The Night of the Rambler

The Night of the Rambler

Montague Kobbé

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1617751812

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Longlisted for the 2015 literary Grand Prix of the Association des Ecrivans de la Caraibe
First Runner-Up Mention for best Creole- or English-language Caribbean book, 2014 Premio Casa de las Américas
"Colorful detours into native lore, such as a rich Dutchman's fabled courtship of a local beauty, strike grace notes that echo Marquez...readers...will be rewarded with the little-known tale of how the underdog country demanded its own place in the 20th century."
--Publishers Weekly

Best Book of 2013 Selection, The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing

"This is a book about revolution and the underdog, about a small, isolated island fighting for recognition, opportunity and justice; it is a compelling tale about a curious historical episode, but also a vital look at priorities, perspective and the right to live in dignity, issues that, much like Anguilla's rebellion of 1967, are all too easily forgotten."
--The Island Review

"[Readers] will be rewarded with deeper insight into the political and economic turmoil engulfing that region."
--Historical Novel Society

"Revolution and historic change--words that can remain detached concepts unless we can somehow connect them with their human face and the lives behind them. This is what first-time novelist Montague Kobbé achieves in marvelous style and depth in The Night of the Rambler--weaving a Caribbean tapestry of places, wider events, the individuals shaped by them, and how they ultimately come together to shape events themselves in the times leading to a revolution on Anguilla in 1967."
--Maco Magazine

"Vivid...funny, and thoughtful. Much like the revolution it covers, it's compelling."
--Columbia College Chicago/The Review Lab

"However unusual this revolution is, it is a prelude to Anguilla's eventual divorce from St. Kitts and Nevis, before becoming a separate British territory; its unconventional LOL factor could diversify an elective college course on revolutions with something bloody peaceful."
--New Pages

"The Night of the Rambler is revolutionary, a reliquary, an impressionist tale of men who are by turns melancholy, raging, and often comic, their voices unique to this place and given a singular story."
--Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here

"This is a fine novel, a surprising novel, perhaps the first true novel I have read about the nature of revolutions. The Night of the Rambler is ambitious, smart, and successful. It raises all sorts of questions about what revolutions want, how revolutions fail, and why revolutions are necessary--challenging all the while how history remembers them."
--Percival Everett, author of Erasure

"The Night of the Rambler is exceptional. Riveting, deeply thoughtful, and constantly inventive, Montague Kobbé's novel is part literary thriller, part revolutionary study, part epic historical narrative. Altogether, it makes for one profound read."
--Joe Meno, author of Office Girl and Hairstyles of the Damned

A sympathetic and often humorous account of an obscure episode in the history of the remote island of Anguilla, in the northeast Caribbean, The Night of the Rambler revolves around a haphazard attempt by a dozen or so locals to invade neighboring St. Kitts in an effort to topple the government of the recently established Associated State of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla.

Ostensibly, the action maps the fifteen hours that lapse between the moment when the "rebels" board The Rambler, the thirty-five-foot motorboat that will take them across the strait to St. Kitts, and the break of dawn the following day, when it becomes obvious that the unaccomplished mission will have to be aborted. The novel is at turns highly dramatic and hilarious, all the while bringing deep honesty to the often-unexamined righteousness of revolution.

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response (What? asked a man toward the back, lingering with indignation on the vocalization of the “w” and dropping all the weight of his anger on an abrupt and violent “t”), that built on the point she had just made, or that simply added further questions to the equation, such that Bradshaw’s voice became indistinguishable, lost within the common roar, just like that of Euralia, who continued to express herself effusively, hitting her bosom with her closed right fist, grabbing her breasts in

wha’ you put it dere for? Why you go use commas jus’ like da’, like it no matter where dey be? De people don’ go believe you when you use big words like “negligence”—dey go t’ink you know ’bout dem big words so much like you know ’bout dem commas you use all over de place. There wasn’t much wrong with the use of commas in the text, and if there had been, nobody in Anguilla or St. Kitts would really have cared (much), but Alwyn Cooke saw this as the subtlest way to propose to Rude Thompson to

all the details at hand to devise an attack on Anguilla overnight, so All right: you kyan stay tonight, but you leave tomorrow mornin’, before it turn to afternoon. Thus, an initiative that had begun as a collective exercise to figure out what to do next turned into a rigorous night-long vigil outside the police station. The vast crowd thinned out progressively as the night settled over the Anguillian sky, yet Alwyn Cooke, Rude Thompson, and, now, also Aaron Lowell presided over a group of

official of the US Postal Service the serious impasse at which Anguilla found itself after it had expelled the full extent of the police task force from the island and, along with them, any semblance of allegiance, or even suzerainty, toward St. Kitts. The central government in Baseterre had subsequently frozen all Anguillian bank accounts and suspended the postal service between the islands, effectively isolating Anguilla. Therefore, the breakaway country had set up official PO boxes in both

managed to abduct Robert Bradshaw, even if they were to get hold of Paul Southwell, who or what was there to stop the hundred-plus-strong Defence Force from coming to their rescue the following morning? Harry González was acutely aware that the operation had gone sour, that they would be unable to accomplish their targets, and that the best they could hope for now was to come out of this godforsaken jungle in one piece. Harry González would have explained the situation to Rude Thompson, had not

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