About the Book

In the Land of the Feathered Serpent is the tale of a young man’s unexpected and extraordinary personal journey of growth, transformation, and enlightenment - an Homeric adventure story set in the context of America's meddling in Central America in the 1980s.

Praise for Feathered Serpent, click here.

For information on James Joyce, Ulysses, and Modernist Literature, click here.

In the 1980s, many countries in Latin America were struggling to break free from decades of dictatorial rule by despots propped up by the U.S. government.  In the Land of the Feathered Serpent is the story of a bright but naïve young marine biologist, with an outsized libido and a hypersensitive nose, who finds himself on a Homeric journey of self-discovery in Central America and Mexico during this time. The story pays homage to Homer’s Odyssey (and James Joyce’s Ulysses), and many of the characters in the three novels are one-and-the-same. Odel tells his own story (as did Odysseus in books IX-XII of The Odyssey), which begins when he was still a young graduate student.  As was the case with Odysseus (and many young men), a youthful Odel tumbles easily under the spell of feminine seduction; but over the course of his journey he grows to differentiate those feelings from love and eventually to consolidate the two.  As in The Odyssey, Feathered Serpent begins in the middle of the tale and then flashes back to fill in significant prior events.  Odel Bernini’s journey takes place both in the physical terrain and in the landscape of his mind as he travels through the lowland jungles of the Petén rainforest and the 10,000-foot high sierras of Guatemala’s Maya realm.  Odel gets caught up with dirty politics and the CIA, is seduced by a dark siren, is nearly killed by a Cyclops, and is swept into the world of Maya mysticism.  In the end, Odel finds himself transformed in unexpected ways.  An adventure story and mystery, Odel’s journey explores themes of truth and deception, trust and love, the dark heart and bright hope of humankind, and personal growth.  The facts, places, and most characters in the story are real; the political details and timing are accurate.  Odel Bernini and his close friends are, however, purely fictional.

The Latinized name of Odysseus is Ulysses. To see the lyrics of Tales of Brave Ulysses, click here.

 TEACHERS:  This novel might not be suitable for students under 18, but it would be perfect for 18+ age students.  If you are a K-12 Language Arts teacher, check out www.ELAHwy.com for great teaching resources (digital products for educators, many designed for at-risk students and all designed to help teachers).

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To order, click here:  Feathered Serpent

COVER ART AND AND DESIGN by Alex Boersma.  To see more of Ms. Boersma's outstanding nature art visit: www.alexboersma.com

Some location scenes from

In the Land of the Feathered Serpent

Central Zócalo, Mexico City

Frida Kahlo home (Casa Azul), Coyoacán, Mexico City

Temple of the Feathered Serpent and The Citadel, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Hotel Majestic, Mexico City

Plaza Hidalgo, Coyoacán,

Mexico City

Inside Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, Coyoacán, Mexico City

Guatemalan Cloud Forest

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Tikal, Guatemala (Maya)

The Temple of Hochoob,

Campeche, Mexico (Maya)

San Blas Islands, Caribbean coast of Panama

Trail in the Petén jungle, Guatemala


Pacific Coast of Nicaragua

Metropolitan Cathedral, Managua

Pacific Coast of Guatemala

Volcán Concepción, Nicaragua

Hotel Intercontinental, Managua