Monday, April 15, 2013

Uncontrollable by Kevin Eady

Buenaventura García, 101-year-old Spanish anarchist, narrates his life story to his great-grandson.  Forced into exile by the Spanish Civil War, he begins a journey that lands him in nearly every prison and labor camp in Europe and Asia.  The story reaches its climax in a metaphysical experience induced by hallucinogenic mares' milk offered by a Siberian shaman with whom he was having a sexual liaison in the Soviet Gulag.

Uncontrollable and I developed a love-hate relationship.  It is an intriguing tale, well paced, and Buenaventura García offers the reader a highly engaging narrative.  It is, however, told with a British accent where one would expect the voice to be Spanish.  From a personal viewpoint my inner anarchist could only bond with part of Buenaventura's politics.  He longs to exist in a Utopian sort of workers' paradise free of government, free of capitalism, free of property, free of religion and never questions the validity of the concept despite witnessing firsthand the abject failure of the Stalinist model.  Late in life he survives on reparations from both the Spanish and German governments but apparently sees no hypocrisy in this.

The book ends with a series of bizarre twists that leave the reader's head spinning and wondering if somehow he had ingested some of the shaman's mares' milk.

Price: $2.99
83,255 words

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