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The Jaguar Smile A Nicaraguan Journey { ebook } Author Salman Rushdie – dealsonwines.co.uk

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Salman Rushdie went to Nicaragua in 1986 harboring no preconceptions of what he might find What he discovered was overwhelming a culture of heroes who had turned. I didn t know much about Nicaragua or the Contra War of the 80s as I was only in gradeschool at the time I didn t pick this book up because I wanted to find out about the topic either I picked it up because I thought it would a short novel I could finish off before the new year I was the definition of a blank slate Imagine my surprise when I realized that this was actually a work of non fictionAs a blank slate I can t really rate this book based on how accurate Rushdie s depiction of the state of things was I can only judge it on his prose and his ability to explain what he is personally setting out to explain On those terms the book is very successful I was very surprised that in such a brief work I found myself comfortably knowledgable about most of the involved parties including the Sandanistas the east coast Misurasata and various sects of the Contra movement Rushdie s verdict in the end is an almost ambiguous one coming hesitantly down on the side of the Sandanistas with some reservations Perhaps I m naive but his findings appeared to be the honest opinion of a neutral observer and not any kind of liberal propagandaOutside of the politics he also paints a picture of the citizens of the country who are a resiliant and hopeful and poetic people This jives pretty accurately with my impressions of various Central American friends from college and the stories they shared about their livesNow this book was written in 1987 and as a glimpse at that particular moment of time I think this book is very effective Rushdie sees a certain righteousness in the Sandanista movement but warns that with power comes certain temptations and admits that the leaders he met with were uestionably euipped to deal with those temptations The title in fact comes from a limerick in which a little girl wearing a smile rides away on a jaguar When she returns the girl is gone and now the jaguar is wearing the smile Far from being propaganda Rushdie awknowledges with his title that the politics of Nicaragua are dangerous and ambiguous History would show that neither the Sandanistas or the Contras or even the Americans who became involved turned out to be truely just in their actionsBut I guess that s always the way when politics and religion are concerned people freuently end up doing the wrong things for the what they feel are the right reasons The Jaguar Smile captures that pretty succinctly

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The Jaguar Smile A Nicaraguan Journey

Special sensitivity to “the views from underneath” Rushdie reveals a land resounding with the clashes between history and morality government and individuals. Well written but inevitably lackingI saved this book for several years thinking it would be another Rushdie book to savour When I finally read it I felt that it was mere journalism OK maybe well written journalism but I did not find the flavour of Central America though I have never been to Nicaragua but rather the observations of a keen mind in a situation that was uite unfamiliar The resulting book I fear shows that unfamiliarity I thought Yes Rushdie from another Third World country with a certain style of contradiction would understand Nicaragua and the revolutionary process with a special eye I think the latter process turned out to be largely true but not the former Nicaragua I would recommend this book to all authors who might feel that they could produce an excellent book on a place they know little about Travel writers are excused because they write about travel not necessarily deep insights But a major novelist I thought it would be better

Salman Rushdie Ì 3 characters

Into inanimate objects and of politicians and warriors who were poets; a land of difficult often beautiful contradictions His perceptions always heightened by his. This isn t a badly written book by any means Rushdie is of course a great writer and when he s describing the nonpolitical people and places he visited in Nicaragua it s an interesting book But what he had to say in this book overall really bugged me I read it along with Kinzer s book about Nicaragua Blood of Brothers and Kinzer has profoundly different things to say about the Sandinistas than does Rushdie At one point he actually mocks and criticizes an unfavorable story about the Sandinistas written by Kinzer for the NY Times This was particularly obnoxious considering Kinzer had been living in Managua for a really long time and Rushdie was there for all of about 3 weeks Yeah he wrote a book about a country he d been in for 3 weeks In the intro to this book Rushdie notes that while appearing on a radio show in the US while promoting the book the conservative host maybe Limbaugh asked how long he d been a Communist stooge Sadly after reading this book I nearly agree with that radio host Rushdie seems so naive in this book He comes off as a mouth piece for the Sandinistas He rightly speaks of the horrible things the American backed Contras did during the war But he finds ways to apologize for everything the Sandinistas did History has very much proven that the Sandinistas weren t great people They imprisoned tortured and also executed their opposition They stifled dissent and free expression I don t blame Rushdie for wanting to see a revolution in Central America succeed I m very much disgusted by all the Reagan administration did in Nicaragua myself But give me a break Rushdie should have been a little evenhanded here with the criticism Instead this book comes off as a long love letter to the Sandinistas


10 thoughts on “The Jaguar Smile A Nicaraguan Journey

  1. says:

    I loved the breadth and brilliance of Rushdie's Midnight's Children admired his clever biting and sly portrait of Benazir Bhutto the 'Virgin Ironpants' in Shame was confused with the immature ramblings of Grimus bo

  2. says:

    Nicaragua July 1986 Rushdie's first nonfiction endeavor is my first Rushdie read I can see why Christopher Hitchens liked him In some ways Rushdie reminds me of Hitchens They're both well read articulate and can admire a thing while s

  3. says:

    I didn't know much about Nicaragua or the Contra War of the 80s as I was only in gradeschool at the time I didn't pick this book up because I wanted to find out about the topic either I picked it up because I thought it would a short novel I could finish off before the new year I was the definition of a blank slate Imag

  4. says:

    A slim little book about Salman Rushdie visiting Nicaragua 7 years after the revolution I'm a sucker for writers who are

  5. says:

    This was an interesting book by Rushdie about his travels to Sandinista run Nicaragua in 1986 shortly after finishing Satanic Verses It is an insiders look at this short lived period of history that eventually led to the Noriega dictatorship and bloodshed Not an essential part of his canon it is nonetheless an interesting non fiction book from Rushdie trying to see behind the propaganda of this particular world spotlight at the time with R

  6. says:

    This isn't a badly written book by any means Rushdie is of course a great writer and when he's describing the nonpolitical people and places he visited in Nicaragua it's an interesting book But what he had to say in this book overall

  7. says:

    I discovered this in the Latin America section in Stanfords uite unaware that Salman Rushdie had written it and central America was somewhere I have always wanted to travel aroundRusdie’s trip of three weeks was made at the invitation of the Sandinista Association of Cultural workers and he was there at the seven year an

  8. says:

    3455 stars rounding down I read this book twice about ten years apart I remembered liking it and decided to pick it up again I found

  9. says:

    Well written but inevitably lackingI saved this book for several years thinking it would be another Rushdie book to savou

  10. says:

    I was a child in the 80s during the Contra years with Nicaragua and President Reagan This expose opened my eyes to the unwanted involvement of US in the development of a new government The author is clearly anti American which he was very upfront in saying at the beginning I could clearly see his bias Apparently

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