Sandra Benitez's third novel The Weight of All Things is centered around nine-year-old Nicolas and his involvement in two events in El Salvador in The first is the funeral of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, a ceremony attended by 80, people, 35 of whom were killed when violence erupted. The second is the slaughter by Honduran and Salvadoran troops of people fleeing rural repression only two months later. In a country ruined by internal strife, these two tragedies form the harrowing bookends to Nicolas' search for his mother as he endures the random and violent deaths of friends and family, the destruction of local communities and the constant fear of machine-gun fire.
In matter-of-fact, evocative prose, Benitez's novel delivers an affecting portrait of innocent people caught in the crossfire of warring factions. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to Rosie O'Donnell's For All Kids Foundation to support the intellectual, social and cultural development of disadvantaged children. Nonfiction accounts of culture, history and turbulent politics, Alma Guillermoprieto's lively essays, collected in Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America , dissect the events that have shaped the region.
Guillermoprieto has a keen eye and an intimate knowledge of notoriously tangled political situations, including the inner workings of the Colombian guerrilla movement and governmental corruption in Mexico.
Her sharp analysis of the events that have shaped the politics of the area, combined with her conversational style, bring home the realities of this troubled part of the world. The Vintage Book of Latin American Stories , edited by Carlos Fuentes and Julio Ortega, brings together the best of the short story genre in a must-have collection for lovers of Latin American literature or those just discovering this rich tradition. I want to use the word allegory even though I am not entirely sure of its meaning. This was an allegory of Satan's rebellion against the Heavens here on Earth, an explanation for the Great Plague, famine and war that swept France and Europe during the 14 th century.
This is a Dante-esque version of Hell on Earth. It is fantastical, dark, violent. The demons and monsters were throughly creepy I'm glad there was no one to see the faces I caught myself pulling during certain scenes of this book I want to use the word allegory even though I am not entirely sure of its meaning.
Between Two Fires: Holding the Liberal Centre in South African Politics
The demons and monsters were throughly creepy I'm glad there was no one to see the faces I caught myself pulling during certain scenes of this book! This was a work of wonderful historical fiction, set in brutal and violent times, which completely captures the medieval sensibility of superstition and fear of the supernatural embedded in the mindset of a world without science or education.
It genuinely feels like the End of Days, captures exactly the mood of Revelations. Strongly recommended, but be warned the language and images are quite blasphemous Dark, profane, blasphemous, and captivating. Partway through my Scribd free month wherein I tried to cram as many audiobooks in as possible which ended up being about 4 and change , Fantasy Review Barn hosted T. After seeing the post, I took another look it it, and boy am I glad I did.
Thomas is a knight disgraced and now roams the roads with a small band of brigands, making bad days worse for who knows who many people. When his crew comes to a mostly abandoned Norman town, they find a girl recently orphaned by the plague. The girl tells Thomas of a second war on heaven, of which the Black Death is but a part, and where Lucifer and his armies are using Earth as a battleground in their assault on heaven and its champions.
She manages to convince Thomas to travel with her across plague-and-war-ravaged France toward Avignon, the seat of the papacy at the time. Thomas, having abandoned faith like countless others must have during the Black Death, has an admittedly difficult time believing anything this girl says, and worse yet, the reason behind her insistence on travelling to Avignon is still unclear, both to her and to Thomas. She knows only that there is evil there that must be confronted. When they set out, danger comes in the form of bandits and brigands.
Men like Thomas.
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Thomas channels his inner Geralt of Rivia shortly into their journey and partakes in same monster-slaying, and the threat just grows and grows from various forms of undead, to angels and demons warring in the skies, to an absolute abomination composed of massed together human limbs. Between Two Fires touches on some poignant themes, and religion plays a heavy role. Buehlman puts extreme emphasis on arguably one of the most-asked questions in religious history: if any god exists, how can he allow something so horrible the Black Death in this case to happen?
Both have their merits, depending on the story being told. Steve West is the latter. The demons that rise from the depths of hell to bar their way are voiced with chilling cadence. Aaaaalmost 5 stars. So… that was different! You could say that this is a book about a disgraced knight, an equally disgraced country-side priest and a really weird foundling trying to make their way to safety during the Black Death plague of But that would not be quite right, now would it?
This is a moving and disturbing story about humanity, redemption, compassion and sacrifice. We like to romanticize the past, but really, the Mid 4 and a half. Perhaps a little too much so, if you have a weak stomach: the descriptions of injuries alone can make you queasy if you are not ready for them… Apocalyptic situations show you what people are really made of, and the Black Death as well as the Hundred Years War must have been a horrifying time to live in.
Can you even call it living when you are surrounded by death wherever you go? When you feel all alone in a huge, scary, overwhelming world, how do you carry on? In this Hellish France, an errand knight-turned-brigand, Thomas, meets a delicate orphan girl who sees souls, angels and demons. She tells him the war and pestilence on Earth are simply a consequence of a much bigger war, of Hell against Heaven.
Between Two Fires: Intimate Writings on Life, Love, Food | BookPage
This is historical fiction, or rather alternate historical fiction, but with some of the creepiest horror elements I have come across in a long time scattered through the pages. Also, a lot of gore, blood, guts and excrement. The relationship that develops between Thomas and his innocent, waifish companion is touching, poignant and funny. I now want to read everything Christopher Buehlman has ever written! Warning: people with strong Christian religious feelings might want to stay away from this one: there is a lot of arguing about faith, blasphemy, sin and the moral flexibility some people have to display in order to survive.
But this, of course, is a work of fiction. I found it very thought-provoking and fascinating, but I can see how it would upset some people. View all 11 comments. Jun 08, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , horror , library-audio , stand-alone. This book. I went to check out what others thought of it on Goodreads.
This made me have some doubts. Surely if it was worth a read, someone would have read it by now. But, it sounded interesting, and it cost me nothing but a bit of time to check it out. But I never lost interest. Instead I was pulled in to what I first thought was going to be more of a Historical Fiction type of book with just a bit of Fantasy bend to it. The story takes place in France, the year is and the land and people are ravaged with plague.
Just the plague is horrifying enough. Then add in war and the cruelties of mankind. The book made it clear, this was quite a dreadful time and place to live. And then beyond the gore, there is also the daunting presence of something else, some otherworldly beings dipping their hand into the works, trying to control the affairs of men to serve who knows what hidden agenda. This book is creepy.
This book is violent. And no, not just because it is creepy and violent. It just seemed to find an excellent balance. This is also not a book for the faint of heart. I really enjoyed the character Thomas, a fallen knight that has been traveling with some quite despicable brigands. But, something about this girl is different. She sees things and knows things that are beyond explanation. I absolutely love the dynamic between Thomas and this girl.
I hate to say too much more for fear of spoilers. This book was an unexpectedly wonderful and terrifying find. Like I said before, if you are squeamish, or shy away from books with rape or graphic violence, put this book on your never read list. But for those of you like me that are fans of dark and gritty fantasy, definitely add this one to your list.
It is well worth the read. And a quick mention for the audiobook format, it was excellent. The narrator did a marvelous job with the suspense and using just the right inflections on words to get across any dark humor. This book is hard to classify. I've put it under fantasy definitely , Alternate-History sort of as it's full of supernatural happenings, maybe fantasy-history but I don't have a shelf for that , Horror yes plus terror and also gross-outs.
I didn't put it on the Christian theology shelf though there are some lessons here and I think many Christians will find the book I went 4 stars here and it's in many ways very close to a 5 star read. There are some thi This book is hard to classify. There are some things that keep me from going to the complete 5, but that doesn't mean the book isn't excellent. So, where'd the extra star or at least part of a star go?
That will require a little discussion below but there are some basics I can make you aware of first.. Some readers this won't bother at all First language. The book is full of foul language and that includes blasphemy. Note that the blasphemy is not frivolous, it's part of the story. This book deals with a world in which the worst of humanity is the par and the rest is worse than par.
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Just be aware going in that you're about to embark on a journey where murder, theft, rape, and all that's evil, bloody, mucus smeared, stinking and dung covered is the norm. It's not a pleasant world. I mentioned Christian theology earlier.