Wednesday, November 11, 2009

goodreads book review: all fires the fire, julio cortazar

All Fires the Fire All Fires the Fire by Julio Cortázar

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
i like cortazar's facility with language, and inevitably, as with any latin literature, it resonates with my own understanding of how families operate and cultural proclivities. and yet, for the most part these stories did not move me. there are a few that i admired very much, most of all, the island at noon, the most simply told of the stories, of a male flight attendant who happens to glance out with the window, and espy a small island which he comes to see as the focus of his life. he calls it the golden turtle island and he plans and thinks and daydreams for the day he will be there: swimming in its coves and sheltering under its trees. it ends in an ingenious, and satisfying, yet disturbing way. simple and visceral: just the way i like it.

the southern thruway, instructions for john howell, and the other heaven are quite good, and fascinating, in their ways. the rest of the stories are stylistically innovative and yet leave me cold. i think well worth reading as a first cortazar to give an appreciation of his style, and interests as a writer, and am interested in reading another sample. for some reason he reminds of the richard ford stuff i read, but some of his ideas aspire to borges and dick.

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