At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig Travels Through Paraguay

Gimlette John

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Digital
septembre 2011
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  • Résumé

A wildly humorous account of the author's travels across Paraguayyes'#8211;South America's darkly fabled, littleknown yes'#8220;island surrounded by land.yes'#8221;

Rarely visited by tourists and barely touched by global village sprawl, Paraguay remains a mystery to outsiders. Think of this small nation and your mind is likely to jump to Nazis, dictators, and soccer. Now, John Gimletteyes'#8217;s eyeopening bookyes'#8211;equal parts travelogue, history, and unorthodox travel guideyes'#8211;breaches the boundaries of this isolated land,yes'#8221; and illuminates a littleunderstood place and its people.

It is a wonderfully animated telling of Paraguay's story: of cannibals, Jesuits, and sixteenthcentury Anabaptists; of Victorian Australian socialists and talented smugglers; of dictators and their mad mistresses; bloody wars and Utopian settlements; and of lives transplanted from Japan, Britain, Poland, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Korea, and the United States. The author travels from the insular cities and towns of the east, along ghostly trails through the countryside, to reach the Gran Chaco of the west: the yes'#8220;green hellyes'#8221; covering almost twothirds of the country, where 4 percent of the population coexistsyes'#8211;more or verymuchless peacefullyyes'#8211;with a vast array of exotic wildlife that includes jaguars, prehistoric lungfish, and their more recently evolved distant cousins, the great fighting river fish. Gimlette visits with Mnnonites and the indigenas, arms dealers and realestate tycoons, shopkeepers, government bureaucrats and, of course, Nazis.

Filled with bizarre incident, fascinating anecdote, and richly evocative detail, At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig is a brilliant description of a country of eccentricity and contradiction, of beguilingly individualistic men and women, and of unexpected and extraordinary beauty. It is a vivid, often riotous, always fascinating, journey.

From the Hardcover edition.
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