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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - read it and be amazed
After reading this book I immediately passed it on to my best friend to whom I said "drop everything and read this book". I first read Louis de Bernieres's Captain Corelli and was completely drawn into his writing style having not encountered anything like it in previous books I'd read. Although slightly disappointed by the ending I persevered and bought this book which...
Published on 28 Feb 2002

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in places, but ultimately disappointing.
Having read Captain Corelli's Mandolin, I was looking forward to reading this the first of de Bernieres's novels.The book set in South America has a promising start, there are a host of colourful characters, exotic locations,and numerous plot lines involving, politics, corruption, sex, religion, violence,revolution and love,(so plenty to work with!). The trouble is de...
Published on 11 Sep 2000


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - read it and be amazed, 28 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
After reading this book I immediately passed it on to my best friend to whom I said "drop everything and read this book". I first read Louis de Bernieres's Captain Corelli and was completely drawn into his writing style having not encountered anything like it in previous books I'd read. Although slightly disappointed by the ending I persevered and bought this book which in my opinion knocks the socks off Corelli. "The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts" (don't let the title throw you) is de Bernieres's first book and part of a trilogy - I am yet to read the other two, however, I have today ordered them.

You can read above the basis of the story however there is much more to it than that - the humour of the book and the magic that happens half way through were truly my favourite bits and balanced out the dark and sometimes disturbing chapters that focus on the corrupt side of the country's army. I would be the first to admit that this book may not suit everyone's tastes but I do suggest that you give it a go and buy this, the first book, at least and like me you might be more than pleasantly surprised - you might put down the finished book and think "that's one of the best things I've ever read".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different book for different people, 13 Aug 2001
This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
At one point in this book de Bernieres refers to the artist who drew an 'invisible picture of Christ' in the jungle. Different people saw their own Gods in this picture. It is the same with this book. It covers so many different aspects of life that it doesn't seem to have any coherent storyline. Reading this novel is like going on a journey. You do not know what to expect next or where the path will lead. If you really get into this book, (as I did) you will find the magic and the poetry in deBernieres words, and when you talk to other people that have liked it they will like it for different reasons. If you do not get into this book then it is a pity.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in places, but ultimately disappointing., 11 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
Having read Captain Corelli's Mandolin, I was looking forward to reading this the first of de Bernieres's novels.The book set in South America has a promising start, there are a host of colourful characters, exotic locations,and numerous plot lines involving, politics, corruption, sex, religion, violence,revolution and love,(so plenty to work with!). The trouble is de Bernieres is unable or unwilling to give any of the characters room to develop, so you end up with 20 or so people who seem to wander in and out of the book, some make it to the end, some get killed, some get forgotten along the way. Having said that, there is some very entertaining writing here, and if it had a stonger plot and the characters were more than just thumbnails, then this could have been a good book, as it is, it's just a good debut novel.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neisseria's notable triumph!, 6 Oct 2004
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
In this opening salvo of a trilogy on Colombian society and politics, de Bernieres demonstrates his outstanding abilities. His descriptive powers are vivid, often chilling, in conveying what humans are capable of perpetrating on one another. He produces characters that prance over the pages in a tantalising dance, challenging you to predict their next outrage or fallacy. The story is intricately woven through a loom of surprises, tragedies, and disasters. There are light moments, but they leave you wondering what depth of misfortune is likely to follow. Lest this analysis leave you feeling the book is depressing, take heart. The author portrays solemn realism, but swifts and butterflies of hope and satisfaction will reward the reader, even if their passage seems evanescent.
The "war" is more than simply the manifestations of one man's loins. Don Emmanuel is but one soldier in a wider context. De Bernieres is here campaigning for a broader sense of justice than this semi-imaginary society has been experiencing. What is the justice in a village gathering to defend a local, perhaps the last, virgin from salacious soldiers, only to have a grenade slaughtering the inhabitants. The army, supposedly called up to defend the nation, proves its most rapacious element. How to halt their depredations becomes the focus of this intricately woven tale. In one deliciously described sally, the village uses a local, well, "experienced", young women to visit the army's camp with her charms - and infections, such as neisseria [google it!].
This thinly disguised tale of modern Columbia's stresses depicts a society topped by an oligarchy of vested interests. "Right" and "Left" are but easily swopped labels by elements that have no essential differences. The "natural rulers" are buttressed by a compliant church, which is far more concerned with its own interests than that of the resident peasantry. This agrarian foundation of the country, who have little enough for themselves, occupy remote villages while underpinning the urban society. They are ready victims, easily manipulated or simply ignored. Their attackers are many and defenders few - yet it is typical of de Bernieres' sense of irony that among their champions stands an Army General.
That de Bernieres has copped many awards is adequate testimony to his prowess. He entertains and informs with equal verve. A dash of fantasy added to this story brings home the fact that "religion" is a term requiring expanded definition. The new definition would encompass human feelings more intimately than our present models. Death, never welcome, becomes something less than absolute in this author's hands. If the images he depicts are but our memories of lost loved ones, perhaps we should spend more time celebrating them. These and other questions permeate this book while prompting us to confront and judge our own values. If that's de Bernieres' intent, he's succeeded admirably. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Captain Corelli!, 22 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
I came to The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts straight after having read Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which I thought was fantastic. This was even better!
It won't suit everyone, though. There's a strong element of the fantastic running through it, which might put some people off. It's not fantasy, though: it's set in a corrupt and violent Soutb American country that seems all too real. If you've read Bulgakov's masterpiece "the Master and Margarita", then you'll already have an idea of how the fantastic can be blended into a political and satirical novel without seeming grotesque or even out of place.
Before I finished, I made sure I had the other two novels on hand, because I knew I wouldn't want to wait. They're just as good. Be warned, there's some dark stuff in this trilogy: drug barons, corrupt officials, and some extremely nasty and violent people. Despite all that, these are uplifting works, and when I finished I had that unmistakeable "I wish there was more" feeling.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stirring, thought provoking, hilarious & tragic, 28 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
Louis de Bernieres is the most accomplished author I have ever read. So far I have only read this and Captain Corelli's Mandolin (which I also recommend wholeheartedly) but his skill in capturing both the horror of terrible situations and the humour & day-to-day detail of the life which continues through & around them is something which I have never before encountered. This book is simply stunning. Read it.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At odds, 24 Aug 2005
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This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
I guess I'm gonna get crucified here but I did not particularly enjoy this book. I read Corelli from this author first of all, and it was my sheer enjoyment of that book that lead me to buy two more of his books immediately. I wish I'd bought only one (or better, borrowed it). I found this book (and Senor Vivo) over-written and contrived. Sure, I understood the black humour and the biting satire - but it was kinda like being browbeaten with it - in the tactless style of a typical Hollywood movie, rather than being seductively left to draw my own conclusions, like many a French movie. Yes I laughed out loud at some passages. But, whereas the exquisite prose in Corelli simply wafted me from page to page, irresistibly, I found The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts hard going, and it was only applied discipline that made me finish it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars slightly above average, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (Paperback)
A lot of unnecessary violence and quite confusing in parts but despite that, I found myself wanting to finish the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 6 Dec 2013
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A beautiful and heartbreak tale. The author mixes magic, political satire and the extreme and legendary violence of the country effortlessly.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Slow read, 29 Nov 2013
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Nothing really happened though I had been recommended this as "a good read".

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War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts
War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernieres (Paperback - 6 Jun 1991)
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