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This one is not for the casual reader; it’s historria certain movies – if you look away from them for a minute or two, you simply can’t figure out what’s going on.

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. But I looked up on Wiki and Colombia has had the same civil war over and over again — Liberals vs. Maria Yulieth rated it it was ok Sep 27, Want to Read Currently Reading Read. When the book is published and Altamirano sees it, he feels cheated because the story is not his. Want to Read saving….

He migrates to the Panama province to meet up with his father who turns out to be a journalist who sold-out to the graft and corruption crowd. Dec 06, Elaine Kozak rated it liked it. Some interesting stuff, especially on Conrad, gringo and European imperialists in the tropics, and building the Canal, but a bit of a letdown.

Historia Secreta De Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vasquez | eBay

That said, cosstaguana of the writing is very good, some of the characters are interesting, and the general tableau of Latin American political strife, American interference, and the early days of the canal are all interesting. In my father’s article, the Canal workers were “true war heroes” who had defended the “Eighth Wonder” tooth and nail, and whose enemy was “fearsome nature” no mention was made of fearsome democracies. No one had ever written a story behind Conrad’s story of Nostromo, so Vasquez decided to do so.


And the narrative describes the internal civil war known as La Guerra Federal. He eventually leaves his daughter, now 17, and goes to Europe to tell the story of the revolution. It doesn’t cover Co If you want to understand the history of Colombia and the birth of Histtoria, this book is perhaps not the place to start. With good reason, the young author won several literary awards and has been lauded by big names in Latin literature like Mario Vargas Llosa.

Secreha Conrad is dead, but the slate is by no means clear- Nostromo will live on and Altamirano must write himself back into existence.

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Second, he kisses his teenaged daughter goodbye while she sleeps and heads off to London with hardly a backward glance. Return to Book Page. Jul 15, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: One example is Miguel. You watch as Miguel’s obsession with the Summary: Altamirano is horrified, however, to find himself written out of it and history altered.

Usted, Joseph Conrad, me ha robado. Refresh and try again. Then, a classic tale emerges of a 3rd-world South American country modeled on Paraguay, supposedly racked by constant revolution, and peopled by native Indians, long-entrenched Spanish, and newer expatriate groups of English, Germans, and Italians. Here is an interesting quote on how memory works and how it can be slippery: However, I found it to be a somewhat difficult read, as it was filled with far too many peripheral characters and too much inconsequential detail, which diluted the power of Altamirano’s narrative.


Dostaguana various anecdotes, scraps of history, and personal recollections, we read about an unconventional life from the son of an unconventional union: Actualmente vive cerca a su ciudad natal en Colombia.

Part of decolonizing includes re-writing the history of the former colony. Historia secreta de Co And – to confuse things even more- the writing of Nostromo by Conrad.

Chapinde rated it it was ok Mar 06, Vasquez is a very interesting writer and I look forward to reading more of his work. Jan 26, Cynthia rated it it was ok. I did not get along well with the narrative style of this book. The theme for my literature group for September is South American writing and this book was part of the list.

It felt like this is how historiz who had lived through the events would feel. Perhaps the name of Costaguana, which sounds very much like Cartagena. I had three quibbles with story.