I love it when I read two books that seem to be speaking to each other. Badenheim dealt with a group of ordinary middle-class civilians who were forced to confront violence and death. They are very different. The Armies , for one thing, is much more violent. We first meet Ismail Pasos, our seventy-year-old narrator, while he is up a ladder picking oranges, peering over the wall at Geraldina, the wife of his neighbor, Eusebio Almida. She is carelessly lying naked in the sunshine while macaws laugh nearby.
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I love it when I read two books that seem to be speaking to each other. Badenheim dealt with a group of ordinary middle-class civilians who were forced to confront violence and death. They are very different.
The Armies , for one thing, is much more violent. We first meet Ismail Pasos, our seventy-year-old narrator, while he is up a ladder picking oranges, peering over the wall at Geraldina, the wife of his neighbor, Eusebio Almida. She is carelessly lying naked in the sunshine while macaws laugh nearby. Ismail and Otilia are both retired school teachers. However, we soon learn that Ismail and Otilia are used to violence. They met in a train station. Where have I existed these years? I answer myself: up on the wall, peering over.
Ismail and Otilia cannot comprehend what they are about to witness, though. One morning, Ismail got out of bed early, wandered around town, and got arrested. He knows the presence of the soldiers is bad news, but he is released and is anxious to tell his wife the story.
On his way home, he finds that the army who knows which one has taken away Eusebio, his neighbor, and two of their children. Several people are trying to comfort Geraldina:. We all, in our turn, look at each other, and it is as if we did not really know, as if in a surreptitious way we understood, without shame, that we do not know what this is like, but this not knowing is not our fault, this we do seem to know. He took the children, saying nothing, without a word to me, like a dead man.
He himself took the children by the hand. My arms and legs swing with no rhythm whatsoever as I proceed along the streets as if through piles of cotton, what bad dream do these empty, uneasy streets belong to; down each of them I am pursued by physical, floating, dark air, although I see that the sun weighs heavily on the streets: why did I not bring my hat?
That last little bit there about the hat — it is a perfect coda to this great, weary sentence, bringing the dreaminess back to the quotidian. In case it is not apparent in this review, I found this book to be masterful. I read it in one very busy day, and in the end I wanted to sit in reverent silence for the wonderful writing and especially for the tragic story it tells.
Great review. So good, this goes to my TBR list, as soon as I can move it there from my to-be-purchased list. It sounds incredibly powerful. While the violence of Columbia lends itself to powerful, compelling stories, you have highlighted the writing with great passages. This is a book that definitely would have slipped my notice but for your review. Thank you. Sometime the United States and Great Britian may have to confront the senseless violence they perpetrared on the Iraqi people beginning in Tony S.
Hopefully it makes people think about such things. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Previous Next. She has turned back to me. Liked it? Take a second to support The Mookse and the Gripes on Patreon! Share this: Share Email Print. Related Posts. June 3rd, 0 Comments. Pamela Frankau: A Wreath for the Enemy. May 20th, 1 Comment.
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He is a Colombian writer and journalist, who won in the Tusquets Prize. After these early successes, Rosero fled to Europe and lived first in Paris and later in Barcelona. Mateo Solo is a story about a child confined in his own home. Mateo knows about the outside world for what he sees through the windows. It is a novel of dazzling confinement, where sight is the main character: his sister, his aunt, his nanny all play their own game while allowing Mateo to keep his hope for identity in plotting his own escape. With his second book in , Juliana los mira Juliana is watching , Evelio Rosero was translated into Swedish , Norwegian , Danish and German to great acclaim. Once again, the visual experience of a child, this time a girl, builds the world of grownups and family, unveiling all the brutality and meanness of adults as seen with her ingenuousness.
Los ejercitos (Spanish Edition)