the next good book

The Sound Of Things Falling

By Juan Gabriel Vasquez


270 pages

What’s it about? Antonio Yammara is a young attorney living in Bogota, Columbia.  While reading the paper one day he comes across an article about a young hippo escaping from the zoo.  It takes him back to an earlier time in Bogota.  A time of violence and turmoil.“And on one of those days, while following the hunt in the papers, I found myself remembering a man who’d been out of my thoughts for a long while, in spite of the fact that there had been a time when nothing interested me as much as the mystery of his life.” What did it make me think about? This book was a look back at the recent history of Bogota.  It highlights what the violence of the drug wars (and Pablo Escobar in particular) did to a whole generation of young people coming of age in Columbia in the 1970’s. Should I read it? This is a beautifully written novel about the aftermath of violence.  It speaks of a particular time and place but it is applicable across place and time.  It is well-paced but on the slow side.  I would recommend this for readers who are looking for a literary, thoughtful book. ​ Quote- “Experience, or what we call experience, is not the inventory of our pains, but rather the sympathy we learn to feel for the pain of others.”

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