4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Complex and poetic literary novel,
This review is from: Spilt Milk (Hardcover)
Chico Buarque is being hailed as Brazil's finest living writer and has won both of Brazil's major literary prizes. In his native Brazil he is best known as a musician although he also writes plays and poetry as well as novels.
Eulalio Assumpcao is 100 years old; his family was once part of Brazilian aristocracy and he led a privileged life. Now he lies in a public hospital bed in Rio remembering and telling his story to the nurses, his visiting daughter but mostly to the plain white ceiling. The narrative is in the form of a monologue and, as you would expect from his age, his memories are disjointed and often out of sequence, he sometimes wonders if they are memories or just memories of memories. The central character in his life is Mathilde, she was the love of his life but she left him and broke his heart. His memories flit between his parents, his children and his drug-dealing grandson but always come back to Mathilde.
In spite of the setting this is not a depressing book it is a celebration of one man's survival rather than mourning his inevitable death. Within the pages of this short novel and through the eyes of Eulalio Assumpcao, Buarque also explores the history of Brazil. `Spilt Milk' is not an easy book to read due to the rambling narrative and the fact that each chapter consists of a single paragraph, however I found it to be more than worth the effort it took to really get into Eulalio's story as once in it was hard to drag myself away. It is a complex and poetic literary novel and recommended for readers who enjoy the special quality of South American literature, fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Javier Marias and Roberto Bolano.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Dec 2012 22:05:27 GMT
M. Dowden says:
I just got this today. I hope it is as good as you say, otherwise I will come looking for you. : )
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2012 16:01:36 GMT
M. Dowden says:
I'm sure I will enjoy it. : )
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