi review)
"Review" by , "As one might expect, the political trumps the personal in this curious mix of crime novel and position paper, but it is just strange enough to attract a cult audience."
"Review" by , "This lively crime noir presents a very sad picture of present-day Mexico. Recommended..."
"Review" by , "Messy detective story with a sharp, self-important political agenda....A disjointed work."
"Review" by , "It's one thing to write fiction informed by your own supple leftism. It's another to use the conventions of noir...in the service of a cut-and-dried worldview."
"Review" by , "[T]he novel is more whimsical than political....At best, the novel is a hoot, but at worst it's a mishmash of cornball humor and warmed-over revolutionary musings."
"Review" by , "What does The Uncomfortable Dead prove? Only that the endeavor was idle from the start. Is there a message it advances? Not that I can discern..."
"Review" by , "The novel careens from slapstick to sentimental to thoughtful and back again, often in the same sentence....On its face, the novel is a murder mystery, and at the book's heart, always, is a deep love of Mexico and its people."
"Review" by , "Original, funny, biting, and sincere, The Uncomfortable Dead is Huckleberry Finn by Thomas Pynchon."
"Review" by , "This isn't your ordinary left-wing noir satire co-written by Mexico's most famous crime novelist and the world's best-known revolutionary leader — it's a singular event in world literature."
"Review" by , "It doesn't get much more delicious than this: the mythic, surreal Subcomandante Marcos and the wonderfully ironic Paco Taibo playing duet on a most unexpected story — a noir! But their collaboration is not just any noir — this one's tender, funny, sly political, smart, and just plain fun!"
"Synopsis" by , The highly anticipated surreal noir collaboration between Mexico's greatest writer and its most courageous revolutionary.
"Synopsis" by ,

In alternating chapters, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos and the consistently excellent Paco Ignacio Taibo II create an uproarious murder mystery with two intersecting storylines.

 

The chapters written by the famously masked Marcos originate in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. There, the fictional "Subcomandante Marcos"assigns Elias Contreras-an odd but charming mountain man-to travel to Mexico Cityin search of an elusive and hideous murderer named Morales.

 

The second story line, penned by Taibo, stars his famous series detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne. Hector guzzles Coca-Cola and smokes cigarettes furiously amidst his philosophical and always charming approach to investigating crimes-in this case, the search for his own "Morales."

 

The two stories collide absurdly and dramatically in the urban sprawl of Mexico City. The ugly history of the city's political violence rears its head, and both detectives find themselves in an unpredictable dance of death with forces at once criminal, historical, and political.

 

Subcomandante Marcosis a spokesperson and strategist for the Zapatistas, an indigenous insurgency movement based in Mexico. He first joined the guerrilla group that was to become the Zapatistas in the early 1980s. Marcos is author of several books translated into English, including the award-winning children's book The Story of Colors(Cinco Puntos Press) and Our Word is Our Weapon(Seven Stories Press).

 

Paco Ignacio Taibo II was born in Gijon, Spain, and has lived in Mexicosince 1958. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including a mystery series starring Mexican Private Investigator Hector BelascoaranShayne (a protagonist in this book as well). He is a professor of history at the Metropolitan University of Mexico City. He has won various literary prizes, including the National History Award from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

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