Manuel Pereira da Ponte Martins, beloved dictator of the state of Teresina in Brazil, develops agoraphobia the day a fortune-teller predicts he will die being torn limb from limb by an angry mob. His life becomes unbearable and he decides to hire a double to stand in while he set off to enjoy himself in the fleshpots of Europe. A few years later, the barber-turned-dictator also grows tired of running the country and employs the same trick as his predecessor to leave for Hollywood. On the boat there, he introduces himself as Charlie Chaplin. But everyone is convinced that he is none other than Rudolph Valentino disguised as Chaplin. When he arrives in New York, both the real actors are waiting for him. Back in Teresina, the doubles follow one another, fooling the people with ease. Then Pereira comes back. He is astonished to discover that his stand-in doesn't look anything like him and reacts in a way that can only precipitate his meeting with Fate. "The Dictator and The Hammock" is wildly original and extremely funny.
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"'If you want to read something that's witty, inventive, shocking and great fun, pick up a Pennac'" (Paul Duncan Crime Time)
"'Truly first-class black comedy of breathtaking pugnacious genius'" ( Glasgow Herald)
"'There is danger in Pennac's prose but there is exuberance and exhilaration, too. A cult success in France, this deserves to be a hit wherever it lands'" ( The Good Book Guide)
"'There is a precision of touch here that is something like the "lightness" Italo Calvino identified in the best folk literature . . . A crime novel that breaks off to discuss the relative merits of Kafka, Antelme, Defoe and Cioran is an odd, but oddly entertaining crime novel'" (Brian Dillon Times Literary Supplement)
‘Highly amusing and original. Daniel Pennac is a fantastic storyteller’ Andrey Kurkov, author of Death and The Penguin
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Book Description Vintage Books, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099470233