Home reading service by Fabio Morabito

Home reading service by Fabio Morabito

Mexican fiction

Original title – El lector a domicilio

Translator Curtis Bauer

Source – review copy

I take a break from all things German and one of those writers that I feel is at home in winstonsdad as the life of Fabio Morabito has seen him live in two countries and use two languages. Born in Egypt to Italian parents he grew up in Milan until his parents emigrated to Mexico when he was 15 although he didn’t speak much Spanish but learned and has since written all his books in Spanish. he has written four collections of Poetry and also four of Short stories. He has also translated a lot of Italian poetry into Spanish. He won one of Mexico’s biggest literary prizes with this novel.

I never knew if the Jimenez brothers had been married beofre. The thing now, as old men, they lived together like bachelors. Their home, and judging by the long hallway thart connected to living room to the rest of the house, it must have had lot of rooms, or at least I imagined it that way.

Luis, the one who looked a little dimwitted, was crippled andf seemed to be the older of the two. It was difficult to knpow if he really was dimwit or not. While I read out loud., he sat stifly in his wheelchair.

The opening lines as he read to the two brothers.

the book follows one man Eduardo he lives in the Mexican town of Cuernavaca. He has been sentenced to one year of community service and the task he has been given for his sentence is to read to the towns old people and disabled.  As his father says it was a misfortune that cause the sentence and loss of his driving license. So he sets forth to read to these people. So as he starts to read the books to his collection of listeners and in one case lip readers, he isn’t really absorbing books like Henry James or Dostoyevsky. to an odd cast of characters that makes up the people he has read to. People like the two brothers one mute that the other one speaks to a retired colonel (I was reminded a bit of Marquez, he had a lot of retired military men in his books) an opera singer in a wheelchair a deaf couple with hearing children. But as time moves of=n what happens is we start to see Eduardo a mna absorb in himself even though he lives in a crowd home with his father who is dying with cancer, his sister and a Celeste the women she looks after. But it is later on when he discovers his father had a long time ago Isabel Frarie as he reads this poetry it finally dawns on him all this reading and this poet’s words unlock a door. This is a tale of a man discovering a world he hadn’t seen that isn’t the violent Mafia lead world of his town.

What I was sure of is that Papa didn’t know Isabel Faire, and that it hadn’t ocurred to him that he could have known her. For all he knew, Isabel Faire could have died thrirty years ago or already have been dead when he’d started to read her poems.

I ;ooked for the poe Papa’d copied in his ledger and I found it right away. I wpndered of he’d copied the poem to read to margo. I took it out of my briefcase to compare it to the orignal.Papa’d copied it out perfectly without adding or omitting anything, and that unfailing fidelity made me sad.

As the door opens and he discovers his father like the poet Isabel Faire !

When this arrived I knew it would be one for me. Eduardo is a man that isn’t moving anywhere fast in middle age living with family it isn’t to this sentence sends him around meeting people he didn’t know was there and people that slowly along with the discover life in a book that mixes dark parts of the world they all live in but also past romance those people getting by day to day. so what we get is a mix of dark humor at times and discovery of his own family’s past through the poems his father had once slowly copied and spent time writing for a romance many years ago. Another interesting writer from Mexico. as it is described it shows the healing powers of words and how they can transform one man’s life. If you love poetry and fiction and the power they can have this is the book for you it shows how we can all be touched when the find that key to unlock the door to the library of literature. All through Eduardo’s eye an everyman for a lot of modern Mexican men stuck in a groove just above being a criminal. Do you have a favorite book that involves books and reading?

Winstons score – -A nearly perfect read.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Hill
    Nov 19, 2021 @ 10:35:28

    What an interesting concept, both as a book, and as a form of community service!

    Reply

  2. Trackback: That was the month that was November 2021 | Winstonsdad's Blog

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