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The Revolutionary Mystery…

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Subcomandante Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista’s, is co-writing a novel with Mexico’s top crime writer. The novel, written by Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II in alternating parts, is being published in installments in Mexico’s La Jornada. The tale, Muertos Incomodos (Awkward Dead), is supposedly loosely based on Marcos’ real story.

Marcos has been dubbed the new Che and is widely popular in the Mexican countryside. He became known on an international scale after the 1994 Indian uprising in the state of Chiapas.

Mr Taibo, a Zapatista sympathiser, told the Associated Press… “We all know that it will not be an innocent novel.”

The novel is obviously written in Spanish, and as my Spanish is a bit rusty I only read Chapter III (one of the Marcos’ written chapters).

From what I can gather, Marcos does indeed touch on socialist and progressive subjects. The main character openly discusses homosexuality, biodiversity and corporatism. In one passage Marcos references Wal-Mart and the impending crush of capitalism on aboriginal societies. He puts it rather succinctly when he writes that if we allow Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s to take over the pyramids of Teotihuacan the gods will abandon us and we will have “Bush, Blair, Berlusconi, Aznar and the IMF to forever.”

As this is his first effort, his style could use some polish and I can’t imagine why he would choose to put forward his revolutionary ideas through a mystery novel, but regardless, it seems to be working. La Jornada has reported increased sales of 20% for the Sunday paper.

The book will be originally published for the Spanish & Italian speaking world. An English version may follow.

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  • Esteban Ambriz

    After only reading one chapter and, by your own admission, your Spanish is “a bit rusty”, you have been able to judge his style as “needing to be polished”? Pretty impressive or just arrogant.

  • I meant as regards to Chapter II written by Paco Ignacio Taibo II which I skimmed (vs. reading the whole thing). Sorry if that was unclear.

    And keep in mind this was a positive review which brings to light Marco’s political opinions… I happened to think his style in mystery writing could use some polish… that’s my opinion, you can have yours as well, doesn’t mean I’m being arrogant.