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Plants Don't Drink Coffee Paperback – 30 Jun 2009

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A lighthearted and beautiful story 24 May 2009
By Darryl R. Morris - Published on
Format: Paperback
Unai Elorriaga (1973-) was born in the Basque region of Spain, and has worked as a translator, critic, and writer. He is currently a professor at the Instituto Labairu in Bilbao, and has published three novels, including SPrako Tranbia (A Tram in SP), which won the 2002 Premio Nacional de Narrativa, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Spain.

Plants Don't Drink Coffee was originally published as Vredaman in 2005. It was translated into English last year, and published by Archipelago Books earlier this month.

The narrator, Tomas, is a young boy who is living with his Aunt Martina while his father recuperates from illness. He adores his older cousin Iñes, who is studying entomology at university, and he desires to catch the rare and elusive blue dragonfly, as the person who catches it will be "the most intelligent person in the world".

Tomas observes his slightly off center relatives that live in Aunt Martina's home. His uncle Simon is obsessed with rugby, and engages in a plot with his friend Gur to create a rugby pitch on a private golf course. Mateo, Tomas' cousin and a skillful pilferer of library books, learns about his grandfather Julian, who competed to be the best carpenter in Europe, but no one will tell him if Julian won the event. And Piedad, an elderly friend of Aunt Martina, tells endless stories about her old lover Samuel Mud, a famed architect, whom she never marries due to a family secret.

This is a lighthearted and beautiful story of seemingly ordinary people who engage in mildly odd and surreal quests, and is definitely recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Expertly translated from the original Basque 16 Aug. 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
The simplest of endeavors can spiral into an epic tale. "Plants Don't Drink Coffee" follows young Tomas and his family as their lives unfold, and tells the story of Bilbao, a region of Spain. Told in an assortment of short stories, Unia Elorriaga's narrative is expertly translated from the original Basque by Amaia Gabantxo, bringing this beautiful piece of fiction to the world stage. Any who appreciate foreign literature will very much enjoy "Plants Don't Drink Coffee".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Caffeine for your soul 12 Jan. 2013
By BAC - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is easily one of the best books I've read in the last five years.

It's a sweet little story that'll make you cry.

Part Beckett part Lewis Carroll, it's like a children's story for your adult soul. Comparable to The Little Prince in that regard.

Everyone should read it. If you don't read it, you can't borrow my car.
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