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Death of Che Guevara Hardcover – October 12, 1983


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 577 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (October 12, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394517679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394517674
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.8 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,128,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A remarkable feat of the sympathetic imagination. . . . A lucid, compassionate work . . . a profuse and powerful novel.” --The New York Times

“For the first time, an American imagination has joined in the dialogue wielded by Garcia Marquez, Fuentes, Vargas Llosa and others. . . . An extraordinary novel. . . . .An impressive achievement.” —The Los Angeles Times

“Clearly the work of an unusual literary intelligence . . . An immense, audacious and often brilliant first novel.” --The New York Review of Books

"A brave, mammoth fiction, shrewd and romantic in conception, dazzling and post-modernist in construction..One is left with a pan-American legend that Jay Cantor has reworked into a passionate haunting.” --The Boston Globe

“Ambitious and provocative. . . . An impressive achievement.” –Dallas Morning News

“A fine book. . . . Cantor has produced in his fiction a truly realistic Che Guevara.” –St. Petersburg Times

“Intriguing because it both penetrates and enshrines the aura that was Che, melding fact and fancy. . . . [Cantor] immerses himself, capturing the flavor and feel of the small villages, the heat of the hungle, the oppression. . . . . It is a book about a man whose life may have been in vain . . . but it also about an enigma, and it forms a decent tribute to the person who was that riddle.” –Indianapolis Star

“Create[s] a dense, impassioned portrait of Castro’s revolution.” –Vanity Fair

“This big novel is so lush, so intelligent, and arises so deeply from within the depths of the author’s knowledge of Guevara that serious readers will be eager to spread the word about it. . . . Guevara is evoked splendidly . . . The final picture is amazing in its intimacy.” –Booklist

“A profound, immensely powerful book. . . . The dilemmas of Che Guevara’s life in the end become the dilemmas of political action and conscience in this century.” –Frank Bidart

“Complex but wholly convincing. . . . What is unique here is that Jay Cantor has brought his North American sensibility to [the] celebration–and he seems right at home.” --Newsday

“Rich in political/psychological interplay and imaginative detail. . . . The prose is assured, intensely focused.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A thrilling, masterfully written novel, especially in its portrayals of political desire.” –Richard Poirier

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jay Cantor is the author of two other novels, Great Neck and Krazy Kat, and two books of essays, The Space Between: Literature and Politics and On Giving Birth to One’s Own Mother. A MacArthur Prize fellow, Cantor teaches at Tufts University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife Melinda Marble, and their daughter, Grace. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Domini on October 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
To browse Amazon and find this magnificent novel entirely unreviewed shocks me. Jay Cantor's 1983 debut remains among the two or three foremost accomplishments of the American generation born after World War II -- as significant a work, in other words, as the best of Richard Powers or Tim O'Brien or Richard Price. Yet Cantor's name is considerably less known than any of theirs, and apparently readers are doing without the heady and sumptuous historical reframing offered by DEATH OF CHE GUEVARA.

A shame, because few novels will offer so many traditional satisfactions -- in particular deepening emotional penetration and vivid action setpieces -- while at the same time showing such alertness to the challenge facing the tradition of long prose narratives. DEATH OF CHE GUEVARA works up great historical realism, including hair-raising battle scenes with the Cuban guerillas of 1956 and '57, packed with startling details like the taste of monkey meat during Che's '67 sojourn in the Bolivian jungle. Yet the book's multiple voices and approaches also break down each of its major lines of development, going so deeply into the story's central revolutionary conciousness as to raise probing questions about his calling.

Yet Che unites everything here, a kind of Christ even when he most closely suggests Caesar -- or the monomaniacal Ahab, to choose a literary reference this book invites. Cantor's allusions to Melville, subtly laid, are earned throughout by his complicated interplay of media (the diaries of different characters, for instance, generate fascinating counterpoint) and an overall inevitability that has the stuff of myth.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By El Cee on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Weird, disjointed writing and story, nonsensical at times. And since it is a novel about a real person, shouldn't it be based on true facts? Not worth buying.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica L. Low on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel is horrible. There are untruths on every page. Che's father was not a doctor and there is no proof, anywhere, ever, that Ernesto had problems with anger and extreme violence as a child and young adult. On the contrary, actually, he was a student of Gandhi. There are several liberties taken and even though it is a fiction novel, should still remain true to fact. This novel completely disregards fact and I hope that those of you who choose to read this understand that this is 100% fiction.
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