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The Fountain at the Center of the World

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The Fountain at the Center of the World Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"The anti-globalization movement may not quite have found its Dante or its Homer in British writer Robert Newman, but it's found something, all right — maybe its Theodore Dreiser. Newman...makes a splashy, messy American debut with The Fountain at the Center of the World, an ambitious and occasionally thrilling book that takes you from a NAFTA-impoverished Mexican village to the sleek corporate hallways of the City of London to the now-legendary street demonstrations at the World Trade Organization's 1999 Seattle meeting." Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The three-strand narrative of this lively thriller starts with Chano Salgado, a reclusive young widower being chased by police and soldiers for blowing up pipelines that were draining the local groundwater. Meanwhile, in London, PR flack Evan Hatch is dying from leukemia. Hoping to find a bone marrow donor, he tracks down his long-lost brother in Mexico. In the third strand, Salgado's 14-year-old son, given up for adoption, goes on his own journey to find his father — a trip that will tie together all three strands in an unforgettable ending. An intricately plotted political thriller, The Fountain at the Center of the World is based on exhaustive research and the author's compelling mix of political analysis and human compassion.

Review:

"[W]hat you'd get if Tom Wolfe clambered inside the head of Noam Chomsky — it elegantly and angrily scorches a lot of earth....I wouldn't be surprised...if [the novel] became the talismanic Catch-22 of the antiglobalization protest movement." Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Review:

"[I]ntense but flawed....With a bit more clarity, this might have been a superb novel, but instead it is a compromised testimonial to Newman's formidable range, intelligence and talent." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A] wonderful, big-hearted, textured, funny, moral and deeply unfashionable book." Zoe Williams, The Guardian (U.K.)

Review:

"Could this herald a resuscitation of the English 'literary political novel,' almost dead in the water since the best work of...Graham Greene? [Newman] has...taken a rare risk for our mortgage-panic, leather-sofa era, to remind us how the personal is political — and vice versa." The Independent (U.K.)

Review:

"[P]erhaps the first novel to really explore the human story behind the placard waving and polemics of globalisation...it is fiction that tells a truth about a world that is only too real." The Ecologist (U.K.)

Review:

"It's like bootleg Chomsky....[A] serious and intelligent book. It's a novel that confronts everything that is wrong with the world and demands that which is right, and it therefore makes a lot of British fiction seem rather tender-minded in comparison." The Guardian (U.K.)

Review:

"It is rare to find such a politically engaged novel. There has been plenty of fiction that has had a political edge or implications, but this book is much more than that. It is openly partisan...uncomfortable reading for advocates of the current global set-up." The Socialist Review

Synopsis:

A political thriller set against the backdrop of 1999's World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, The Fountain at the Center of the World tells the story of a Mexican worker forced to go on the run after he assists in the sabotage of a polluting factory. At the same time, his long-lost brother comes searching for him, in need of his bone marrow as treatment for a rare disease.

Synopsis:

Police across Tamaulipas, Mexico's north-eastern state are hunting Chano Salgado. A reclusive young widower and political apostate, Salgado goes on the run after he is persuaded to blow up the pipelines of a sluicing operation sucking the local groundwater dry. Meanwhile, Evan Hatch, a London-based flack for an "issues-management" PR firm, is dying from leukemia. Hoping to find a donor, he tracks down his long-lost brother in Mexico (from where he had been adopted at birth) while en route to the WTO meeting in Seattle. Chano, desperately needing to cross the border, finds his brother (Evan) first, and steals his passport. In the third narrative strand, Chanos young son, Daniel, himself given up for adoption in Costa Rica, is also looking for his father. Traveling to Mexico, he is forced to flee when the police take him hostage hoping to force his father turn himself in. Squirreling himself away on a freighter, he is rescued by a UK refugee organization whose activists fly to Seattle with him to participate in the protest hoping to reunite him with his father, who, masquerading as Evan, is about to give a speech to the European Roundtable of Industrialists…

About the Author

Robert Newman was born in 1964. He is Greek-Cypriot, English, French, and American. He has worked as a farmhand, warehouse-man, house-painter, teacher, mail sorter, social worker, mover, and broadcaster. The Fountain at the Center of the World is Newman's third novel, but the first to be published in the U.S. The writing of Fountain was the subject of a BBC film shown on national television in Britain, Australia, and parts of Europe. Research for the novel took him onto Welsh trawlers, into refugee detention centers and tropical disease hospitals. He also learned Spanish and traveled extensively through Mexico and Central America.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781932360110
Author:
Newman, Robert
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press
Author:
Newman, Robert Bruce
Location:
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Mexico
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Brothers
Subject:
British
Subject:
Leukemia
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Political fiction
Subject:
Political activists
Subject:
Adoptees
Subject:
Fugitives from justice
Subject:
Seattle
Subject:
FICTION / Literary
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
93
Publication Date:
January 9, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
900x600

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Fountain at the Center of the World Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Soft Skull Press - English 9781932360110 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The anti-globalization movement may not quite have found its Dante or its Homer in British writer Robert Newman, but it's found something, all right — maybe its Theodore Dreiser. Newman...makes a splashy, messy American debut with The Fountain at the Center of the World, an ambitious and occasionally thrilling book that takes you from a NAFTA-impoverished Mexican village to the sleek corporate hallways of the City of London to the now-legendary street demonstrations at the World Trade Organization's 1999 Seattle meeting." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "[W]hat you'd get if Tom Wolfe clambered inside the head of Noam Chomsky — it elegantly and angrily scorches a lot of earth....I wouldn't be surprised...if [the novel] became the talismanic Catch-22 of the antiglobalization protest movement."
"Review" by , "[I]ntense but flawed....With a bit more clarity, this might have been a superb novel, but instead it is a compromised testimonial to Newman's formidable range, intelligence and talent."
"Review" by , "[A] wonderful, big-hearted, textured, funny, moral and deeply unfashionable book."
"Review" by , "Could this herald a resuscitation of the English 'literary political novel,' almost dead in the water since the best work of...Graham Greene? [Newman] has...taken a rare risk for our mortgage-panic, leather-sofa era, to remind us how the personal is political — and vice versa."
"Review" by , "[P]erhaps the first novel to really explore the human story behind the placard waving and polemics of globalisation...it is fiction that tells a truth about a world that is only too real."
"Review" by , "It's like bootleg Chomsky....[A] serious and intelligent book. It's a novel that confronts everything that is wrong with the world and demands that which is right, and it therefore makes a lot of British fiction seem rather tender-minded in comparison."
"Review" by , "It is rare to find such a politically engaged novel. There has been plenty of fiction that has had a political edge or implications, but this book is much more than that. It is openly partisan...uncomfortable reading for advocates of the current global set-up."
"Synopsis" by , A political thriller set against the backdrop of 1999's World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, The Fountain at the Center of the World tells the story of a Mexican worker forced to go on the run after he assists in the sabotage of a polluting factory. At the same time, his long-lost brother comes searching for him, in need of his bone marrow as treatment for a rare disease.
"Synopsis" by ,
Police across Tamaulipas, Mexico's north-eastern state are hunting Chano Salgado. A reclusive young widower and political apostate, Salgado goes on the run after he is persuaded to blow up the pipelines of a sluicing operation sucking the local groundwater dry. Meanwhile, Evan Hatch, a London-based flack for an "issues-management" PR firm, is dying from leukemia. Hoping to find a donor, he tracks down his long-lost brother in Mexico (from where he had been adopted at birth) while en route to the WTO meeting in Seattle. Chano, desperately needing to cross the border, finds his brother (Evan) first, and steals his passport. In the third narrative strand, Chanos young son, Daniel, himself given up for adoption in Costa Rica, is also looking for his father. Traveling to Mexico, he is forced to flee when the police take him hostage hoping to force his father turn himself in. Squirreling himself away on a freighter, he is rescued by a UK refugee organization whose activists fly to Seattle with him to participate in the protest hoping to reunite him with his father, who, masquerading as Evan, is about to give a speech to the European Roundtable of Industrialists…
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