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Hardcover Useful Fools Book

ISBN: 0525478140

ISBN13: 9780525478140

Useful Fools

Alonso, a dirt-poor teenager living in Peru, helps out at the public health clinic his mother, Magdalena, opened, so that he can see Rosa, the beautiful and wealthy daughter of the clinic?s doctor. Alonso and Rosa are both shattered when Magdalena is assassinated by a revolutionary terrorist organization. Left with no hope, Alonso might be seduced into becoming a guerrilla in the same organization that killed his mother. Rosa becomes disgusted with...


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Customer Reviews

3 ratings

in the end, it's all about love

It says this is a book for teenagers, but I think that does not give full justice to this very strong story. Against the background of a torn up Peru, the author pictures a wide array of convincing political and personal dilemmas. The "Romeo and Julia" love of the main persons is not supposed to be - too different classes. Parents really love their children, and they really try, nevertheless, they fail - and understandably so. In a shattered society, should you be happy with the powers that are, or should you sympathise with the revolutionary forces? And would you consider to join those forces, even if they killed your mother? Hard to imagine, right? The friendship between Alonso and his best friend Rodolfo goes beyond boundaries, but does it last in a civil war? How is this going to end? Apart from these themes, the story illustrates a great love for the country of Peru, its people and its looks. Imagine a very clear night, with plenty of clear shining stars above you, and enjoy the power of this book. It's all about love and it's highly recommended!

Not just for high schoolers

This is an unusual book, and merits notice by readers interested in Latin America as well as those seeking a good coming of age novel. Although the love story fits the young adult category, Schmidt's portrayal of the wrenching choices these young people face brings to life the chaos of Peru in the late 1980s-early 1990s. There are other vivid treatments of Sendero Luminoso - Alma Guillermoprieto's essays come to mind. But even the best reportage can't match a novel's rich imagining of what would have led a young person to join the cult-like guerrilla group, or the ensuing struggle to resist dehumanization. Because we recognize the familiar yearning for freedom and structure, closeness and autonomy, the unfamiliar setting becomes real and personal. To her credit, Schmidt lets the characters' experiences carry the story; she neither lectures nor preaches. It's a wonderful book for its age group, and travels well to slightly older audiences. I have been recommending it as a good gut-level introduction to key tensions in Andean societies to college students interested in Latin America. Margaret Keck

wonderful insights on love and terrorism

This young adult novel was a very positive surprise to me. It worked as a compelling and dramatic story of young love amidst brutality in Peru during the Sendero Luminoso war. At the same time it provided valid insights into the nature of terrorism, compassion, and justice. But throughtout it all, the characters remain pretty real rather than separated from us (as you might expect) by a different culture. Schmidt is a good writer with something touching and important to say.
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