About the Book
In the Land of the Feathered Serpent is an epic tale of a Hero's Journey told in the Homeric tradition. It is, among other things, historical fiction set in the context of America's meddling in Central America in the 1980s.
Featured Novel, Manhattan Book Review
currently a finalist for the
2021 ciba Somerset award (contemporary & Literary fiction)
Chanticleer Book Reviews (https://www.chantireviews.com/) is based in Bellingham, Washington. It provides book recommendations and editorial reviews, and oversees CIBA (Chanticleer International Book Awards). Chanticleer partners with Village Books and Paper Dreams (https://www.villagebooks.com/), Bellingham’s most famous bookstore and writer’s Shangri-La.
In the Land of the Feathered Serpent is the story of a young man in his 20s, fresh out of graduate school and feeling quite confident about the direction his life was to take. Instead, the bright but naïve young biologist, with an outsized libido and hypersensitive nose, unexpectedly finds himself on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery, transformation, and enlightenment. Dr. Odel Bernini’s journey becomes an Homeric adventure, set in the context of America's meddling in Central America in the 1980s. In the end, the young scientist discovers that life is far more complicated than he ever imagined. With the help of an extraordinary woman, a siren, first seen in his dreams, he is pulled from one life into another, discovering that a world of mysticism exists next to the silo of science in which he had been trapped. On his journey, he explores timeless questions around love, passion, trust, and friendship, as well as the dark heart and bright hope of humankind. There are multiple stories to be found in this tale, but those are for the reader to discover.
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. 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 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, is swept into the world of Maya mysticism, and finds wisdom in the words of five wise and strong women. 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.
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30% of all book royalties go to the Maya Educational Foundation (https://mayaedufound.org/)
For information on James Joyce, Ulysses, and Modernist Literature, click here.
The Latinized name of Odysseus is Ulysses. To see the lyrics of Tales of Brave Ulysses, click here.
Some location scenes from
In the Land of the Feathered Serpent
The Great Zócalo, Mexico City
Frida Kahlo home (Casa Azul), Coyoacán, Mexico City
Temple of the Feathered Serpent and The Citadel, Teotihuacan, Mexico
Plaza Hidalgo, Coyoacán,
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
Flor de Caña rum
Maya woman with copál, Chichicastenango, Guatemala (1983)
Hotel Majestic, Mexico City 1940s
Kukulkan Pyramid, Chichén Itzá
Hotel Majestic, Mexico City, 2020