countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more Pets vpcflyout All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools Registry

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
7
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
2
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on July 12, 2004
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. That said, no Paraguay guide in print today will inform you as much about this isolated country as "the Inflatable Pig" does. Nor, will any travel guide in print today entertain you as much as Gimlette's does.
This book made my travel in Paraguay come alive and I believe that every traveler to Paraguay should have a copy, as well as any serious student of South America, Mennonites, Jesuits and post war Nazis. I am looking forward to his next book: Newfoundland. Strongly recommended 4.5 stars
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 1, 2003
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.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 24, 2016
What a fine piece of work. Nobody knows anything about Paraguay, and this book seeks to change that.

It is a masterful piece, weaving contemporary Paraguayan life, at least, Paraguay of ten years ago, with their bizarre and fascinating history. As with his work "The Wild Coast" this lovely piece has put Asuncion firmly on my list of places to which I shall travel; soon.

The book is interesting for anyone seeking to understand a little about the historical development of not only Paraguay, but its immediate neighbours. The historical content is rich, the observation acute and the whole work mesmerising.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 31, 2015
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...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 1, 2004
Although Mr. Gimlette takes the time to research Paraguayan history and travel its lands, he sadly decides to paint Paraguay in a very poor light.
In a sarcastic prose that would love to imitate Bill Bryson, Gimlette treads heavily and whimsically over horrendous tragedies and fails to show sufficient respect for my liking. Whereas Bryson pokes fun, he usually backs up and pays several compliments and self depreciations to balance it out; Gimlette twists the knife and bypasses all the things that are so great about Paraguay. As there is very little written about Paraguay, this book stands alone and unchallenged. Give me a couple of years...
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 16, 2004
Nothing. I am not sure what the author of this book was hoping to find in Paraguay after all the crises it has been through. He seems as ill informed as any Englishman can be about the world if he expected anything different than any other Latin American country.
Though Paraguay itself does not help much to improve its poor image, this author's portrays are cynical. The book is perfect if you like to laugh at other's miseries.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 16, 2004
Nothing. I am not sure what the author of this book was hoping to find in Paraguay after all the crises it has been through. He seems as ill informed as any Englishman can be about the world if he expected anything different than any other Latin American country.
Though Paraguay itself does not help much to improve its poor image, this author's portrays are cynical. I've read it halfway through and stopped. The book is perfect if you like to laugh at other people's miseries.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse