Out in the open by Jesús Carrasco
Original title – Intemperie
Translator – Margaret Jull Costa
Source – personnel copy
Well the drums rolled off in my forehead And the guns went off in my chest Remember carrying the baby just for you Crying in the wilderness I lost track of my friends, I lost my kin I cut them off as limbs I drove out over the flatlands Hunting down you and him The sky was big and empty My chest filled to explode I yelled my insides out at the sun At the wide open road It's a wide open road, it's a wide open road..... I went for a early Triffid's track a band from perth in Australia a desert city source
Jesús Carrasco is a rising star of spanish literature , this his first novel won a number of prizes ,including being the book of 2013 by readers of the spanish paper El Pais .Grew up in Toledo , his father was a teacher , he studied physical education .But when he started working start as a advertising copy writer .This is his debut novel and a star of the Frankfurt book fair where it sold rights to most of Europe .To tie in with the book a few weeks ago I picked my five favourite spanish readers for Harvil on their blog . Oh and he has one of the best writer moustaches in years !!
From inside his hole in the ground , he heard the sound of voices calling his name , and , as if they were crickets , he tried to pinpoint the precise location of each man within the bounds of the olive grove . The desolate howling of fire-scrotched scrub . He was lying on one side , knees drawn up to his chest , with barely enough room to move in that cramped space .
the opening lines of the book .
So Out in the open is the story of one young boys escape from his home , but then he has to fight to keep free first evading the people trying to find him . Then the world around him barren desert like plains , hot sun and people struggling for food .What faces him is how to live and get by in this world .All he has known is violence , does he carry on the circle of violence ? But will a night in this world with an old goatherder change the young boy , what does he gain from the old man and what does the old man gain from the young boy ?
Tiny and dark in the midst of that still-greater darkness , he wondered if he might find something useful on the imaginary line he was following due north . Perhaps some fruit trees along the road or fountains of clean water or endless springtimes . He couldn’t really come up with any concrete expectation , but that didn’t matter .By heading north ,he was travelling away from the village , away from the bailiff and from his father .
He just wants to head north to find a new different place .
Again like last few books I have reviewed it is another nameless character , in this case also in a timeless place .This suits this book as it harks back too , some classic spanish literature in some ways the boys quest so to speak has since early days of spanish literature been a motif , the boy is maybe hunting for a life that is different the same way Don Quixote hunted windmills .The brutal nature of the book remind me of another spanish classic The family of Pascal Duarte by Cela , which sees another violent life and world .Of course looking further afield it is hard mot to mention McCarthy’s The road as they both see people trying to survive in unfamiliar brutal world . This is a book full of the violent nature of life but so wonderful written it draws you into this dark hinterland .
Have you a favourite book that isn’t tied to a place just about nature of people ?