$15.95 • 273 pp. • 2001
A young man and his friend embark on a trip to Columbia, a country immersed in a civil war. They soon make friends there and become deeply involved in their lives. Their own lives change as they are confronted with the violence, despair, and corruption hidden behind every event, every encounter. But they also discover another essential element of live in a war zone: the extreme passion and love that illuminate the people they meet. The narrator weaves the turmoil of this human landscape with the turbulence of his own relationship to his friend and travel companion. The result is an extraordinary novel about the desperate search for oneself, within the description of a larger and apocalyptic Latin America.
“Atherton’s tale ceases being a mere touristic view of a troubled South American country (though on that level the quality of the writing maintains a high level of interest) and becomes–with one very casual gesture–deeply involved with several of its citizens. At this juncture the book becomes a journey of the spirit, a psychological landscape thick with hidden conflicts, stealthy maneuvers, lush contradictions, and deadly games…There is a scene early in the novel that captures the level of oppression and its psychological repercussions with masterful subtlety and compelling detail, an astonishing achievement for someone so young… [Atherton] makes it poignantly evident that it is not so much our ideologies that endanger our well-being, but life itself that is inherently subversive.”
—John Olson for Rain Taxi
Mark Atherton, wrote only one work, this novel published by The Post-Apollo Press. He died very young in 1994.