A black comedy set on a Caribbean island, half of which is owned by the French, the other belonging to the People's Republic of New Carabali, ruled by the world's cruellest despot, President General Alphonse Belizon. The two sides arrange a summit, culminating in a dinner, but what is on the menu?
William Boyd's GOOD MAN IN AFRICA meets Graham Greene's DR. FISCHER OF GENEVA; an unsettling, black comedy, set on an island run by the world's most despicable dictator This hilarious story is set on a fictitious Caribbean island, half of which is owned by the French, the other, The People's Republic of New Carabali, ruled by the world's cruellest despot, President General Alphonse Belizon, so terrified of being poisoned he keeps his own knife and fork sticking out of his military medallioned breast pocket. Riddled with cancer and, remembering Pinochet, frightened to go to Britain, he is trying to do a deal with the French, selling some of his natural resources in return for some safe, non-custodial private treatment. To this end, he and his South African security chief, the psychotic Van der Pump, have arranged to have a summit meeting culminating with a dinner with the said French officials at the Auberge des Anglais, a dilapidated hotel, close to the French side, which boasts the finest cuisine in the Caribbean. Run by lazy Gaston and his fearsome wife Magali (the genius in the kitchen) the hotel has its own array of oddities, most notably Jack Devenish, a colonial yard-arm drinker of the old school, Edward Arden, a terminally shy, retired translator, and more recently, the mysterious Madame Lacombe with an equally mysterious child in tow - all of whom have reasons to be appalled at the prospect of El Presidente being parachuted into their midst. But into this turbulent mixture he descends, wracked by illness, surrounded by bodyguards and revelling in his notoriety. The kitchen cauldrons boil, the guests assemble, the dinner is served. But amongst the many courses it appears that assasination might be on the menu.
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Christopher Wilkins was born in Oxford in 1945, and read English at Kings College, Cambridge. For many years he worked in advertising. He lives in rural seclusion in the south of England.
The Poison Arrow Frog by Christopher Wilkins
Used - Very Good
Simon & Schuster Ltd
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