The Informers

The Informers

Book - 2009
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From the author of The Sound of Things Falling , a "brilliant new novel" ( New York Times Book Review ) and one of the most buzzed about books of the year!

"One of the most original new voices of Latin American literature." -- Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

When Gabriel Santoro's book is scathingly reviewed by his own father, a famous Bogotá rhetorician, Gabriel is devastated. Cataloguing the life of longtime family friend Sara Guterman, a Jewish German immigrant who escaped to Colombia during the 1930s, Gabriel's book seemed an innocent attempt to preserve a piece of his country's rapidly vanishing past. But as Gabriel pours over his research looking for clues to his father's anger, he discovers a sinister secret locked in the pages. After his father's death, and with the help of Sara Guterman and his father's girlfriend, Angelina, Gabriel peels back layer after shocking layer of family history-from the streets of 1940s Bogotá to a stranger's doorstep in 1990s Medellín-to reveal a hidden portrait of their past-dark, complex, and inescapable.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed as one of the leading writers of his generation, compared to Borges, John Le Carre, Joseph Conrad and W. G. Sebald.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2009
ISBN: 9781594484674
1594484678
9781594488788
1594488789
Branch Call Number: F VAS
Additional Contributors: McLean, Anne 1962-

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Mark_Daly Jan 05, 2017

The storytelling is seductive, and the prose style in this translation is effortlessly fluid and entertaining, but the plot takes FOREVER to get to the point.

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Pisinga
Feb 17, 2016

Maybe for someone this period in the history of Colombia, around which the unfolding all events, seems completely insignificant and uninteresting, but this book is written so talented (and we must pay tribute to the English translation), it is not possible to put it down until finishing reading.
The first part mainly focuses on the ambiguous relationships between father and son, both pretty intelligent and well-read people. In the book there's a lot of philology, which is understandable, because the author has studied literature at the Sorbonne, and not only there. That, unfortunately, is not a case (I mean, studying literature) for many modern authors who are producing writings, like bread baking.
The middle part of the book, between different topics, addresses the issue of immigration. It seems to me that despite the fact that everything happened in the 40s in Colombia, much remains quite relevant to this days: what it means to stay be a patriot of motherland while by one or other reason somebody resulted in emigration, in a totally alien environment? To what level you need to take the laws of the country host as rules? To what extent adherence to their own country - the habits, language, etc., should be legalized and accepted in the host country?

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empbee
Jun 17, 2015

Interesting book about German emigrants in war time Colombia. Secrets of the famous, sins of youth, compassion and other emotions. Stretched at times but well written.

u
uncommonreader
Dec 07, 2014

Subtle and understated, this novel about betrayal is set during WW II in Columbia and tells of the little known history of the blacklists and internment of Germans during this period. Vasquez provides no clear resolution to his story. Highly recommended.

ser_library Feb 10, 2014

a beautifully written and translated complex novel which is thought provoking and discussable

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