It took me some time to warm to the characters in this story - there are a lot of them, and I felt the story was told in rather a fragmented way. But as I began to sort them out, I got more involved, and the novel really gains momentum as the firing squad blunders its way to a final showdown. Black (and bleak) comic view of the shambolic and random way wars are fought.
The Perez-Barabo fair had become a long series of explosions flanked, on all sides, by the tangled remains of trucks and other machinery. Colonel Raul Alcazar, hidden in the remains of the main stage, ran a finger along his life-line and reviewed the situation. The most important thing now was to prevent his popularity being damaged any further by allowing any more of his men to get killed. And the second most important thing was to avoid getting any more mud on his clothes.