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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This boy generates an extraordinary range of stuff. But this one caps them all. If you enjoyed his Sex Lives books or his war stories this is one for you. Tackling a true story with all the powers of a novelist, he plunges you and his beautiful, sexy, unscrupulous heroine into South America's heart of darkness. He tells the story of one eighteen-year-old Irish girl who...
Published on 26 Nov 2003

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story - but not very well told
The story of Eliza Lynch, Irish adventuress, and Francisco Solano Lopez, dictator of Paraquay, is an extraordinary one, well worth investigating. However, this book adds little to earlier works on the subject. Its tone is determinedly popular, not that there is anything wrong in that. No possible reference to sex is omitted; there may not be very much wrong in that...
Published on 18 Sep 2004


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 26 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This boy generates an extraordinary range of stuff. But this one caps them all. If you enjoyed his Sex Lives books or his war stories this is one for you. Tackling a true story with all the powers of a novelist, he plunges you and his beautiful, sexy, unscrupulous heroine into South America's heart of darkness. He tells the story of one eighteen-year-old Irish girl who started the continent's most bloodthirsty war that killed a million people, wiped out three-quarters of the population of Paraguay, robbed the country blind, left it dismembered - then returned to be its national heroine. The UK newspapers gave it rave reviews. Don't miss it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and gripping history lesson, 20 Oct 2011
The book has a nice style that makes it much more entertaining to read than some other works on the same theme. I noticed some discrepancies with other author's accounts of the life of Madame Lynch, but overall very enjoyable. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in a first approach to Paraguay's history during that time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story - but not very well told, 18 Sep 2004
By A Customer
The story of Eliza Lynch, Irish adventuress, and Francisco Solano Lopez, dictator of Paraquay, is an extraordinary one, well worth investigating. However, this book adds little to earlier works on the subject. Its tone is determinedly popular, not that there is anything wrong in that. No possible reference to sex is omitted; there may not be very much wrong in that either. However, in pursuing the 'colourful' so single-mindedly, Cawthorne loses the sense of reality that is essential to provide an effective backdrop to the ghastly protagonists. A lengthy prologue on the previous history of Paraguay is difficult to follow, leading one to suspect that the author is regurgitating material that he has not fully digested. Later, the War of the Triple Alliance (a central event) is not adequately explained. There is little sense of place, and Eliza and Lopez are portrayed as simple monsters. They were monstrous, indeed, but they were also real living people - and this does not come over here. The book needed a bit more sober fact and reflection to balance all the grotesquerie and convince the reader that these dramatic and appalling events actually happened. The narrative latterly becomes a mere catalogue of brutality, too perfunctory to make the impact that it should. Indeed, there is something just a little bit shoddy about the whole volume: obvious printing errors, photos of the same building captioned as different places, etc. As a subject for historical biography, Eliza Lynch is pretty much a sure-fire hit. If you do not know about her, you will find this book interesting. That said, her life-story is more intelligently told elsewhere.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empressive book!, 26 Oct 2009
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Michael Burgess "kiera" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A well written book, which clearly and sharply outlines the horrors inflicted on the populace by a tyrannical dictator. As ever it it the common people who suffer hunger, deprivation, torture whilst the top people live in luxury. Unfortunately an all too common occurence even today. Worth reading.
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The Empress of South America
The Empress of South America by Nigel Cawthorne (Hardcover - 2 Jan 2003)
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