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Search tags: realismo-m-gico
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review 2017-09-24 07:23
Ode to momentous summers
Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury

*pleased sigh* So gorgeous.

 

Dandelion Wine is a beautiful, whimsical love letter to those memories of summer that are so vivid, so powerful, we can feel the baking sun, the weight and smell of the air, the joy and lassitude when we recall them.

 

It goes from one episode to the next fluidly and with little warning, connecting and weaving them. Add in Bradbury's style and the result is a bit like dreams, a bit like memories, introspective, nostalgic and at points philosophical.

 

There were episodes to pull every shade of emotion, and I loved so many of them I'd have serious trouble picking a favorite. Grandma's cooking made me so hungry and also miss my grandfather very much. Colonel's Freeleigh's bits and John's departure made me tear a bit. I laughed out loud with the witch debacle. Lavinia's had me switch between cheering on and wanting to thump her, and scared me quite a bit. And the lime-vanilla ice-cream one! So many tangled feels!

 

It was an excellent read to savor, and one I'll revisit.

 

 

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review 2017-07-05 23:04
Five for one
Las Armas Secretas - Julio Cortázar

I understand now why this one is classified as European lit all the time. I haven't researched it, but I'm pretty sure this one was written after Cortázar left Argentina, because the five stories in this volume are all set in Paris.

I was not that dazzled by this too much at first but then, my bar with Cortázar is "Bestiario", and that's a hard one to upstage in the wow (weird, awesome, uncomfortable, puzzling) factor.

Cartas de Mamá, leaving aside the historical parallelism that some scholar or other wants to saddle on it, was an excellent exercise on revealing the past through the present. Many authors could learn a thing or two about how to do back-story. Of course, back-story is the whole issue here: sins and regrets that turn into silences, and that end that is half fantasy, half delayed acknowledgement. And the great opening line:

 

"Muy bien hubiera podido llamarse libertad condicional."

 

Los Buenos Servicios was a very scathing look at how moneyed people use "the help", many times frivolously, and often callously, and how hollow the "throw money at it" approach is, which is more jarring  (and ridiculous) from the poised view of Francinet. She had more class than any of the cast.

Las Babas del Diablo is a POV nightmare. As it tends to happen when I read magical-realism, I enter a weird state where I'm paying close attention, but at the same time relax my mind and just go with it. Like suspension of disbelief, but I just suspend logic and sometimes even grammar. I find it pays off with many complex or weird plots, or speculative fiction too. Triggers galore in this one, and one VERY uncomfortable suspicion.

"El Perseguidor", now here is the jewel of the book, and the point where I started to love this collection. It was absolutely engrossing. I understand why it has been known to be edited as "El Perseguidor y otras historias". This one got to me, emotionally-wise, and I'm not even quite sure why. I guess it's that desperate search.

"Las Armas Secretas" you know how it's going to go almost from go. Or maybe it's that I've read enough Cortázar to understand the clues he leaves. Or, maybe more, this sense of having read one of his before, about a big house in San Isidro, that has similar elements, but I can't remember to which collection it belonged to contrast.

You know, the more I write, the higher I want to star this. I realize it made my brain jog, and my thoughts come back to it whenever I wasn't reading.

Not his best, but for "El Perseguidor" alone, so worth owning it. I predict re-reads.

 

And there it goes my 4th of July extra. I devoured it, lol

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review 2015-11-11 22:35
The local spirit in the outsider's eyes
The Viceroy of Ouidah (Vintage Classics) - Bruce Chatwin

This was a surprising little thing. It was was a beautifully written account of the history of a family, of a time, of two places, of tragedy on the heels of fortune or more tragedy.

 

Beyond the exquisite evocative quality, what came as a surprise was how it reminded me of  Latin-american writing in general and Gabriel García Marquez in particular.

 

Like "100 años de Soledad"'s opening:

 

"Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había derecordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo"

 

Then, we have a paragraph down the middle in Chatwin's that's eerie in it's similar air.

 

I admit I had to stop for  bit and try to find more about the history of this book then. I don't yet know more about a deliberate attempt at homage.

 

There was also the twisting-in-time narrative, the magic-realism feel of the whole, the overblown characteristics of the places and people. I'd never thought I'd find such writing from a foreigner. Then again, he did write an insightful book about my Patagonia, so maybe he's got a very permeable soul.

 

At any rate, It was awesome.

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text 2015-03-25 10:21
Reading progress update: I've read 182 out of 656 pages.
American Gods - Neil Gaiman

“Say ‘Nevermore,’” said Shadow.
“Fuck you,” said the raven.

 

This is a weird book. Fun, awesome, and weird. I'm going the magical realism route and just leaning back and letting it be.

 

I love Gaiman.

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review 2014-08-21 05:31
Podría haber sido
El Inventor de Juegos - Pablo De Santis

Tengo un problema con De Santis, de larga data: Sus ideas son en teoría interesantes, imaginativas, originales. Si te dicen de qué trata el libro, el primer pensamiento es "qué bueno va a estar eso". La ejecución en cambio...

No es que escriba mal. Todo es correcto y hasta hay alguna que otra oración inspirada. Pero aburre que es una sorpresa. Nadie que escuche un resumen del argumento se lo esperaría. Sus mundos son todos grises y bucólicos. Tango y humo va perfecto con la novela noir, pero ahoga todo lo demás. La atmósfera se morfa toda posibilidad de maravilla.

 

Otra vez, una desilusión.

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