Magazine article New Internationalist

The Uncomfortable Dead

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Uncomfortable Dead

Article excerpt

Books The Uncomfortable Dead by Subcomandante Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II Transtated by Carlos Lopez (Serpent's Tail ISBN 9781 85242 907 2)

This rumbustious political thriller is exciting interest as much for its authorship as its content. The Uncomfortable Dead is co-written by Paco Ignacio Taibo - Mexico's foremost crime novelist - and Subcomandante Marcos - the mysterious, masked Zapatista spokesperson. Rather than collaborate on a single narrative thread, the authors alternate, with Marcos taking the odd numbered chapters and Taibo the even ones; truly, it is 'a novel by four hands'.

This unusual methodology would make the book a mere curiosity if it were a run-of-the-mill murder mystery but, luckily for us, it is much more.

In the opening chapters we meet a contrasting pair of investigators; the world-weary Héctor Belascoarán Shayne, hero of many a novel by Taibo, and Elías Contreras, a Zapatista detective tasked by his commander 'El Sup' (Subcomandante Marcos himself) with finding missing persons in the Zapatista-controlled regions. …

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