A beguiling, surreal and controversial novel by Colombia's greatest writer since Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Doctor Justo Pastor Proceso Lopez, adored by his female patients but despised by his wife and daughters, has a burning ambition: to prove to the world that the myth of Simon Bolivar, El Libertador, is a sham and a scandal.
In Pasto, south Colombia, where the good doctor plies his trade, the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents is dawning. A day for pranks, jokes and soakings ... Water bombs, poisoned empanaditas, ground glass in the hog roast - anything goes.
What better day to commission a float for The Black and White Carnival that will explode the myth of El Libertador once and for all? One that will lay bare the massacres, betrayals and countless deflowerings that history has forgotten.
But in Colombia you question the founding fables at your peril. At the frenzied peak of the festivities, drunk on a river of arguardiente, Doctor Justo will discover that this year the joke might just be on him.
Beguiling . . . Strange and entertaining . . . A kaleidoscopic book that takes in a deal of Colombian culture and society and is, at points, very funny (as well as poignant and terrifying) - History Today
This book won Colombia's Best Novel award in 2014 . . . There are some great surreal moments - Times Literary Supplement
This beautifully paced and bittersweet novel deals with the highs and lows of human life and creates a mood that is at once melancholy and celebratory - We Love This Book