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Borges and the Eternal Orang-Utans [ Orangutan ] Paperback – 2 Jun 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (2 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099461676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099461678
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"An elegantly constructed caper" (Daily Telegraph)

"Verrisimo's pleasure in his own absurd intertextual universe is infectious" (Times Literary Supplement)

"A true literary mystery in its own right, as well as a homage to Borges" (Financial Times)

Book Description

A hilarious spoof on literary/academic conferences, and a brilliant 'Borgesian' mystery.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Bob Ventos on 3 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
A timid middle-aged translator living in the south of Brazil travels twice to Buenos Aires to meet Jorge Luis Borges, and twice Borges refuses to see him. On the third occasion he goes to a conference about Edgar Allan Poe, and meets Borges unexpectedly at a reception. Later that night one of the conference attendees, a German academic who is universally hated, is murdered in his hotel. Suspicion falls on his two principal enemies, who were in the rooms on each side of his. But, while ordinary scientific discoveries and theories are taking place elsewhere, the story centres around the fantastical theories about the murder woven by the narrator and Borges, in Borges' book-filled study. They get increasingly carried away, imagining connections with Poe, the Necronomicon, Lewis Carroll, Gnosticism, and much before, before the truth is revealed - or is it?
This is a light satirical homage to Borges and some of his favourite writers, written in an amusing and undemanding way, and aimed I suppose purely at Borges fans (like me). It only takes a couple of hours to read.
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Plato's Symposium. And this. Two texts I distinctly remember reading in one sitting. An amusing narrative of murder at a literary convention, prompting much erudite speculation at the after party attended by Vogelstein, the principal witness, and his hero Borges, the great author. Anyone who has read Borges will probably get even more juice out of it. The only intertextual reference that raised my eyebrow was an oblique one to the word of Neil Simon.
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By Duncan on 22 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
A 'murder mystery' of a kind, but a world away from your average whodunnit. Verissimo dishes up the same kind of labyrinthine arcana as his hero Borges, with a plenty of intellectual twists and turns, dollops of history and conspiracy. In the end it's little more than a literary crossword puzzle, but it's never less than thoroughly enjoyable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quirky and drily amusing in equal measure. I read it in an afternoon but sometimes good things come in small packages.
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clever and absorbing and a literary commentary at the same time - what could be better - entertaining in extreme
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