Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

The Sound of Things Falling
by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2013
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: Literary, Historical, South America
Hardback: 288 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
The first hippopotamus, a male the color of black pearls, weighing a ton and a half, was shot dead in the middle of 2009.

From a global literary star comes a prize-winning tour de force – an intimate portrayal of the drug wars in Colombia.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.

In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above. Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.

Vásquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature,” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and will take his literary star—even higher.

My two-bits:

This drug war story was not riddled with violence as seen in many shows these days. It is a post-modern piece told in a hazy, mysterious way with dreams, metaphors, memories and reflections.

Some moving passages got me writing down quotes.

Got me thinking of hippos, billiards and planes.


* National Bestseller and winner of the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

* part of Book Passage Literary Prize Book Group (here)

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu