Alejandro’s Lie

“A Hundred Horrible Lies”

Review by Joey Madia

For the past three years, as part of my work as a Chautauquan and historical education specialist, I have portrayed Ernesto “Che” Guevara, one of the key personalities in the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro in the late 1950s. Much has been made of Che—to some a hero/Messiah-like savior and to others a heartless mass murderer. He is admittedly complex.

As are all who choose the life of the revolutionary.

This is the core subject matter of Alejandro’s Lie. Taking place in a fictitious country called Terreno (meaning “ground”) in 1983, which has suffered a military takeover (junta) and now dictatorship by General Pelaron (meaning “to skin an animal”), the book explores the motivations of both those on the side of the general and those fighting against him. Although the book is rife with political complexities, it is primarily a character study.

The main characters in this drama are the Alejandro of the title, who is a former guitarist for a popular folk group destroyed for their political activist songs. The lead singer of the group, the Bob Dylan–esque Victor, is a spectre that haunts Alejandro throughout the novel, having been the reason for one of Alejandro’s (many) lies. Continue reading