When the spoilt and haughty Dona Constanza tries to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, she starts a running battle with the locals. The skirmishes are so severe that the Government dispatches a squadron of soliders led by the fat, brutal and stupid Figueras to deal with them. Despite visiting plagues of laughing fits and giant cats upn the troops, the villagers know that to escape the cruel and unusual tortures planned for them, they must run. Thus they plan to head for the mountains and start a new convivial civilsation.
Louis de Bernieres is the best-selling author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book in 1995. His most recent books are Birds Without Wings and A Partisan's Daughter, a collection of stories Notwithstanding and a collection of poetry, Imagining Alexandria.