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Alejandro's leugen - Alejandro's Lie - 2013

 

País, 1983, Latin-America. After a dictatorship of ten years, the brutal junta, lead by general Pelarón seems to waver. Alejandro Juron, the guitarist of the famous poet and folksinger Victor Pérez, executed by the junta, is released from the infamous prison “The Last Supper.” The underground resistance wants Alejandro to participate again in its fight. But Alejandro has changed. Eaten up with guilt by the death of his friend Victor Pérez, whom he has betrayed to his tormentors, Alejandro becomes the unintended center of a web of dramatic intrigues, culminating in a catastrophic insurrection. Alejandro has to choose between his love for Beatriz and his need to flee the country.  The consequences are disastrous.

Reviews

As a reader, you can only be impressed by Alejandro’s Lie. In the West, we enjoy a wealth of freedom. It is therefore confronting to read about the setting the author has chosen - a Latin-American dictatorship. There is profound social disturbance in the fictitious dictatorship País, ruled with an iron fist by general Pélaron and his junta. When the novel starts, Alejandro Juron, song-writer and guitarist of the famous protest-singer Victor Pérez who has been executed by the junta, has been imprisoned for ten years in a notorious prison. The underground resistance tries to engage Juron once again in its battle, but the song-writer’s personality has been destroyed by the harsh years in prison and the fact that no-one knows that he betrayed the whereabouts of his friend Pérez and his family under torture.(...) Laerhoven describes Juron’s quest for his lost personality, forgiveness for his deeds, and a balanced conscience. (...) All social classes are represented in this thrilling and educative novel - from the resistance to the poor, from the middle-class to the leaders and the rich elite. The descriptions of the mind-control, the terror and the corruption in a dictatorship are so intense that the reader definitely feels discomfort. The fitting end leaves enough space for further questions – necessary musings about love, life and death. Questions that invite the reader’s reflection. In one word: Impressive.

 

Evert Sinterniklaas – E book and blog

 

Alejandro’s Lie is a beautiful love-story with very strong thriller-elements.(....) The author presents an accurate and chilling analysis of the mechanisms behind a dictatorship. An extraordinary novel, filled with Latin passion.

 

André Oyen: http://ansiel.cineblogs.be/archive/2013/05/17/alejandro-s-leugen.html

 

The plot is very intricate and the “voltage” climbs until the last sentence.

 

http://www.deboekensalon.nl/dbs/book/338294

 

 Author Van Laerhoven is an adventurer and a world-citizen. International quality is typical for his novels. (...) An abrasive and thrilling, but also an engaged novel, as so often in Laerhoven’s oeuvre.

 

http://www.suikerkant.be/varia/wie-schrijft-die-blijft/2248-boekbesprekingen-maart

 

 Very impressed by this novel, inspired by the political situation in Chile under Pinochet’s reign. The book is so beautiful and compelling. Not a distraction, mind you, but very much worth the time when you read it slowly and attentively. The characters are etched with great care and guide you into the story. A very strong and alluring story it is, gripping and almost cinematographic. (...) The story doesn’t let you go, not even when you’ve read the last word.

 

The Book Girl http://tboekenblog.blogspot.nl/2013/09/recensie-alejandros-leugen-bob-van.html

 

The suspense admirably builds up throughout the novel. The unparalleled plot keeps you guessing until the end.(...) It is as if you enter Alejandro’s mind. This sensation makes the story even more gripping. (...) How does it feel to survive at all costs in a brutal dictatorship? What moral consequences does this attitude have? This, and much more, becomes painfully clear in this wonderful and expressive written novel from an author who knows his craft.

 

http://www.bangersisters.nl/entertainment/boekenworm/2206-alejandro-s-leugen-bob-van-laerhoven

 

 In Alejandro’s Lie you’ll find no cardboard characters . They are fully fledged personalities who act like people in all their inconsequence and cowardice. (...)The characterization of this novel is the driving force behind this elaborate story, set in fictitious País in which the opposition thinks it has a chance to topple the dictator. Sandwiched between the underground movement and the junta are a recently released musician, the idealistic daughter of a rich supporter of the junta, and a Belgian priest with a dubious past. (...) Their love triangle is what matters to them while they are swept away by the dramatic events in a raucous city of a country on the verge of civil war. Laerhoven tells it vivaciously (....)His plot and style are filmic.

Matthieu Van Steenkiste http://www.enola.be/meer/boeken/21666:bob-van-laerhoven-alejandros-leugen

 

A really impressive story about a situation, the likes of it we maybe have heard about or seen in the mass-media. But that’s much less intense and engaging than reading this novel.(....) The characters are so human and recognizable. The reader is swept away by the atmospheric and suspenseful description of life in a regime in which freedom and democracy are utopian and in which people sacrifice their life for a higher goal. (....)Exceptionally strong writing.

Patrick Vandendaele http://www.boek.be/boek/alejandros-leugen

 

The junta, the opposition, the poor in their terrible derelict quarters, the foul play….Bob Van Laerhoven describes perfectly the situation in a country where violence and corruption are daily fare.(...) It’s a story that grabs you by the neck and won’t let go…http://boekenkast.jimdo.com/recensie-alejandro-s-leugen-bob-van-laerhoven

Van Laerhoven(…) is in Flanders the only representative of the cross over novel, a curious but captivating mixture of literary melancholy, sensational thriller-effects, and an ambitious theme. That mix is represented fabulously in Alejandro’s Lie…Although the novel is not a through and through thriller, the tension becomes almost unbearable at the end. (...) Van Laerhoven is one of the best stylists we have in the Low Lands. His protagonist Alejandro Juron is the prototype of the doubtful hero against his will.(....) The combination of a mysterious ending, the beautiful metaphors and the elegant phrases are an example of how thrillers will be written in the next decennium…

Alibi Magazine – Raymond Rombout  http://www.alibimagazine.be/archives/2115



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