Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A world of fantasy and illusion, 26 July 2003
This review is from: The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto (Paperback)
The subject of this book is a little hard to describe so its perhaps easier to describe the principle protaganists. Firstly there is Don Rigoberto, an insurance executive, who believes his true brilliance lies in his ability to be imaganitive in the world of sexual fantasy. He delights in the body of his wife and the sexual games, fantasies and pleasure he can obtain in her company. He has nothing but loathing for the pornography or a society that punishes someone for following their fantasies and parts of the book are simply venting letters to what he perceives as narrow minded fools - unwilling to allow the individual to fulfill his fantasies. There is the estranged wife Donna Lucretia who spends her time having tea with her stepson, she is a somewhat remote character as we mainly perceive her through the sexual fantasies of her husband and son. Then lastly there is the stepson Fonchito, a strange teenage boy obsessed with the painter Schiele and clearly intelligent and fully aware of his father's fantasies and just as inerested in fantasies of his own which also involve Donna Lucretia. Schiele's paintings mainly portrayed naked women in various poses and there was some scandal associated with his life as many of the models where young girls. Fonchito's life does not seem to involve normal persuits such as football or nights out but is an increasing obsession with the life of the painter - and his personality slowly but surely seems to overwhelm that of Donna Lucreatia, so the relation of step-mother and son becomes something else a little more darker.
The story if there is one is how Don Rigaberto and Donna Lucretia cope with a separation caused by an event sexual of course which becomes apparent half way through the book. There is a lot of musing by Don Rigoberto on his perceived success in the domain of sexual fantasy and how he is proud that he has allowed this to dominate his life. The ranting letters to for example the owners of Penthouse are very amusing stuff, but, most of his musings are related to his wife.
The book is intesesting if only for the construction as throughout the book the discussions between the individuals allow us to understand both why the couple broke up and outlines their somewhat unusual relationships based mainly on a mutual desire to provide pleasuse through fantasises. The son is extremely clever and manipulative and although some of the passages regarding the artist Schiele go on somewhat. The real interest of the book is the fact that we are never sure who is saying what to whom, and what is a fantasy and what is the truth so in the end this is an intersting study of human nature and how we interact with one another.
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