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The fourth and pivotal novel in the JUNGLE series, published in Britain for the first time and translated by Hugh Young. It was lost for many years until an old German proof was recently discovered, and the identity of B. Traven remains a more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0749001488
  • 9780749001483

Review Text

Requiem for Mexican peons hauling mahogany at the ends of the earth in the jungles of Chiapas. The mysterious Traven, born in Chicago to Swedish parents, spent his youth in Germany, settled in Mexico in the 1920's, and wrote The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Treasure is a joyride set beside the graphic gloom and horror here - the fourth of six jungle novels by Traven describing peonage and debt slavery among the Mexican Indians under dictator Porfirio Diaz, who had declared peonage illegal. The out-of-print series, which describes the birth of the Mexican Revolution, was first published in German in the 30's and is here complete in English for the first time. No other social realist can match the grim, godless overcast that Traven brings down on his brutalized Indians as they break their backs and drive oxen through snake-infested jungle and marsh and float or haul tons of mahogany (trozas) to the monteria, or mahogany plantations, through thorns, mud, rain, biting bloodfilled flies and ticks, whips and beatings. Andres Ugaldo, a noble Indian signed on as a drover by the greedy Montellano brothers, is given a ten-year-old boy to train for forest labor. There's little plot as Traven draws the layout of the plantation and its layers of power, its ways of outwitting government regulations, and its methods of enslaving the Indians through money, debt, drink, whores, murder - all leading to a gruesome climax. A mastery of the politics of evil that is simply immense, and sexual frankness unique for the Thirties. The five other jungle novels in this series are being reprinted. (Kirkus Reviews)show more