The Sound Of Things Falling
By Juan Gabriel Vasquez
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.
“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.”