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Mushroom Heads begins and ends in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where the antiquarian Levi Colombia finances an expedition to the equatorial Amazon led by Corto Maltese and Professor Steiner, on the trail of the legendary Eldorado. Banana Conga is based on a story by American writer Art Buchwald, taken by Pratt and reworked to explore the idea of a foreign presence forced to leave Mosquito, a small town on the east coast of Honduras. The dangerous and lethal enemy Venexiana Stevenson appears here for the first time, and will reappear in the future. In Voodoo for the president the action moves from Barbados to the fictional island of Port Ducal and a mock trial with a dead president who is believed alive.
The extremely intriguing theme of cowardice is developed in Sweet Dream Lagoon in an area on the delta of the Orinoco. A German soldier is hiding among the swamps and their poisonous fumes to escape the pangs of guilt that continue to haunt him for his cowardly actions in war. Another jungle, located in the Peruvian Amazon, is the site of A Tale of Two Grandfathers where Corto and Steiner set off to find a missing white child who is presumed to be living with a tribe of Jivaro Indians.
The five stories in this volume conclude Pratt’s “Caribbean Suite” cycle that began with “The Secret of Tristan Bantam” in Under the Sign of Capricorn. The stories are all set in 1917.
RECURRING CHARACTERS IN BEYOND THE WINDY ISLES: PROFESSOR STEINER, VENEXIANA STEVENSON, LEVI COLOMBIA, ESMERALDA, BOCCA DORATA
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