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This is an auction for THE CATASTROPHIST by Ronan Bennett.

"An Irish novelist finds himself trapped in an African colony's struggle for independence in this sophisticated and resonant political novel from the Belfast-bred Bennett. In 1959, middle-aged writer James Gillespie travels to the Belgian Congo to join his young Italian girlfriend, an idealistic journalist covering Patrice Lumumba's revolution for a communist daily. In a colony swiftly on its way to nationhood, every action seems political. But narrator James clings to his ideal of artistic detachment. With deft strokes, Bennett shows how U.S. and Belgian interests, fearing Lumumba's Communist sympathies, quickly undermined his government, helping to power his rival Mobutu, who proved a bloodthirsty tyrant. This is Bennett's fourth book in Britain, where he's often (and rightly) compared to Graham Greene, praised both for his awareness of Third World politics and for his tactile sex scenes. Those seeking a well-made hybrid in Greene's mode - built of irony and commitment, political theory and garish violence, erotic charge and historical fact - will find Bennett a writer who can shock, please, inspire, disturb and finally satisfy."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Before he was 20, Bennett was arrested as an IRA activist (though he was not a member) and convicted of murder and armed robbery, but released when his conviction was overturned. Later, living in England, he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy and served time while awaiting trial, where he was acquitted.

More very favourable reviews on

Paperback 1999.

313 pages.

Good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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