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Cold Tales (Eridanos Library) [Paperback]

Virgilio Pinera

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications (3 Nov 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941419193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941419192
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,247,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fugue 17 Feb 2012
By Anthony B. Cline - Published on Amazon.com
Pinera's Cold Tales is a book that deserves as wide a readership as the short fiction of Kafka or Borges. It is a forest of dreams and nightmares, a collection of grotesque instances and absurd repetition. From page to page you will find all things impossible. A descent down a cliff in which two climbers try to preserve pieces of their anatomy. A random encounter that begins with a phone call from a man whose face seems to be at odds with his will. An uplifting passage on the positives of blindness. A lamentation on the inability to predict an exact time of death. And much, much more.

You will also find a thread of mordant humor that puts him in league with the likes of Robert Walser, Dino Buzzati, and Ionesco. But mentioning these authors will only give you a frame of reference. Pinera's short stories prove to be that of a very singular mind, as comfortable one moment writing a visceral piece about climbing inside a dog's throat, as he is the next detailing a psychological back and forth involving a man who must write his way into fortune and the stipulations of his terrible benefactor.

He weaves the sort of magic in a page that many authors couldn't match in fifty. His longer stories, twenty to thirty pages, have novel-like density. In this density, you will sometimes become lost. I know I was. But I think it's important to understand that not all of this is supposed to land smoothly at first glance. The collection registers in a unique way, so that the abstruse elements crawl to the back of the brain and keep planting seeds. And that is the important thing. There are a thousand authors out there who can give you some glimpse into the slice-of-life real world. There are, however, precious few who can take you into the world behind the eyes. Pinera is one of them.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Work 28 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Elegant, arresting, unique. One marvels at Pinera's command of narrative and language. Read and see what Cubans have been raving about for decades.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a funhouse of the absurd and bizarre 11 Feb 2007
By R. Colbourne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some stories so short they barely take much of the page, yet each secure in its completeness, and its to-the-pointness, even if that point eludes us. Other, more expanded stories, can get more outrageous page by page, but still, these stories all seem grounded as perfectly normal reality, and perhaps in a wonderful way, they are. Good pre-reading for his fine novel, Rene's Flesh, also part of the excellent Eridanos Library of books.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not an objective review 2 April 2006
By Yumuri - Published on Amazon.com
Virgilio is my grandmother's first cousin, his father and her mother were siblings. I unfortunately have few memories myself but loads of family stories that always made me attracted to his persona and his work. I wish more of his work were available here. Thanks, Amazon!
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