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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0749001534
  • 9780749001537

Review Text

This is the first of Traven's "Jungle Novels" (The Carreta, The March to Caobaland, The Troza, The Rebellion of the Hanged, and The General from the Jungle are the others) and a scene-setter for the series. Its hero, the Ladino Don Gabriel, having fumbled several careers, enters Porfirio Diaz's civil service as secretario for an Indian district. Thenceforth the story is simply a chronicle of his elaborations on a basic pattern of profiteering - from simple extortions via taxes and fines through a de facto slave trade supplying labor for the notorious mahogany forests. For all the particulars (Traven's appreciative projection of Indian culture with distinctly Indian reactions to their abuse) the mechanism is of course not unique to Mexico in the 1930's. Though this is where he presumably got his first-hand knowledge, his outrage is universal. If now only a chorister in protest, Traven is still relevant and vigorously lean. (Kirkus Reviews)show more