A review of
The Fountain at the Center of the World
by Robert Newman
Robert Newman’s third novel, The Fountain at the Center of the World, juxtaposes a pair of estranged brothers: Chano, a grassroots industrial saboteur on the lam in Mexico, and Evan, a London-based spin doctor for the corporate Right. These two stars plot the transnational story’s course, guiding it to and fro across the Atlantic, out of the ailing heart of Mexico and into the riotous streets of Seattle for the 1999 WTO fiasco. Newman, a jack-of-all-trades whose résumé includes sold-out comedy gigs in Wembley Arena as well as some considerable roll-up-your-sleeves activism, sweeps a novelistic searchlight across the dark side of post-NAFTA globalization. The result is a relentless and noble book—because of its finger-pointing rather than in spite of it—the charged kind of story Costa-Gavras might film.
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