|About the Book|
Probably the best novel Ive read so far this year. I had never read anything by Chatwin before this and I picked it up with the assumption it was going to just be another novel in the English style. How wrong I was! Chatwin writes like a more bloody and concise version of Marquez, with an incredible ability to evoke landscapes, situations and the oddities of people. Imagine a cross between Marquez and Conrads *Heart of Darkness* with the addition of several big spoonfuls of voodoo imagery!Although only 100 pages long, *The Viceroy of Ouidah* packs in an incredible amount of detail. Chatwins blend of dreamlike fantasy, nightmarish horror and tough realism is very affecting. The main part of the story concerns a Brazilian slaver who travels to the Kingdom of Dahomey to corner the business. Franciso Manoel the slaver is a bad man but the kings he is forced to deal with are even worse. The fascinating moral ambiguities are always present, and the main motifs of despair, courage, the instinct to survive, love, ambition, lust and remorse are treated in a genuinely profound way.