The War of the End of the World
is a book written by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa
, telling the story of the War of Canudos.
In Brazil, a few years after the empire was abolished, some Christian fanatics, led by the messianic-like figure The Counselor and funded by some loyal monarchists, founded a community taking over private lands in the state of Bahia called Canudos, believing the end of the world is near and the Second Coming is imminent. The recently-formed Brazilian Republic is not happy about it and decides to settle things by force if necessary.
Vargas Llosa’s first attempt at Historical Fiction
Tropes found on this book:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The facas.
- Anyone Can Die: And most of them do.
- BFG: The Matadeira.
- Blind Without 'Em: The nearsighted journalist.
- Blood Knight / Colonel Kilgore: Colonel Moreira César.
- Brazilians with Bazookas
- Civil War
- Colonel Badass: Moreira César, until his death.
- Crapsack World
- Decoy Protagonist: Galileo Gall.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Lots of them. An example: Geraldo Macedo's reaction to a man who beat and insulted one of his men is to slap him to the ground and urinate on him in front of his friends.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The counselor, the nearsighted journalist and many more.
- Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: The Baron of Cañabrava.
- Foregone Conclusion: It’s based on an historical event, so it is to be expected. Aside of that, Vargas Llosa’s continuing use of different tenses means we learn the outcome of some scenes before they actually happen.
- Four Lines, All Waiting
- The Fundamentalist: Everyone on Canudos.
- Glory Seeker: Colonel Geraldo Macedo.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Though eventually it ends up being too much for the nearsighted journalist to handle.
- The Grotesque: Lion of Natuba.
- Historical Fiction
- How Much More Can He Take: Galileo Gall and Rufino.
- Kill 'em All
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- The Medic: Teotónio Cavalcanti.
- Messianic Archetype: The Counselor.
- Pyro Maniac: General Arthur Oscar and the Fogueteiro.
- Rape as Drama
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized
- Science Marches On: Galileo Gall is a phrenologist. Nowadays, that is considered a pseudo-science.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Falling off the cynic side.
- Smug Snake: Epaminondas Gonçalves.
- Sneeze of Doom: Averted, or subverted if you want to look it that way. By a character that sneezes continuously.
- Urban Warfare
- Veteran Instructor: Moreira César, having fought in the War of the Triple Alliance.
- War Is Hell
- What Do You Mean, It’s Not Symbolic?: In-universe example; since all of Canudos believes the Counselor is almost like the Second Coming of Christ, they think that everything that happens around them symbolizes something.