The Eye of Cybele

The Eye of Cybele

By (author) Daniel Chavarria , By (author) Carlos Lopez

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"The Eye of Cybele" is equal parts historical epic, whodunnit-style thriller, highbrow erotica and philosophical discourse. Set in fifth century B.C., the novel fictionally recreates the behind-the-scenes scandals and political intrigues that occupied the Athenian home front at the height of the Peloponnesian War. Daniel Chavarria was born in Uruguay in 1933. He has taught Latin, Greek and classical literature, and has won numerous literary awards around the world. His comic suspense novel about a bicycle hooker in Havana, "Adios Muchachos" (Akashic, 2001), won an Edgar Award and has been translated into 15 languages.

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  • Paperback | 450 pages
  • 132 x 210 x 32mm | 580.6g
  • 01 Sep 2005
  • Akashic Books,U.S.
  • New York
  • English
  • 188845167X
  • 9781888451672
  • 927,663

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Author Information

Daniel Chavarria was born in Uruguay in 1933. Chavarria has worked as a translator of literature into Spanish, and has taught Latin, Greek and Classical Literature. His novels, short stories, literary journalism, and screenplays have reached audiences across Latin America and Europe. Chavarria has won numerous literary awards around the world, including a 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award.

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Review quote

"Daniel Chavarrma has long been recognized as one of Latin America's finest writers . . ." --Edgar Award-winning author William Heffernan

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Flap copy

The Eye of the Cybele, Akashic's second release by celebrated Uruguayan mystery novelist Daniel Chavarrma, is equal parts historical epic, whodunnit-style thriller, highbrow erotica and philosophical discourse. Set in late sixth-century B.C.--during the reign of Pericles--the novel fictionally recreates the behind-the-scenes scandals and political intrigues that occupied the Athenian home front at the height of the Peloponessian War. The novel's central character is Alcibiades, a stutteringly precocious Athenian general whose physical beauty, unparalleled Olympic achievements, and reckless courage on the battlefield earn the fanatical enthusiasm of the polis; the affection and desire of Lysis, a lusty and seductive temple prostitute; the admiration and patronage of Socrates; and the jealousy and suspicion of Nicias, one of the city's most powerful generals and a leading competitor for the favor of both Pericles and the masses. At the center of it all is the Eye of the Cybele, a sacred jewel whose mysterious disappearance sets in motion a sequence of deceptions, subterfuges and failed schemes that ultimately undermine the self-serving ambitions of both Alcibiades and Nicias. Much of the novel's real action takes place behind the scenes, however, through the comically megalomanical preoccupations of the Keeper of the Sum, a mad but charismatic beggar-priest who founds--and personally administers the sensual sacraments of--a new Cybeline cult. While the core beliefs and aspirations of the Golden Age are beginning to crumble from within, Chavarrma depicts--in the phallically obsessed reveries of the Keeper--the birth pangs of a new world religion. In spite of a complexstructure that blends conventional third-person narrative, formal epistles, and deliriously sensual streams-of-consciousness, the novel progresses at a lively pace. Along the way there are savage scenes of torture and war, convoluted tales of political maneuvering, luridly sensual descriptions of cult sexual activity, and spirited philosophical debates. In a stunning denouement, Chavarrma masterly employs the Socratic method to demonstrate the Socratic roots of the suspense genre, with the great skeptical philosopher himself unwittingly assuming the role of a Nick Charles-style detective who logically eliminates one hypothesis and suspect after another to identify the novel's real culprit for an equally uncomprehending audience.

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