The Dissertation

Tinieblas Book Two

R. M. Koster - Author

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ISBN 9781468309096 | 448 pages | 16 Dec 2013 | Overlook | 18 - AND UP
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The second book in R.M. Koster's highly acclaimed Tinieblas trilogy (following The Prince), The Dissertation is the story of--and a story by--Camilo Fuertes. To fulfill his Ph.D. requirement, Fuertes decides to write about his father, the martyred president of Tinieblas, a country in Latin America. We follow Leon as he winds his twisted path through delinquency, learning, bravery, and incest to the presidency. At once a powerful vision of Latin American history and a brilliant parody of the academic form--complete with endnotes!--The Dissertation is an essential postmodern novel in the tradition of Vonnegut, Barth and Nabokov, ready to be embraced by a new generation of readers.

"A careful fake is better than the truth,
according to fictional Banana Republic
president León Fuertes, and so it is with
Koster’s 1975 novel masquerading as a
doctoral dissertation, reissued after four
decades and still fresh, funny, and disturbingly
relevant. Brooklyn, N.Y.–born, Ivy League–
educated, longtime Panama resident Koster
portrays Latin America with a comedian’s
sense of timing, a scholar’s sense of history,
and a native’s fond despair." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"It gave me a lot of pleasure. As with Pale Fire, it's the [end]notes I cherish and will read and reread." --Anthony Burgess

"One of the few books of the past 20 years that deserves to be called astonishing. It is a brilliant novel, structurally a marvel and, in all, a demonstration of elan as that quality seldom is experienced in a work of fiction." --Des Moines Sunday Register

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