**** The Eagle's Throne By Carlos Fuentes, translated by Kristina Cordero Mexican politics, 2020.
In 2020, Mexican president Lorenzo Teran challenges the U.S. superpower by keeping the cost of oil exports to the U.S. high and condemning the American occupation of Colombia. In response, the American president (Condoleezza Rice, naturally) precipitates a nationwide crisis when she cuts off all satellite power--and hence all electronic communications--to Mexico. Suddenly, all communication within Mexico reverts to handwritten letters. As revealed through the words penned by various scheming, backstabbing, and gossipy politicos, Teran, though only two years into his six-year term, faces challenges that may jeopardize more than his throne.
Random House. 352 pages. $26.95. ISBN: 1400062470
San Francisco Chronicle *****
"Fuentes's scathing novel about national politics and presidential succession seems destined to become a handbook for the neophyte Latin American politician.... Fuentes has never written better." ALAN CHEUSE
NY Times Book Review ****1/2
"What results is the most wickedly entertaining novel of Fuentes's career, now well into its fifth decade ... That's the great joke of this brilliant political novel: Fuentes's sententious movers and shakers are so busy positioning themselves and trying to figure out where everyone else is in this hall of mirrors that they never quite see themselves." TERRENCE RAFFERTY
Baltimore Sun ****
"The Eagle's Throne is a political Dangerous Liaisons, with all the intrigue, blackmail, backstabbing, and seduction of a telenovela.... Although the setting is Mexican, the struggle for power that Fuentes so wryly and compellingly depicts is universal." JUDITH REDDING
Providence Journal ****
"The plots literally thicken, the machinations smolder, fester and explode, secrets erupt, murder ensues, lovers change partners faster than you can get your pants off.... None of this attests to the depth and richness of Fuentes's prose, his philosophical tangents, his relentless focus on flesh, the passage of time and the loss that only...