Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

The Shape of the Ruins
by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
translated by Anne McLean
narrated by Sheldon Romero

Published: Riverhead Books
Publisher: 2018
Genre: Historical, Political, Literary, Columbia
Hardback: 528
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
The last time I saw him, Carlos Carballo was climbing with difficulty into a police van, his hands cuffed behind his back and his head hunched down between his shoulders, while a news ticker running along the bottom of the screen reported the reason for his arrest: the attempted theft of the serge suit of an assissinated politician.

Zombie sighting:
The extradition treaty between Columbia and the United States signed in 1979 by signed by Jimmy Carter and Julio César Turbay came back out into the streets like a zombie frightening the Narcos.
-part 6, chapter 3

The Shape of the Ruins is a masterly story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings.

This novel explores the darkest moments of a country's past and brings to life the ways in which past violence shapes our present lives. A compulsive read, beautiful and profound, eerily relevant to our times and deeply personal, The Shape of the Ruins is a tour-de-force story by a master at uncovering the incisive wounds of our memories.

My two-bits:
Some history and politics of Argentina as well as assassinations in this story got me thinking of conspiracies.

side note: I ended up looking up speculations surrounding the death of Princess Diana.


* listened to the audio version

* part of Man Booker International Prize 2019 challenge (here)

* weekly theme: ¡VIVA! Annual Celebration of Latino Hispanic Heritage
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu