ALMANAC OF THE DEAD by Leslie Marmon Silko


Email this review


 A dense and occasionally dazzling saga from poet-novelist Silko (Ceremony, 1977; Storyteller, 1981), who draws on the fullness of her Laguna-Anglo-Latino heritage in the kaleidoscopic view of drug-dealing, revolution, and ancient prophecies north and south of the border. Silko's story is centered in Tucson, where two elderly sisters occupy their fortified ranch--together with a motley crew of vicious dogs and desperadoes; a coke addict and ex-exotic dancer recovering from the abduction of her child; and a Laguna loner, whose failure to keep a Hollywood crew from defiling a newly discovered stone serpent on tribal land forced him into exile. In a dizzying montage, each of their stories mingles with others involving revolt in Mexico and Central America, as the native population rises up against hated European and mestizo masters--the rebels led by revolutionaries and visionaries communicating with the spirit world through red macaws--and with tales of a massive, well-organized drug-smuggling ring operated with blessings from Tucson and border police, the local judiciary, and especially the CIA. A vast underworld of covert operations and interlocking conspiracies surfaces in all its grim glory, replete with violence, violation, and sex of every imaginable variety (even the judge coupling with his beagles), while one of the sisters deciphers the remaining fragments of the Aztec almanac entrusted to her as a last duty to her ancestors. Fantastic and colorful in the fine details, even if belabored and unwieldy as a whole. All in all: a chillingly dark vision of corruption, despair, and chaos in the Americas, where a native new world order appears ready to begin.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-66608-8
Page count: 832pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1991


NonfictionTHE TURQUOISE LEDGE by Leslie Marmon Silko
by Leslie Marmon Silko
FictionGARDENS IN THE DUNES by Leslie Marmon Silko
by Leslie Marmon Silko
NonfictionYELLOW WOMAN AND A BEAUTY OF THE SPIRIT by Leslie Marmon Silko
by Leslie Marmon Silko