Tuesday, 27 April 2010

sixteen: eco-terrorism

Mengele Zoo by Gert Nygårdshaug (1989)

First of all: why has this book not been translated?
Somewhere in the South American rainforest a young boy is collecting butterflies. He is aware that the indigenous peoples are being treated badly by the men of power and he decides to kill the leader of the military police. One day his whole village is slaughtered because they are opposing an oil company on their land. The boy escapes and runs into the wilderness where he is found by a magician. As they travel around South America he sees that multinational companies are killing the land and he decides to win the land back. A few years later he and three friends scare and amaze the world with the eco-terrorist group Mariposa.

It is beautiful yet a brutal book. Magic realism with amazing descriptions of the environment. Not a bad thing to say about it. Strongly recommended. And the next time I'm near a book store I'm buying the sequel, Himmelblomsttreets muligheter.

It reminded me a lot of another brilliant book with the same theme, the Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) by Edward Abbey. This one is about the damming of the Colorado River and a group of people who start blowing up construction supplies and bridges. Where Mengele Zoo is serious and sad, the Monkey Wrench Gang is a lot of action and also funny. Yet there are a lot of similarities, like the ideologies behind the terrorism and the love for mother nature.

2 comments:

  1. I <3 Mengele Zoo!!!! fantastisk! oppfølgeren er bra, men ikke fantastisk... :)

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  2. One day, the kid rose up against the evil oil companies who wanted to raise his standard of living to Western levels.

    Poverty is so horrible, except when someone comes close to actually ending it. Then its all about the cute culture of the brown people, how dare you take away their poverty!

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