"An impressive, groundbreaking view into the lifeblood of Venezuela"
The passion A. A. Alvarez feels for Venezuela oozes from every page of this tale, a tale that interweaves fact and fiction, taking a glimpse at the past and making a hypothetical leap into the future. Each of the characters is so well developed that the reader could sympathize and side with them depending on where they are in the book. It was as if the author spun a cocoon around them and unravelled the thread bit by bit uncovering their motivation and obsessive love for their country.
This is not a book that gives the reader a wide spectrum of the country’s history, but rather microscopically zooms in on the socio-political aspects of its revolutionary history and its potential ramifications in the future. It's amazing how well the author was able to impart what this country’s political climate is all about without becoming overly judgmental. Light shades of criticism can be felt, but there was no bashing of any particular political ideology, something that is difficult to accomplish in such a work. This was an impressive, groundbreaking view into the lifeblood of Venezuela, a country that more people should take a look at, examine, and think about.
If you would like to get an understanding of a small, but powerfully intense country, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and its socio-political climate, this amazing book will define the meaning of the word, “passion” for you.
Deb Fowler (The Feathered Quill)
www.featheredquill.com (click the link for the full review)
"A Clever Perspective"
V2036 is a fast-paced political thriller that lives up to the reputation of Venezuelan soap operas.
If you’re curious about the type of challenges Venezuela might be facing in the upcoming years, then this book is for you.
Everybody is quick to label the Bolivarian Revolution as a total success or a complete failure, not realizing that the situation down there is just too complicated to call it either way. It’s not just about capitalism vs socialism, or democracy vs dictatorship, or the rich vs the poor, but about of all of that and everything else in between.
The complexity of the country’s current state of affairs is well beyond the scope of any book, so we might as well consider it fiction because in reality, what’s happening today is simply unbelievable. Alvarez tackles the subject in a very entertaining fashion and seems to be right on point with where the country is headed.
The main theme here is the fight for the presidency, and the characters, although fictional, are very much alive. There’s a good amount of subplots that keep things interesting and there are also a few graphic accounts of some of the darkest days in Venezuela’s modern history.
V2036 is an exciting new way to show the world the types of headlines Venezuelans are now used to reading after twenty years of recession, political imbalance and social unrest.
The Book Maniac
With V2036, A. A. Alvarez covered Venezuela's difficult situation with an action-packed novel that brings today's events, and possibly tomorrow's as well, to an alternate world in which everything actually makes sense. It picks up where his previous title, "Chronicles of a Nomad" left off, but this time he uses real events and people, blended seamlessly with fictional ones that will keep you googling names and dates to see if what you're reading actually happened for real.
The characters mix so well with today's true players that you'll end up wondering why they're not in the news, only to remember that they don't actually exist . . . or do they?
I am truly baffled by how plausible this story is. Anybody with the slightest interest in Venezuela or the socialist movement in South America should read it. It's a tale of struggle, ideology, corruption, revenge and bitter justice that is staged in a past, present and future Venezuela.
The events depicted in v2036 are a clear parallel of those currently happening and those which are showing signs of occurring if the trend continues. The way it blends fact and fiction to support the plot is delightful and since most of the events happen in the near future, this novel could turn out to become a prophecy. Who knows? It might just come true.
If there are any other books about Venezuela that do this, I haven't seen them. Alvarez may very well have become a pioneer in this genre and did a superb job at it. I'd love to see more of such works in English from other Latin American authors.
"Explores the Civil Unrest in Venezuela's Government"
In the year 2032, Professor Carlos Rodriguez was returning to his birth country, Venezuela, for the first time in twenty-five years. He was not happy to be returning to a country where its citizens were losing more and more of their civil liberties. An old friend, Bernardo, was to meet him at the airport.
Juan Jose, a soldier, would come home a few weeks a year and then return to service. His sons, Eleazar and Aldemar, looked up to him even when he beat their mother. Eleazar was a born soldier while Aldemar dealt narcotics. Eleazar believed in a government-ruled society and was convinced that the country needed a man of strong leadership such as Hugo Chavez. Eventually, Eleazar rose to the office of Defense Minister with his daughter Eleonor by his side, even though her political beliefs were much different than those of her doting father.
Bernardo and Eleonor worked together to bring down the government her father fought so hard to protect, and their plan included Carlos, who was called back to his country to serve as Minister of Education. He was not given a choice.
A. A. Alvarez combines fiction and nonfiction in V2036. The back drop is the recent history of the Venezuelan government with which he reminds readers of the country's turbulent past and uses it to predict the near future. This is a political thriller. The plot and characters are well-developed and come to life on the pages of this book, not just in the main plot, but in the several secondary ones. This book is well-written and explores the civil unrest and lack of balance in Venezuela's government.
"A Good Introduction to the Topic"
The book fantasizes events in Venezuela's not too distant future. The prose moves quickly, and many elements crucial to understanding the Venezuelan reality, such as the conflict between civilians and the military and the importance of historical symbols, are prominent. Fictional characters are placed in the middle of historical events, and other characters are clearly parallels of current political figures. The narrative is interesting and ultimately pessimistic about Venezuela's future, as it makes clear the fate of the country does not depend on the fate of a single leader, as many believe.
Juan Cristobal Nagel