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Bazaar of the Idiots Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 3.66

Paperback, Published in May 1991 by Latin American Literary Review Press

ISBN10: 093548048X | ISBN13: 9780935480481

Page count: 192

In this funny spoof on religion, morals and manners in the town of Tuluá, Colombian novelist Gardeazábal (the mayor of Tuluá) presents a world where sinners are blessed with divine restorative powers while zealous adherents suffer the torments of hell. Through a twist of fate Tuluá's most shunned resident, Marcianita, the illegitimate daughter of a parish priest, becomes a celebrity after she marries a respectable engineer and bears two sons who, though idiots, are "super-endowed" with sexual potency. Marcianita's sons use their "curative prowess" to make a crippled beauty queen walk, and word of this and other "miracles" spreads. Soon pilgrims visit the town, followed by journalists and entrepreneurs with plans to capitalize on Tuluá's new tourist attraction. Gardeazábal's first book to be translated into English takes the shape of a series of related fables with their own mythical reality and bizarre characters, among them a priest who hypnotizes poisonous spiders until one sinks its barb in him and puts him in a cataleptic coma. Though powerful in its criticism of religious and social repression, the book's humor packs the biggest punch.

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