The war of Don Emmanuel’s Nether parts by Louis de Bernieres

LOUIS de Bernieres writing exudes such charm that he can be forgiven faults which in other writers could drive readers mad. The War of Don Emmanuel s Nether Parts is chock full of digressions and diversions, of tangents and in-depth character backgrounds

LOUIS de Bernieres' writing exudes such charm that he can be forgiven faults which in other writers could drive readers mad.

The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts is chock full of digressions and diversions, of tangents and in-depth character backgrounds, all of which, strictly speaking, are not necessary.

But they are, almost without exception, absolutely wonderful.

The book, the first of a trilogy, is suffused with magic and humour, it's bawdy and rude, articulate and political, and even when you don't quite know where you are, still thoroughly enjoyable.

According to the blurb, the central story is based around spoilt and haughty Dona Constanza trying to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, a move which starts a running battle with the locals and prompts the Government to send in the army.

But that's just the start. The plot twists, turns and meanders, all the while being completely absorbing.