- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (19 May 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408852888
- ISBN-13: 978-1408852880
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2.2 x 14.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Reputations Hardcover – 19 May 2016
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Vasquez's prose, translated by Anne MacLean, is spare and effective, with a pleasing precision . A strong writer with a compelling vision (Guardian)
An affecting, carefully paced work of psychological realism (Times Literary Supplement)
A masterful writer (Nicole Krauss)
A thrilling new discovery (Colm Tóibín)
This is a magnificent novel, short and dense, whose three parts are calibrated to the millimetre (Le Monde)
This is a powerfully written novella and Vásquez's prose, as always, has a stark elegance that lends it weight (Frank Wynne)
A troubling story of a political cartoonist who finds his convictions tested when a traumatic past event returns to haunt him ... will take you far away into different and secret worlds (Mariella Fostrup Observer)
Another gripping morality tale that was much bigger in scope than its slim volume might suggest (Mariella Frostup Observer, 'Book of the Year')
In the latest offering by Colombian author of The Sounds of Things Falling, a celebrated political cartoonist us forced to confront an episode from his past - one that is likely not only to ruin his reputation but also leave his own sense of righteousness in tatters (Angel Gurria-Quintana Financial Times, 'Books of the Year')
A taut new novel by the award-winning author of The Sound of Things Falling - 'one of the most original voices of Latin American literature', Mario Vargas LlosaSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
In this superb novel Juan Gabriel Vásquez tells the story of Javier Mallarino, an immensely successful Colombian political caricaturist. As a rule, a caricature humiliates its subject, and we get to see why and how such humiliation is inflicted as well as the tragic consequences not only for its subject, and for the victims of its subject’s misdeeds, but also for the humiliating caricaturist, the humiliator himself.
All humans live in society, and their actions affect others. In the end, the functioning of a society is reducible to the interactions of its members. When the behavior of one of the interacting people elicits the condemnation of all those who witnessed some part of the interaction, then the mechanism of humiliation is set in action. But, in the heat of the moment, and on the basis of a negative gut-reaction to a person, people who witness some part of such a disgraceful interaction may misinterpret what they see and then the process of humiliation may hurt an innocent person causing tragic consequences. On a larger scale, all the history of a society can be vitiated by such misinterpretations, be they ever so honestly arrived at.
At the other end, such misinterpretations may stem not from incomplete information, as could be the case in this novel, but from deliberate circulation of “fake news.” In that sense this novel is quite prophetic.
As I arrived to the last part of this novel, I remembered the famous anecdote about Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, one of a handful of major scientific geniuses of the twentieth century, who after reading “A Passage to India,” asked his University of Cambridge colleague E.M. Forster, the author of that masterpiece, “What really happened in the Marabar Caves?” and got the answer “I don’t really know” from Forster. To his credit Juan Gabriel Vásquez pulls off in a most natural way a similar conclusion to the Marabar-Caves-type incident in this novel.
The style of “Reputations” beautifully creates the right atmosphere for every one of its scenes. The reader can follow each character’s flow of emotions and understand how they could act the way they do. The main event of the novel happens during a party, and the horror of it is marvelously overshadowed by polite party chit-chat with the intentional result that where in lesser hands I, the reader, should have had to recoil in outrage, I found myself roaring with laughter.
Coming in the wake of “The Informers” and of “The Sound of Things Falling,” “Reputations” confirms the position of Juan Gabriel Vásquez, as one of the twenty-first century’s great novelists
This is an OK book, but I suspect I'll forget I even read it before long.