United States of Banana on sale today at www.amazon.com
On sale in paperback ($8.95) or Kindle ($3.99)
The premise of this allegorical novel by Puerto Rican author Braschi (Yo-Yo Boing!; Empire of Dreams) is bizarre but intriguing: the author and two famous fictional characters—Giannina, Hamlet, and Zarathustra—attempt to free Puerto Rican Segismundo from the Statue of Liberty, where he has been imprisoned for more than 100 years. His father, the king of the United States of Banana, imprisoned him there for the crime of being born, and it is his father who frees him and awards statehood to Puerto Rico. The plot is secondary, however; the novel’s main purpose is political, with plenty of reflections on the horrors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on Puerto Rico’s awkward position as an American territory, and on personal desire and individual liberty.
Library Journal’s ultimate VERDICT : Recommended for fans of philosophical fiction such as Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.