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The book has been well researched and the political facts are accurate. Return to Book Page. To see what your friends thought historiia this book, please sign up. The story starts with the events that lead his father, Miguel Altamirano, to Panama. Laura rated it it was ok Feb 02, Costaguana is the fictional Colombian state that serves as the setting for that book.
This is not true. Please read reviews by others who enjoyed it more.
Jul 15, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: There is a great mix of tragedy, history, and personal drama that should make this a wonderful historical tale. A Romance of Destiny. Feb 17, Barbara rated it really liked it.
The speed with which names and events are thrown at you is daunting. He eventually leaves his daughter, now 17, and goes to Europe to tell the story of the revolution. Lo que sabe y lo que no sabe. Then there is the fictional aspect of the book, which is easily separated from the historical facts.
In the early twentieth century, a struggling Joseph Conrad wrote his great novel Nostromo, about a South American republic he named Costaguana.
Although the French effort was led by a brilliant engineer, de Lesseps, who built the Suez Canal, the project was essentially sabotaged by graft and corruption. It’s definitely very rewarding. A sumptuous beautiful novel, impeccably translated. Arno rated it it was ok Aug 08, The attention is focused on t A compelling novel about the tortured history of Colombia but also about the slipperiness of historical accounts, and indeed of fictional re-imaginings of real episodes.
There is a good bit of history involved but it is told in an amusing way. I would recommend this for anyone interested in the history of 19th century Colombia and Panama, and for anyone who has read Nostromo which I will do later this year. Eduardo rated it it was ok Mar 19, Except for some historical facts, it could interest me, it didn’t make me want to know the rest of the story. Most of all, he believed in the idea of the canal and did everything to support it, including turning a blind eye and ear to all minor problems that cropped up – e.
Bruno K rated it it was ok Dec 31, Published June 9th by Riverhead Books first published Thanks for telling us about the problem. When the book is published and Altamirano sees it, he feels cheated because the story is not his. Es una lectura poco lineal, que zigzaguea en tiempo y lugar, pero que al final te explota en la cara con la verdad. While not as lean or crackling with horror as his better known Heart of Darkness, it has the humid smell of the tropics in its sometimes ponderous pages.
It felt like this is how someone who had lived through the events would feel. All in all major respect for this book.
More often than not, I found myself backtracking, because whatever I’d just read didn’t ‘gel’ in my mind to something I could understand and on a couple of these occasions, even reading it over didn’t help.
In addition, Altamirano watches battling political factions in his country spin ideas and events to their version of the truth. Here is an interesting quote on how memory works and how it can be slippery: It made me want to read Nostromo by Conrad.
Next, Jose finds Miguel in Colon and follows his life there. At the beginning of this century, Joseph Hiatoria, a Polish writer self-exiled to London to write in a second language of English and imperialism, wrote of a fictional country called Costaguana.
I must admit that I haven’t read Nostromo, and I knew almost nothing of the history of Colombia and Panama, so someone with a deeper background may not have some of the same issues with it.
The book covers years of the history of Colombia during one of the darkest times in its history, which happens to be one of extreme importance: He creates a character, Jose’ Altamirano, to narrate his convoluted and non-linear tale of nineteenth and early twentieth century Colombia and Panama, a time when the French attempted to construct a canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific but were defeated by Nature in the form of disease, insects, unbearable heat, and earthquakes.
It was inspired by the geography and history of Colombia, where Conra A bold historical novel from “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature” Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colonel Martinez examines his balls and finds them full of fifteen-pound shells. Some interesting stuff, especially on Conrad, gringo and European imperialists in the tropics, and building the Canal, but a bit of a letdown.
The Chinese cadaver, Father Echavarria’s actions, and the revolutions. Altamirano is infuriated, as the story is not about him at all, and confronts Conrad: The facts about Joseph Conrad are historically accurate.
As it says in the Author’s Note, this book was written because of the author’s fondness of Joseph Conrad, his history and stories.