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The Eagle's Throne [Hardcover]

Carlos Fuentes , Kristina Cordero
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £15.99
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Book Description

6 Feb 2006
The year is 2020. In a fit of ill-advised independence, the Mexican president has incurred the double wrath of the United States by calling for the removal of US troops from Columbia and demanding higher prices for Mexico's oil. Unfortunately for him, the country's satellite communications system is controlled through a shell company in Miami. Unsurprisingly, the system goes down. At a stroke Mexico is deprived of phone, fax and email. In a country where politicians never put anything in writing, letters are now the only way to communicate, leaving the private lives and true feelings of all brutally exposed. Especially regarding the hot topic of the day: Who will be the next president, the next to ascent the Eagle's Throne? As the characters jockey for position in the race to identify and ally themselves to the new president, the letters fly ever faster, wittier and more mendacious. Who will it be? Glamorous Maria del Rosario's protege and would-be lover, the handsome Nicolas Valdivia? Her bitter rival, the balding satyr Tacito de la Canal? Or the 'unsavoury' ex-president Cesar Leon? How will the bets be placed when the punters include some of the runners? And who has the most to lose? These and many other questions must be answered before the last letter is sent. The Eagle's Throne is a novel of high artifice, a story that mixes concealed emotions and dark secrets with political intrigue to make Machiavelli blush. Carlos Fuentes has never written better.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First UK edition edition (6 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747577692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747577690
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 16 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,955,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Mexico's greatest contemporary novelist and political commentator' The Times 'In a culture often rewards laziness and celebrates conformism, hypocrisy and cynicism, Fentes is all the more striking' Tariq Ali 'One of those increasingly rare things -[The Years with Laura Diaz is] a novelthat is worth the bother and then some' Sunday Herald 'Fuentes has the master story-teller's ability not only to bring people together in thought and word and deed - but also to weave into the same tapestry great and not so great moments in history... [He] is one of the greatest living novelists' Sunday Tribune

From the Publisher

A dazzling political novel of high artifice and intelligent
comedy to make Machiavelli blush --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars witty and insightful 20 Dec 2006
By Teapot
This is the first Fuentes novel that I have really enjoyed. The Eagle's Throne is an assembly of letters written to and from the various political actors in a fictional Mexico. Although the actual story is utterly contrived and the plot gets totally out of hand, it is a very enjoyable read. Many of the earlier letters are a wonderful reflection on contemporary politics in Mexico, packed with well-known truisms, anecdotes and historical references. In the Eagle's Throne, Fuentes shows a wit and insight rarely manifested in his other works. Well worth reading for both entertainment and political commentary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Class 22 May 2012
By Big
I first encountered Carlos Fuentes in a Spanish literature class many years ago. Since then, Fuentes has always remained high atop my list of the best of the world's most accomplished authors of fiction. This not only holds true for the original Spanish but also in English translation, something that must make other authors somewhat envious. The Eagle's Throne is a superb example of Fuentes at his best. Some have labeled his writing "existentialist" but that in my opinion trivializes it. I suggest that anyone interested in world literature at its finest read Fuentes ... The Eagle's Throne could be a good starting point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Letters as a novel 21 Sep 2007
By Enrique Torres - Published on
I must admit I'm biased when it comes to Carlos Fuentes and his books; I love then all, even the epic, erudite, novel I've been reading for three or four years and have yet to finish entitled Terra Nostra (Latin American Literature Series). I've read nearly every book published by Mexico's eminent literary scholar and author, Carlos Fuentes, including one of my favorites Christopher Unborn, the historical exploration of Spain and it's multicultural influence on the new world entitled The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, the brilliantly interconnected nine short stories that comprise the novel The Crystal Frontier, his epic, scathing, political examination of Mexico entitledA New Time for Mexico and of course, his classicsThe Old Gringo: A Novel and The Death of Artemio Cruz: A Novel are only a few in English I've read; I've also read many lesser known titles that are in Spanish and that unfortuantely have never been translated. I mention this so that you know I am well versed in the style of Carlos Fuentes. I appreciate his genius, don't always agree with his political slant but highly respect his talents and his way with words that includes an uncanny ability to weave the past with the present and as is the case with this novel, the past. If you have never read any books by Mr. Fuentes I would not suggest this be your first but rather choose one of the aforementioned books. The writer for the Washington Post, Francisco Goldman presents an overview of the novel that captures the essence of the novel in the editorial reviews here at Amazon. Really there is not much to add concerning the novel because Mr. Godman covers all the bases quite well. I can only add that at times I found it difficult to keep track of the characters because all of the book is written as though written in letter correspondence. Distinguishing who was writing to who and the relationships was slow unfolding but eventually made sense as I got into the flow of the book. Carlos Fuentes never ceases to amaze me with his technical and literary brilliance. This is another in a long line of fantastic books by Mr. Fuentes who even at his advanced age continues to write vivid, intense,prose that is both prophetic and contemporary for now and future generations. Recommended for all especailly those interested in reading one of the best writers to emerge from the 20th Century and still be vital.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All Hot Sauce, No Enchilada! 11 May 2010
By Giordano Bruno - Published on
Carlos Fuentes has always written lurid melodrama - written it well, if you will - for an audience of readers accustomed to strong flavors. "The Eagle's Throne" is as lurid as any reader could wish, as blatant as a telenovela, and Fuetes's relentless excess has begun to wear out my patience.

It's a futurist novel, set in 2020. The Mexican government has defied "el Norte" and supported OPEC in raising oil prices. The USA has deliberately snafued all satellite communications in Mexico - no e-mail, no cell phones, etc. What a good excuse for the writing of an epistolary novel! Unfortunately, epistolary novels are hard to do well. The character of each character HAS to be evidenced not just in the sense but also in the style of each letter writer. "By your style ye shall be known!" Fuentes doesn't achieve that sort of individuation. His correspondents all sound just like him.

Otherwise, it's an interesting concept, a means of depicting the inner workings of Mexico's governmental class in near-apocalyptic terms. The book reminds me of Sinclair Lewis's great futurist novel "It Can't Happen Here". But the lurid and languid sexual themes weigh so heavily on the satire! Mexico's governmental class IS lurid and loathsome, and corruption IS both endemic and hapless. Not even the next tea-flavored Republican administration in the USA can approach the banal corruption and venal inhumanity of some of the past Mexican administrations, or of the fictional rulers in Fuentes's vision of 2020. But I can't say that Fuentes has offered any insights into "why" or "what to do about it".
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Politics in the Raw 28 July 2006
By R. Kay - Published on
This political satire holds your attention. What makes the reading a bit tedious is the fact that the styles of the various correspondents whose letters constitute the narrative, are not well differentiated, possibly due to translation. While the Mexican political chicanery depicted may seem extreme at times, our own Watergate, Monica L. and Weapons of Mass Destruction do not pale in comparison.
5.0 out of 5 stars Carlos Fuentes' best novel!!! 11 April 2014
By Silviana Dooher - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This fascinating novel provides an interesting perspective on Mexico's political system. As a political thriller, it surpasses the novels of Tom Clancy, Thor Heyerdahl and WEB Griffin. I could not stop reading this book until I finished it. There were so many twists and turns, that I was taken completely by surprise in the last chapters. I consider this book a "must read" for anyone who is interested in Mexican politics, Carlos Fuentes or exciting books.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 20 Aug 2014
By Bernadette Hackett - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
always love Carlos Fuentes.
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