“An action-packed adventure story in the best Rider Haggard tradition. It is also a parody of such novels and a sophisticated reflection on the imaginative power of literature. . . . Sánchez Piñol’s originality lies in his themes and excellently structured plot. This is an impressive and most unusual novel.”The Independent
Pandora in the Congo
978-1-84767-187-5 • $15.95 • Paperback • Mar. 2009
A rollicking, retro-adventure yarn set in the dark heart of Africa, Pandora in the Congo follows a gold mining expedition gone horribly wrong, a netherworld of ungodly creatures, and an in-over-his-head pulp fiction ghostwriter, bringing the reader to the furthest and wildest realms of the imagination.
The trees dominated everything. There was no desert, no ocean, no tundra that could compare. And, in that moment, at the top of that tree, Marcus knew the world could be a very large place, but that the Congo would always be larger than the world. Out loud he said, “My God, where are we going?” I think that Marcus sensed the answer: on beyond the grace of God.
It is 1914 when Marcus Garvey, a bedraggled British manservant, emerges from the depths of the Belgian Congo. He is the sole survivor of an ill-fated mining expedition in which both his masters, William and Richard Craver, died and from which their African porters unexpectedly fled. Garvey returns to London carrying two diamonds of extraordinary size, spinning a story too unspeakably terrifying to be believed. He is promptly arrested. Tommy Thompson, a London ghostwriter for a ghostwriter for a ghostwriter (don’t ask!), is approached by his attorney to document Garvey’s unholy African odyssey. From his prison cell awaiting the murder trial, Garvey recounts the mind-boggling horror that the Craver mining expedition encountered in the dark recesses of the Belgian Congo. Exactly how did the Craver brothers die? What unearthly forces would drive men to commit such acts of immeasurable brutality? Could love have possibly bloomed in the heart of such darkness? Only Tommy can untangle the mysteries of the Garvey case. A brilliant literary pastiche and tongue-in-cheek pulp African adventure with echoes of Heart of Darkness and King Solomon’s Mines, Pandora in the Congo is, at its heart, a fabulist literary exploration of imagination, reminding us that there is rarely one version to any story, and always more than meets the eye.