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The Fountain at the Center of the World Paperback – August 28, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First Edition edition (August 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932360115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932360110
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this intense but flawed global drama, a British PR flack tries to find his long-lost brother after being diagnosed with a fatal form of leukemia. Evan Hatch works long hours running interference for a firm that specializes in complex governmental trade issues, but his sudden cancer diagnosis forces him to track down his brother, Chano, to orchestrate a bone marrow transplant. The search is complicated by his brother's work as a political activist in northern Mexico, where Chano is on the run for bombing a sluicing plant that was poisoning the local groundwater supply. The family angle turns into a triangle when Chano's teenage son, Daniel, who was put up for adoption, travels to Mexico from Costa Rica to try to locate his father. A complex, extended game of hunt-and-chase then ensues, with Chano and Daniel fleeing the various authorities who want to arrest and deport them, respectively. Meanwhile, Evan learns that he has been misdiagnosed, and that he is in the last, deadly stage of a rare tropical blood disease called Chagas' disease that he contracted as an infant. The climax takes place in Seattle against the backdrop of the riots that shut down the World Trade Organization meetings several years ago, where the paths of Chano, Daniel and Evan finally converge. Newman's extensive political research adds depth and breadth, but it also clutters the book with so much factual detail that the protagonists are thrust aside, and the problem is compounded by the introduction of far too many ancillary characters. With a bit more clarity, this might have been a superb novel, but instead it is a compromised testimonial to Newman's formidable range, intelligence and talent.
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By quackhead on September 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The subject matter intrigued me. The backdrop of the Seattle riots was informative and interesting.

But I just couldn't get into it. Everything seemed one-dimensional. It was like a political instruction booklet, except, poorly disguised as fiction. Mind you, I happen to agree with the author's politics, but I found the book quite flat.

The descriptions of the riots were good, but the characters seem poorly constructed. They were mostly one dimensional (even the young Mexican police captain who practiced yoga in his office)

None of the characters had the complexity that is often inherent in people. Nor did its subject matter seem complex. Which is interesting, since, humans, expecially interesting people tend to be complex, just like provocative topics like globalization.

In addition, the book relies too much of its politics on a black and white, us versus them, we're always right -they wrong perspective. Personally, I believe that complex topics are not covered well or done much justice, if the approach is that constricting.

At other times the book can get over-the-top sappy (politically).

I liked "No Logo" better.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is so very satisfying to finally have access to fiction that represents the realties of those of us who participate in the global social justice movement. The author was obviously here in Seattle during the events of November 1999. Sometimes I imagine he was right behind me. He got it right on so many levels.
The novel is surprisingly well plotted and fast paced, considering the stereotype of most political novels. It is also humorous throughout. I did not want to put it down until I found out what happened. When it was over I was sorry I rushed through it so quickly.
I'm sure this novel will be applauded as word of mouth spreads. We have found another writer whose works we can eagerly anticipate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Conti on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This novel deserves a wide audience. It is well-written and profound on many levels. It is not merely about the WTO meetings/protests in Seattle in 1999 but about people in the first and third worlds and the lives they lead. I found the characters fascinating. The author's insights into the characters really moved me. All the characters came alive for me. Give the book a chance and you won't be dissapointed. I plan to seek out the author's other works. He deserves to be better known and more widely read.
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