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Sound of Things Falling [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Juan Gabriel Vasquez
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Kurzbeschreibung

8. November 2012
No sooner does he get to know Ricardo Laverde than disaffected young Colombian lawyer Antonio Yammara realises that his new friend has a secret, or rather several secrets. Antonio's fascination with the life of ex-pilot Ricardo Laverde begins by casual acquaintance in a seedy Bogota billiard hall and grows until the day Ricardo receives a cassette tape in an unmarked envelope. Asking Antonio to find him somewhere private to play it, they go to a library. The first time he glances up from his seat in the next booth, Antonio sees tears running down Laverde's cheeks; the next, the ex-pilot has gone. Shortly afterwards, Ricardo is shot dead on a street corner in Bogota by a guy on the back of a motorbike and Antonio is caught in the hail of bullets. Lucky to survive, and more out of love with life than ever, he starts asking questions until the questions become an obsession that leads him to Laverde's daughter. His troubled investigation leads all the way back to the early 1960s, marijuana smuggling and a time before the cocaine trade trapped a whole generation of Colombians in a living nightmare of fear and random death. Juan Gabriel Vasquez is one of the leading novelists of his generation, and The Sound of Things Falling that tackles what became of Colombia in the time of Pablo Escobar is his best book to date.

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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing (8. November 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1408825791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408825792
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,6 x 15,4 x 3,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 210.557 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

A powerful, humane novel about a man trying to make sense of a war he didn't choose to fight Kate Saunders, The Times Compelling ... He holds his narrative together with admirable stylistic control as he shows a world falling apart and the powers of love and language to rebuild it Anita Sethi, Observer A piece of Latin American literary noir that lays bare the costs of the drug trade ... In a return to the thriller form of Vasquez's superb The Informers ... A heartfelt account of the drama suffered by a generation ... Vasquez offers no polemic. Yet as debates on the legalisation of drugs remain weighted towards suffering in consumer countries, this novel affords a rare understanding of the inhuman cost on the other side Maya Jaggi, Guardian The Sound of Things Falling has a strikingly idiosyncratic tone: wistful, elegiac almost, but not at all sentimental ... beautifully written Irish Times Enigmatic Boyd Tonkin, Independent Books of the Year The work reads beautifully. Vasquez's persistence in exploring the darker corners of his country's history, in probing his characters' intractable duality, and in questioning the frailties of memory, is compounded by his skill in evoking those instances when things change forever: such as when the telephone rings Independent The story is compelling but through Vasquez's vivid prose (rendered brilliantly into English by the award-winning translator Anne McLean) it also becomes haunting ... A poignant and perturbing tale about the inheritance of fear in a country scrabbling to regain its soul Financial Times Aided by the characteristic excellence of Anne McLean's translation, memories, multiple ironies and descriptive passages of stunning force flow effortlessly into each other, so much so that you wonder how much longer Vasquez is going to be able to maintain the intensity. Admirers of Vasquez will expect of him such verbal virtuosity. But there is an additional emotional element to The Sound of Things Falling that takes this novel to a higher level Daily Telegraph There is much to enjoying Vasquez's latest book (admirably rendered in English by Anne McLean). His intense, intricate prose is far removed from the pyrotechnics of an earlier generation of Latin American novelists. It seeks to bring the topics dealt with by Colombian writers solidly into the mainstream. His probing of the interaction between private worlds and public events is reminiscent of Philip Roth Times Literary Supplement Celebrated Colombian Juan Gabriel Vasquez's latest novel brings to the fore the full, tragic force of the drugs trade on those in the source countries in this captivating Latin American noir ... The sense of loss and melancholy are superbly held in a novel that explores the pain and release to be found in revisiting the past Metro A sobering book, The Sound of Things Falling makes a virtue of pained honesty about Colombia's recent past. Only a reckoning can help its citizens to love their country again. "The saddest thing that can happen to a person", Maya remarks, "is to find out their memories are lies." Truths may be difficult - murky and stained with compromise - but they offer a path forward The Literary Review Impressed by an expansive novel of Colombia's past and present ... Vasquez follows Balzac's maxim that "novels are the private histories of nations" Sunday Telegraph From the opening paragraph I felt myself under the spell of a masterful writer Nicole Krauss [on The Informers] As if mature Le Carre had wandered into the narrative labyrinths of Borges Boyd Tonkin, Independent [on The Informers] A thrilling new discovery Colm Toibin A fine and frightening study John Banville [on The Informers] One of the most original original voices of Latin American literature Mario Vargas Llosa

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Juan Gabriel Vasquez was born in Bogota in 1973. He studied Latin American literature at the Sorbonne between 1996 and 1998, and now lives in Barcelona. His stories have appeared in anthologies in Germany, France, Spain and Colombia, and he has translated works by E. M. Forster and Victor Hugo, amongst others, into Spanish. He was recently nominated as one of the Bogota 39, South America's most promising writers of the new generation. His highly praised novel The Informers, the first of his books to be translated into English, has been published in eight languages worldwide. Anne McLean has twice won the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction: for Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas in 2004 (which also won her the Valle Inclan Award) and for The Armies by Evelio Rosero in 2009.

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Good, but not good enough. 11. Oktober 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I liked the writing style of the author, and would probably try reading another book of his. This one was somehow disappointing. The story was interesting enough, but I got the feeling that the main character didn't evolve through his experiences. He also failed to convince me about his motives of trying to figure out Ricardo's story. I just got thee feeling that he was an unpleasant egoistical guy, no more, no less. All in all, from my point of view, it is well written, but not worth all the praise.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  227 Rezensionen
151 von 159 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "So you fell out of the sky too!" 26. Juli 2013
Von Jill I. Shtulman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
My, oh my - what an incredible novel. This is the kind of novel that made me brush everything aside and read voraciously, devouring every single word and dreading arriving at the end. Yes, it's that good!

Set in Bogota, Colombia, our narrator, Antonio, becomes twinned to an enigmatic and shadowy ex-pilot named Ricardo Laverde, whom he meets in a Bogota billiard hall. Ricardo has been imprisoned for many years for reasons that take time to be revealed. (The refrain is: "He must have done something.") Antonio is with Ricardo during a drive-by motorbike shooting that ends one life and destroys the other.

What follows is one of the most harrowing descriptions of PTSD I've read as Antonio lives in terror of everything. The only salvation for him is to uncover the facts behind the life of the mysterious "ghosted" Ricardo and Colombia's ignoble past.

That is only the early foundation of this book. It touches on many themes: the tentacles of the drug business in Colombia and how one person's actions can have a boomerang effect on so many others. How it feels to live with a "terrible awareness of my vulnerability" - where planes fall from the sky, where bullets fell the innocent, where memories burst out of nowhere to transform and paralyze those who live through it.

As Antonio reflects on the unsuspected intensity of his memories, which are "just now beginning to emerge like an object falling from the sky", he thinks: "My contaminated life was mine alone: my family was still safe: safe from the plague of my country, from its afflicted recent history: safe from what had hunted me down along with so many of my generation (and others, too, yes, but most of all mine, the generation that was born with planes, with the flights full of bags and the bags of marijuana, the generation that was born with the War on Drugs and later experienced the consequence)."

I must note that Mr. Vasquez does not place the drug war as front-and-center of his book; rather, his purpose is to display how things fall apart in a world that forces good people to relinquish their own feelings of control. As we fall out of the sky, only redemptive love can save us. By the end of the book, I had tears in my eyes from the sheer power of the writing. Kudos to Anne McLean for a beautiful translation of a must-read book.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Deep and thoughtful, but dense. 23. Juli 2013
Von DanD - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Juan Gabriel Vasquez's THE SOUND OF THINGS FALLING is an intriguing, if slow, look into Columbia's past and present. It begins with a story of an escaped hippo--a fugitive from a zoo belonging to drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. What fallows is an investigation into Columbia's recent, violent past, figure-headed by Antonio Yammara, who once saw an acquaintance of his get gunned down right before his eyes.

There's a lot going for THINGS FALLING: lush prose, a rich backstory, and a truly interesting subject matter. However, instead of getting lost in the prose, the reader often hits a brick wall--a points, this feels more like thinly-disguised journalism. It's as though Vasquez either couldn't decide what to write (fiction or nonfiction), or chose to create a hybrid of the two. (Most likely, the latter.) While the idea is interesting, the book may have been better if the nonfiction accents were either toned down, or enhanced (i.e., a solid work of nonfiction). As is, this is a novel for some, but not all. Those who sink their teeth into it, however, will certainly come away with something worthwhile.
83 von 97 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Epic, haunting and beautifully written 2. August 2013
Von Leslie N. Patino - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Juan Gabriel Vásquez's "The Sound of Things Falling" is epic, haunting and beautifully written. I read an article about it in "Time" magazine on July 31st, one day before the novel's English release. Within twenty-four hours, I had read the entire book.

"Falling," as some people have referred to it in English, is the story of Antonio Yammara, a 29-year-old, university law professor in Bogotá, Colombia who has always excelled intellectually. His comfortable, carefree world is soon blown away. First, a former student turned lover announces she's pregnant and carrying his child. At the same time, Antonio, who plays billiards to unwind, has sort of befriended an enigmatic older player. Ricardo Laverde has shared a few intriguing bits of his life, mostly in a woozy state over drinks. One afternoon, as the men walk along a street after leaving the billiards hall, they become the targets of a drive-by motorcycle shooting. Ricardo is killed. Antonio is seriously wounded--physically and mentally. For Antonio, several years of PTSD follow and a long journey to discover the secrets of his acquaintance. The story covers some eighty years of real-life Colombian history and the personal lives of several generations of fictional families.

To fully appreciate "Falling," it helps to have some knowledge of Colombian history and culture and of the tremendous impact of the drug cartels over the last half century. If you don't have that, Wikipedia can pretty well fill in the gaps. In 2011, I spent a week in Bogotá. I visited bookstores and asked for current best-selling novels (in Spanish). I read two of three books I bought and the third one--most highly praised by the sales' assistant--languished in the "someday" pile. Guess what it was?

I pulled it out yesterday afternoon and cut away the cellophane wrapping, typical in Latin America. "Falling" won the 2011 Premio Alfaguara, one of the highest honors in Spanish-language literature. Some of the most prestigious writers in Latin America sit on its panel. I could relate to Elaine, the idealistic American who went off to Colombia and to change the world in her youth. I went to Mexico. My story is less dramatic. Mexico's story today is Colombia's in the 1980's and '90's.

If you want to truly understand the global impact of "recreational" drugs in the U.S. and what the future holds, "The Sound of Things Falling" is a great place to start. It may not pop up in your dreams, but it did in mine last night.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Meaty Hunk of a Novel 20. August 2013
Von Bookreporter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"The day of his death, at the beginning of 1996, Ricardo Laverde had spent the morning walking the narrow sidewalks of La Candelaria, in the center of Bogota, between old houses with clay roof tiles and unread marble plaques with summaries of historic events, and around one in the afternoon he showed up at the billiards club on 14th Street, ready to play a couple of games with some of the regulars."

The final minutes of Ricardo Laverde's life are about to have a profound effect on Antonio Yammara. As a young college instructor, Antonio's life is good. Or at least it's as good as it can be in the troubled South American city. He has a job he enjoys, a pleasant apartment, and the company of women when he wants it. But in the seconds it takes for Ricardo to die, Antonio's good fortune takes a devastating tumble.

Why did this happen? Antonio realizes that he has little idea of his friend Ricardo's past. With the intimacy of death weighing him down, Antonio embarks on a journey to understand, at least a little bit, how Ricardo ended up dying as he did. He travels not only physically, from Bogota, but from the present day into a long-ago time, when Pablo Escobar ruled the drug trade. But could his friend really have been involved in that dark, twisted and violent part of society? Antonio finds it hard to believe.

Through research, talks with family members, letters --- really, everything he can dig up --- he turns Ricardo into a living, breathing soul once again. Antonio gets to know the man as he never had a chance to when he was alive. The people whose lives Ricardo touched, the people he left behind, even the people he hurt, all help Antonio work through his own personal demons. And he has many where once he had none. In one instant, so much was altered: his present, his future, maybe even his past. He must figure out how to move forward, or everything he holds dear may disappear. It is a monumental task he faces.

For years, Antonio searches for answers. What he doesn't seem to realize is that they don't matter nearly as much as grasping what he already has. If THE SOUND OF THINGS FALLING does nothing else, it will teach you the value of the blessings you have and remind you never to take things for granted. Life can change in the wink of an eye or the flash of a gun barrel.

Writing with a mournful, unapologetic tone, Juan Gabriel Vásquez enmeshes his readers in a wretched period of Colombia's history. He takes an in-your-face approach and tells a story that is not pretty. You will come away uncomfortable, disturbed even, but you will have discovered an empathy for the generations that lost so much to the dawn of the drug lords. This story will touch you in ways you wouldn't believe possible and make you think. So suspend your light summer reading for this meaty hunk of a novel right now.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Not What I Expected 8. August 2013
Von Teresa Willett - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Juan Gabriel Vasquez did not fulfill my expectations (I would give examples of "disappointments," but don't want to tempt prospective readers), nor did he elicit the much desired sharp intakes of breath that signify astonishment. It didn't happen -- and yet I could scarcely put this engaging book down until I was finished (and, yes, completely satisfied). This can only mean one thing -- that the author is truly a gifted storyteller. It's as if I were one of those oblivious should-be witnesses in Bruegel's "Landscape With the Fall of Icarus" who, failing to observe the winged boy's tragic and silent descent, is suddenly nudged (by Vasquez) to his finger pointing skyward, and directed to see what I would not naturally conceive of seeing. "The Sound of Things Falling" is resoundingly magnificent.
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