The Tragedy of Fidel Castro
Author: João Cerqueira
Publisher: River Grove Books
Review by: Jd Banks
Placing God, Christ, JFK, and Fidel Castro into the same book makes for one blasphemous ride—and The Tragedy of Fidel Castro does that. The Tragedy of Fidel Castro puts readers into the shoes of JFK, the kingly leader of capitalistic U.S., and Fidel Castro, the tyrannical commandant of Socialistic Cuba, for one last battle over their ideals. Satirical comedy and “politics” ensue, giving readers a taste of an alternative history from the viewpoint of Portuguese author, João Cerqueira.
Although this book has an alternative history to Fidel Castro’s story, The Tragedy of Fidel Castro doesn’t take an alternative path to today’s problems. The Tragedy of Fidel Castro isn’t afraid to say, “There are issues with religion mixing with politics! There are capitalistic pursuits in government!” When the words aren’t saying it, the scenes—Castro meeting a power-hungry monk, JFK picking a spy’s brain, and the Padristas fighting the Putistas—yell it out like a battle cry. For venturing into honest comedy, Cerqueira deserves respect.
The original book, A Tragédia de Fidel Castro, may well be more satisfying than its English variant. The comedy is from a different cultural and linguistic nature. Many English-only readers won’t understand the jokes woven between Cerqueira’s metaphors. In Spanish or Portuguese, stories are laced with exaggerations and raw, poetic language. Serious English-only readers won’t get Cerqueira’s perspective either and questions similar to, “Why is Fidel Castro a hero?” will come up. For readers who take religion too seriously—especially extreme religio-lites—The Tragedy of Fidel Castro in Spanish, Portuguese, or English would create a mountain of hate mail. “How dare you put Jesus and God on the same level as those pagan gods!”
If readers are looking for a funny, political-edged book brimming with religious jabs, The Tragedy of Fidel Castro is one book to read.