Sorry for the lack of updates but I was attending the Europavox festival in Cermont-Ferrand and instead of taking this book with me, I decided to cart around the next book in this list , which was Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. This is because Wind-up… was thicker and I wanted a long book for the 2 hour flight and 4 hour train ride (and then another 6 six hours when returning to Malta).
I managed about 400 pages of the Murakami so I finished that off and started this one.
Which leads us to the review.
After a long spell abroad, the old and gay Fernando returns to his hometown, Medellin, to settle down only to discover that is has turned into place of violence, gangs and murder. Fortunately he finds solace in the much younger Alexis and they have a highly sexual relationship.
Alexis is a killing machine and an instigator of violence so eventually he ends up being shot as well. Fernando is devastated but finds another lover by the name of Wilmar. Bad luck strikes again when Fernando discovers that Wilmar murdered Alexis and Wilmar is shot out in the open by an anonymous gang. The cycle starts again.
The book is narrated in a stream of conscious way, something which I admit am not too fond of so at times I was irritated by the scatter-shot prose, yet at the same time I found it poetic in places and loved Vallejo’s use of description. especially when Fernando is declaring his love.
It’s a mixed reaction book and yet a powerful criticism about modern-day South America. It’s also a brief, zippy read so it doesn’t really give you any time to dislike it, however do exercise a bit of caution.