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At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig: Travels Through Paraguay Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400078520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400078523
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,346,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fdoamerica on July 12 2004
Format: Paperback
It sure seems that the other reviewers (posted below) read a different Gimlette book than I, but I found this book both extraordinary and a "bloody good read". I read the book while I was traveling through South America by car. I had a week to ten days for Paraguay and brought along Gimlette's travelogue/history.
John Gimlette's writing is engaging. His grasp of the history of Paraguay is superlative. His dry English humor often gives the absurd and macabre balance. Face it, Paraguay has an egregious history and there is no other way to tell it but explicitly. Gimlette does just that well.
John Gimlette is a lawyer practicing law in England who has an infatuation with Paraguay. His writing approach is much like that of a defense lawyer who is stuck with the implacable task of defending a depraved guilty hoodlum. The lawyer, John Gimlette, does his case study and digs up the often dark past of his client - Paraguay (i.e. incompetent, corrupt leaders who started a war that would go down in history as the bloodiest conflicts ever, 80% of all Paraguayans would perished, then there is the genocide, a haven for fugitive Nazis, and a corruption standard that would make Bangladesh look honest). In this book, reading between the lines, you can detect the lawyer in Gimlette. Read carefully and you can hear him pleading his case before the bench, stating "Yes, your honor, Paraguay is guilty, BUT there are mitigating circumstances and I want to set the record straight". The reader must decide whether he succeeds or not.
The book has short comings. It is missing an index and maps (map for a travel book really help John). Both of these would have been a welcome addition to a book filled with people, places and facts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lcenterprises on Dec 1 2003
Format: Hardcover
All in all, this is a very interesting book. I have learned more about my country's history from this book than I did in all my years in Paraguayan schools. It is a must read for all Paraguayans and everyone in general, why for everyone in general? Well, it has many historical facts about Americans, Germans, Australians, Italians, English, Indians, Jesuits, South Americans, the Nazis, etc. and their relationship to Paraguay. It has been wonderfully researched and is full of awesome facts and numbers. I can only recommend this book; it also has lots of old pictures and funny passages. The book is not perfect, it contains lots of misspelled Spanish and Guarani words and proper names, something that doesn't belong to any book. What I personally dislike the most is the fact that the author gave the book the weirdest title. I have never met anyone that has ever heard of those inflatable pigs, it was probably some kind of Pokemon/Tamaguchi wave that lasted for a few days, and he dedicated the book's title to it... What I also didn't like are some of his generalizations and comments about him being home sick or missing the UK when he couldn't find a real English Bar in Paraguay.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read! I didn't go anywhere near all the places the author went to in Paraguay but then again, if I had, I probably
wouldn't have survived the godawful food he had to eat. Only a Brit with his inborn cast iron stomach can do that...
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By Chris Beukeveld on Feb. 10 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Characters didn't interest me, got bored and threw it away. Best leave this one alone, it stinks to high heaven.
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