In Dark Diversions, acclaimed author John Ralston Saul stages a black comedy of international proportions that takes the reader from New York to Paris to Morocco to Haiti in the 1980s and 1990s. When he’s not encountering dictators in Third World hot spots, Saul’s narrator moves in privileged circles on both sides of the Atlantic, insinuating himself into the lives of well-to-do aristocrats. Through his exploits we experience a fascinating world of secret lovers, exiled princesses, death by veganism, and religious heresies. The emotional fireworks of these inhabitants of the First World are sharply juxtaposed with the political infighting of the dictators and the corruption, double-dealing, and fawning that attend them. But as the narrator becomes further enmeshed in these worlds, his outsider status grows more ambiguous: Is he a documentarian of privileged foibles and fundamental inequity, or an embodiment of the very “dark diversions” he chronicles?