Synopses & Reviews
Here is a true literary event the long-awaited new novel by Carlos Fuentes, one of the world's great writers. By turns a tragedy and a farce, an acidic black comedy and an indictment of modern politics, The Eagle's Throne
is a seriously entertaining and perceptive story of international intrigue, sexual deception, naked ambition, and treacherous betrayal.
In the near future, at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Mexico's idealistic president has dared to vote against the U.S. occupation of Colombia and Washington's refusal to pay OPEC prices for oil. Retaliation is swift. Concocting a "glitch" in a Florida satellite, America's president cuts Mexico's communications systems no phones, faxes, or e-mails and plunges the country into an administrative nightmare of colossal proportions.
Now, despite the motto that "a Mexican politician never puts anything in writing," people have no choice but to communicate through letters, which Fuentes crafts with a keen understanding of man's motives and desires. As the blizzard of activity grows more and more complex, political adversaries come out to prey. The ineffectual president, his scheming cabinet secretary, a thuggish and ruthless police chief, and an unscrupulous, sensual kingmaker are just a few of the fascinating characters maneuvering and jockeying for position to achieve the power they all so desperately crave.
"An ailing Mexican president, two years into his mandated six-year term and manipulated by everyone around him, has banned oil exports to the U.S. and called for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from occupied Colombia. In retaliation, American President Condoleezza Rice has, through the magic of an unimagined technology, shut down all of Mexico's telephone, fax and Internet communications. That's the fanciful but not entirely implausible futuristic backdrop for this corrosive political satire from Fuentes (The Old Gringo), considered Mexico's leading novelist (and one-time ambassador to France). His darkly comic tale of backbiting, double-crossing, murderous duplicity, sexual scheming and outright assassination is primarily epistolary, and it's a format that suits Fuentes's flowery prose style, though the voices of his various characters tend to blur into one another. Readers with even a smidgeon of familiarity with Mexico's unkempt political traditions will wallow in this caustic indictment." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Fuentes...is at the top of his storytelling mastery, and his insights into Mexico's sad decline into global thuggery will further heighten the fascination for this book. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"[C]haracters spring to life as true individuals, fully developed in Fuentes' beguilingly unorthodox fashion. A novel that is truly a tour de force." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[I]n a gratifying return to form, Fuentes handles the hoary old convention with impressive finesse. A nerve-grating cautionary tale, and one of his best books." Kirkus Reviews
"[Fuentes] writes fiction as if it were an op-ed piece. That is the case with The Eagle's Throne, which is no masterpiece....Not only is it hastily executed, but the attention to character is embarrassing." Boston Globe
"This black comedy is funny, but deeply disturbing....Fuentes has given us a gem with The Eagle's Throne. Many may miss it, thinking Fuentes a difficult writer. Don't make that mistake." Charlotte Observer
"American readers seeking illumination or thoughtful prognostication will find mostly melodrama and cartoonishly scheming characters in The Eagle's Throne." Seattle Times
"Carlos Fuentes' latest novel, The Eagle's Throne, is a welcome antidote to our myopic nightly news and its obsession with immigration and border security....[A] complex conceptual achievement..." Houston Chronicle
In this provocative novel, Fuentes exposes many of the political skeletons lurking in the closet of Mexican history, as he weaves a novel of cunning, naked ambition, and duplicity.
About the Author
Carlos Fuentes is the author of more than twenty books, including This I Believe, The Death of Artemio Cruz, and The Old Gringo. He served as Mexico's ambassador to France from 1975 to 1977. He has received many awards and honors, including the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, the National Prize in Literature (Mexico's highest literary award), the Cervantes Prize, and the inaugural Latin Civilization Award. He has also been the recipient of France's Legion of Honor medal, Italy's Grinzane Cavour Award, Spain's Prince of Asturias Award, and Brazil's Order of the Southern Cross. His work has appeared in the Nation, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and the Washington Post Book World. He currently divides his time between Mexico City and London.