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Slow and disjointed polictical thriller
on 1 January 2011
A rather slow and disjointed political novel, the 'Feast of the Goat' brings to life in vivid and shocking detail the brutal Trujillo regime of the Domincian Republic. The novel is told from several points of view, including that of an exile returning home after many years falling the fall of the dictatorship, and from that of the various assassins of Trujillo, as well as important figures in the Trujillo regime and even the dictator himself.
Whilst using these multiple view points provides the reader with detail and information they would never get from a single narrator, it does make the story rather disjointed and makes it hard to develop a real connection with any of the characters. The changes in viewpoint and length of time spent with each seem quite arbitrary and affect the rhythm and pace of the book. There are also lots of characters with very similiar names/multiple names which, particularly for non-Spanish speaking readers, makes it hard to tell who is who and therefore follow the story. A 'cast of characters' at the start for reference would have helped with this.
In parts the story is very gripping and shocking, particularly in the last part of the book where it really picks up pace. But I found the first three quarters at least very hard to get into and kept putting it down in favour of other things. I am glad I persisted as I it certainly taught me a lot, but I look for a bit more enjoyment factor in fiction. Saying that, it is well written and quite easy to read. Overall it's not a bad book, but it could have been a lot better.