On the surface, Baraka is a raw, exciting story of oil, arms, and guerrilla warfare in the Sahara. But the core of the novel is the friendship and love which link Anthony Smith, Martin Laing, and Martin’s wife Cosima – and the ambitions, desires and values which rip that love apart. It is also about the great moral confusion which prevails when the ‘villain’ may be the nice man next door, who does not believe himself a villain.
Set against the background of Morocco, Thailand and Vietnam, John Ralston Saul weaves a tale of an oil deal which turns into an arms deal, and an arms deal which turns into a bloody civil war. It is a tale of corruption, of courage, and of dreams found and lost.
“Vicious corporate infighting, corruption in Thailand, high- and low-life in Rabat and an amazing trek across the Sahara, the book holds us tight.”
“Real life has been acting out Baraka’s fictional episodes in an uncanny way.”
“A cold exposé of the international traffic in the tools of death and destruction…cleverly constructed and has a quality of driving intensity.”
“An uncontrollable hornet’s nest. A vast and bloody game of GO played out across the world. Saul questions the fate of morality at a time when large corporations can unleash the dogs of ward. His hero…is the victim of a new world where one does not die for an idea, but for a portfolio of shares.”
“Saul’s novel, captivating thought it is, sends shivers down the spine, makes the heart miss a beat and allows us to glimpse a moral truth – that any mind plunged into a tank infested by dollars will be subjected to the sort of treatment that would make a piranha proud.”