Dark Diversions (De si bons Américains)

Dark Diversions (De si bons Américains)

Non-fiction , 2012

Viking Penguin

In  Dark Diversions  (originally published in French in 1994 as De si bons Américains), acclaimed author John Ralston Saul stages a black comedy of international proportions that takes the reader from New York to Paris to Morocco to Haiti in the 1970s and 1980s. When he’s not encountering dictators in Third World hot spots, Saul’s narrator moves in privileged circles on both sides of the Atlantic, insinuating himself into the lives of well-to-do aristocrats. Through his exploits we experience a fascinating world of secret lovers, exiled princesses, death by veganism, and religious heresies. The emotional fireworks of these inhabitants of the First World are sharply juxtaposed with the political infighting of the dictators and the corruption, double-dealing, and fawning that attend them. But as he becomes further enmeshed in these worlds, the outsider status of the narrator grows more ambiguous: Is he a documentarian of privileged foibles and fundamental inequity, or an embodiment of the very "dark diversions" he chronicles?

“Saul has the eye, the aloofness, the killer turn-of-phrase of a Truman Capote.” 
Le Figaro Littéraire

“A delightful novel, invigoratingly wicked.” 
Le Monde

“Crisp dialogue and evocative descriptions...An ingenious read, Dark Diversions will be a solid end-of-summer choice for a wide and varied audience.” 

The Winnipeg Free Press
"Clean and unadorned prose"
The Toronto Star