- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
The Fountain at the Center of the Worldby Robert Newman
"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
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.
"[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
"[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
"[A] wonderful, big-hearted, textured, funny, moral and deeply unfashionable book." Zoe Williams, The Guardian (U.K.)
"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.)
"[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.)
"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.)
"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
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.
A swashbuckling, rolicking tale of espionage, intrigue, and adventure, that also smartly investigates the pervasive forces of corporations and capitalism
Elizabethean England is a Golden Age of trade and art; merchants and poets from across the world pack London’s streets. There’s a new commodity people need—oil. And young Nat Bramble knows just where to get it. Nat and Darius Nouredini, a poet in a wrestler’s body, set off in search of the secret oil well under the abandoned Temple of Mithras in Persia. But their venture lights a trail of fire which will follow Nat all the way back to England, where he becomes caught in the crossfire of a war between the crown and the first corporations of London.
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.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like