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The Carlos Chadwick Mystery: A Novel of College Life and Political Terror

Length: 328 pages4 hours


"For anybody who has lived through, or wondered about the 'culture wars' on U.S. campuses, THE CARLOS CHADWICK MYSTERY casts the debate in an entirely new light. Although the book is set in the 1970s, the issues that it deals with are as alive and relevant today as they were decades ago. The novel plays with the ideas of liberal objectivity and respect for different 'perspectives' through the eyes of a student who sees the whole approach as a defense of moral and political alienation and paralysis."
"Raised in Latin America, in a family that would today be called 'bi-racial' or 'bi-cultural,' Carlos comes to see the culture of intellectual detachment on his college campus as increasingly absurd in the face of U.S. actions in Vietnam. Both Latin American and U.S. culture and politics are presented in their brilliant diversity, and with wicked parody. The voices and characters are disquietingly real, the satires drawn to a perfection that leaves the reader marveling. The human portraits take each character just a shade beyond the people we know and interact with every day. The book evokes its locations, which range from a quiet New England campus to Paris and Caracas, with vivid color and detail.
"Since I first read the book--and I have to confess to reading seven or eight times by now--I have been continually amazed at the way real-life events and people seem to have been taken 'straight out of CARLOS CHADWICK.' Life, politics, and academics will never look the same after you read this book."
--Avi Chomsky, Associate Professor of History, Salem State College, Massachusetts

"Gene H. Bell-Villada is a keen observer of the college scene, where he thrives as professor, scholar, essayist and well-published literary critic and translator. He has written for many national and international journals, and is author of definitive books on Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He observes the American scene from a special perspective, having been reared in the Caribbean area. The central conceit -- the cult of 'balance' and centrism, and how that's linked to various kinds of selective blindness -- is GREAT. The satire and the aphorisms are mordant. Very funny, trenchant stuff."
-- Carol McGuirk, Florida Atlantic University

"Seductively readable, page by page. The portrait of the small New England liberal arts college is wonderful, and Livie has to be the girl you love to hate."
-- Mary Lusky Friedman, Wake Forest University

"Intriguing, and for those of us already disillusioned with the common American ideologies, even fun."
-- Mike Gunderloy, Fact Sheet Five

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