Trujillo Hardcover – Sep 1 2005
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Heat-the steamy oppression of Honduras's Mosquito Coast and the turgid psychological condition of this novel's two leading characters-dominates Shepard's macabre excursion into the paranormal (after Colonel Rutherford's Colt). Having survived eighteen days adrift in the Caribbean, even after the suspicious disappearance of his two Nicaraguan companions, wealthy young American Thomas Stearns is treated for amnesia by semi-retired Honduran psychiatrist Dr. Arturo Ochoa. Sinister flotsam surfaces from Stearns's unconscious as he half-remembers a primitive statue rising out of a maelstrom, a Mesoamerican artifact supposedly buried at Trujillo by Columbus's men and containing an ancient demon. The statue's symbolism posits an interrelation between death and sexuality that gradually obsesses Ochoa until the physician/patient roles reverse, a process catalyzed by the strangely gifted young native woman Stearns marries. Though Shepard's extended scenes of sexual predation and sadism may be excessive, his evocation of sultry tropical dangers and spiritual possession is powerful, like a suffocating nightmare when the air conditioning-or conventional morality-has broken down.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Trujillo is grounded in complex psychology and psychopathology, and the 'supernatural' elements are allegorical rather than literal. This makes the story of Trujillo, like all his other writing, universally appealing. The sinister, oppressive pas-de-deux between psychopathic young gringo Stearns and battered, overweight Honduran psychiatrist Dr Ochoa, is gripping because of its many layers. There's the instantly recognisable arrogance of the rich American in a poor Central American backwater, pitted against a fine mind gone to seed in the oppressive poverty, heat and corruption of Honduras. There's the timeless theme of man tormenting woman for his pleasure, and indeed man tormenting man. There's the politics of a dusty, godforsaken Latin American province. I imagine the name Trujillo - also the name of the heinous psychopathic dictator of the Dominican Republic who was renown for his torture methods of innocent people - is not a mere coincidence.
The deeply humane undertones to this profound, savage story of cruelty passed down the generations stamp this hypnotic novel with the Lucius Shepard hallmark where horror and despair almost win against beauty and hope. Almost. There is nothing clear-cut in Trujillo's transgressive worlds, and nothing reassuring.
Lucius Shepard is simply one of the most original and exciting writers working in English today. Why he isn't published in Britain is a mystery that needs an urgent solution.
A reflection on love, death, virility and redemption, Trujillo is a story you can lose yourself in, a haunting, mesmerizing, wonderfully efficient piece of writing that fully engages each of your senses. Full of surprise, wonder, and sudden brutality, it also strikes a balance noticeably missing from Shepard's recent work, where love does not always prevail (think of the novellas Louisiana Breakdown and The Liar's House). In Trujillo, love leads to ruin, but it also leads to deliverance--it's the powerful juxtaposition of the two results that allows the novel to be characterized as both a triumph and a tragedy, making for a truly memorable reading experience.