Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez



Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez


Colombian fiction

Original title – Las reputaciones

Translator – Anne McLean

Source – Library edition

last month I decide I may need pick a few books from the last year that may be in the Man booker list that I hadn’t got to near the top of the list was this the latest from Juan Gabriel Vasquez . Whom I have reviewed on the blog twice before with The sound of things falling and the secret history of Costaguna . The later was on the old IFFP list as well as his debut novel so it is a good chance that he may make it three times on the list. Juan Gabriel Vasquez Is considered one of the great living Latin American writers , his books have been on numerous list of the best books of recent times. He also writes a weekly column for a Colombian newspaper .

What about Javier mallarino ?

The bootblack took a second to realize the question was directed at him. “Sir?”

“Javier Mallarino.Do you know who he is ?”

“The guy who does the cartoons for the newspaper”,the man said.”but he doesn’t come around here any more. he got tired of Bogota, that’s what I was told. he’s been living out-of-town for ages now, up in the mountains

Mallarine ask the bootblack if he knows who he is without knowing he is him so to speak .

Reputatuons is a another slice of Colombian world , this time he use the life of a political cartoonist , One imagines to be in the position that Javier Mallarino is where we meet him he is on his way to the Grand Teatro Colon that evening. We meet him as he is wandering Bogata before this very prestigious evening the first part of the book sees him in this wandering seeing how he went from a serious artist at the beginning into taking up the pen and ink and doing Political caricatures somehow managing to avoid getting into trouble along the way  and building a following a sort of Latin American  Steve Bell is what came to my mind. But as he spends the evening in Glory he is leaving the grand Tearto colon when we meet a young woman a journalist he thinks but she is wanting him to admit to an incident he observed that happened at the very beginning of his life happened when she was maybe attacked by a leading figure in the  political life and this girl was also a friend of his own daughter so the great man has to face a dark secret in his past.

If that were the case, the deterioration could not be less opportune, for Samanta Leal, from whose face a little girl had vanished, was urgently asking him to remember that little girl and her visit to this house in the mountains in July of 1982, and not just that, but she was also asking him to remember the circumstances of that long-ago visit, the names and distinguishing marks of those present that afternoon, everything mallrino saw and heard

He thought she is a journalist to this point when she reminds him of this incident in the past .

I felt this is a clever book to bring out now in a way , how many secrets from the past and stars from the past have had very dark secrets like in the book or even dark Jimmy Saville is one that came straight to my mind when I read this and how power can hide the truth or make other disbelieves the truth about certain people. I also love the choice of political cartoonist a job which at some points in Columbia would have been a short life job! We also want to know what happened that evening when these two seven-year old got drunk and slept was it a dream or real. This is another question do others seek fame from telling stories about other why do it on this evening ! A real story of the modern age when secrets and reputations seem to be fragile in the public eye and the past people have now seem to catch them up more than before !


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire 'Word by Word'
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 15:58:18

    I don’t think I’ve come across Colombian fiction before, well in English anyway, here in France even casual readers read South American fiction, it’s on the front tables of the bookshops!


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 09, 2017 @ 16:03:58

      It is easy to lump them together as Latin America I suppose but I like to separate them out and then can see the differences I feel in Latin American fiction


      • Claire 'Word by Word'
        Jan 09, 2017 @ 16:06:18

        Yes, I agree, even so, I think we are much less likely to see a lot of Chilean, Peruvian, Colombian fiction on the front desks of our bookshops, or in the hands of regular commuters as is the case in France.

  2. JacquiWine
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 16:15:46

    Sounds excellent, Stu – very much in the style of this author’s other work. He seems to be able to combine personal stories with broader, state-of-the-nation themes. I really liked The Sound of Things Falling.


  3. BookerTalk
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 17:34:41

    I have yet to get to my copy of The Sound of Things Falling but how good to know that if I like it, there is another title awaiting me. As you say, this is new one is a very topical subject, more the pity


  4. Lisa Hill
    Jan 10, 2017 @ 08:23:31

    I agree, Stu, I separate my Latin American reviews into separate countries just as I do for African, Asian and European countries. I can’t say I’ve read enough of LatinoLit yet to identify much in the way of differences, (I’ve only read 10) but I think that by categorising them there’s a better chance that I will eventually be able to, as I am beginning to be able to with some countries…


  5. biblioglobal
    Jan 12, 2017 @ 22:27:32

    I’ve got this out from the library right now and am looking forward to reading it soon. I loved The Sound of Things Falling.


  6. Trackback: Jan 2017 that was the month that was | Winstonsdad's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

January 2017
« Dec   Feb »
%d bloggers like this: