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Scars

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Juan José Saer’s Scars explores a crime committed by a laborer who shot his wife in the face; or, rather, it explores the circumstances of four characters who have some connection to the crime. Each of the stories in Scars explores a fragment in time when the lives of these characters are altered, more or less, by a singular event.
Paperback, 274 pages
Published December 13th 2011 by Open Letter (first published January 1st 1969)
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Community Reviews

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Chad Post
All Saer books are worth reading, but holy shit, SCARS is something special. Reaffirmed my faith in fiction. Seriously.

So many good bits in here, like this one:

"He's standing there, stock still, with the cue in his hand. Watching how I slide the cue, aiming, slowly. He doesn't seem to see. Thinking of something else, for sure. Who knows what. Maybe he's thinking about a pair of tits, because he's one of those guys whose brains are all at the back, pressed against their spine by a big pair of tit
...more
Jacob Wren
"I realized that when someone throws himself through a window and falls to the ground from the third floor, he doesn't break anything at the moment of impact with the glass or with the pavement - nothing - because he's already been broken to pieces and all he's doing is tossing out an empty shell. The guy had hollowed himself out to the bone, then thrown the shell out the window."
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Juan José Saer’s Scars opens and closes with the murder of a woman referred to only as La Gringa on May Day of an unknown year. We know that her death was intentionally caused by her husband, but what we don’t know is why. Told by the way of four uniquely different stories featuring characters that overlap from one tale to the next, the novel doesn’t attempt to wrap things up in a nice neat bow for the reader. Oh no, that would be far too easy. Scars, much like life, is a beautifully messy affai ...more
Audacia Ray
I was really taken with the style of four first-person stories that have something (sometimes very very little) to do with a murder. The structure and style of this novel is pretty stunning, and illuminates how life-changing events in one person or family's life can be just a blip on the screen, a story of a lousy afternoon for other people.

But oh, the misognyny. I almost abandoned the book after the first fifty pages because of the misogyny. Sure, it was written forty years ago, but - whoa. In
...more
Caroline
the blurb says that the author is the most important Argentine writer since Borges. High praise indeed, but in my view not entirely warranted. I've given this four because some of the writing is top quality, but there are also parts where it slips below that high level. There are four stories within this novel, all interlinked with a murder. I'm not totally convinced by Saer, but it's well worth reading if, like me, you find Latin American fiction a refreshing antidote to the bland best sellers ...more
Ronald Morton
Juan José Saer was an Argentine author who turned expatriate when he moved to France in 1968 due the worsening political climate at the time in Argentina. He lived in France until his death in 2005. Despite not actually living in Argentina for the majority of his life, he is considered - at least according to his Wikipedia profile so this could be complete bullshit - to be "one of the most important Argentine novelists of the last fifty years." And, despite being "one of the most important Argen ...more
Shadazz
Jul 14, 2010 Shadazz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like Borges (although it's not at all like his work)
Shelves: argentina, 2010
Este es el primer libro que leo de Saer, mi primer encuentro con su escritura minuciosa. Esta novela está dividida en cuatro partes que funcionan más o menos de la misma manera, un personaje narra una parte de su vida, que corresponde a los meses de cada capítulo. Cada capitulo y personaje tiene sus particularidades, también cada relato se vincula con los otros, no de una manera espectacular, alejándose de lo artificioso.

Desde el primer capítulo pone mucho cuidado al detalle: Las primeras no sé
...more
Mary
The book Scars is about a crime committed by Luis Fior. Luis went duck hunting with his wife, daughter, and a bottle of gin and ends up killing his wife by shooting her twice in the face. There are four narratives by four characters that explores a period of time when each of them is altered by a singular event.

The writing style in this book is what I would term very "gritty." It is an in your face type of style, very much written from a male perspective. Honestly, as a female reader, I never fe
...more
Jerry
"Scars" could have been much more interesting for me if the driving and walking sequences had not gone on endlessly and read so much like line-by-line MapQuest directions for getting from point A to point B. Similarly, the baccarat playing strategy went on far to long. Other than these very annoying distractions, the plot construction of four views of the same event and the circumstances leading up to it was cleverly thought out and presented. Final note: It would seem that drinking gin and get ...more
T.
Jun 26, 2012 T. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction


I've read 4 or 5 reviews of this book, and not one has mentioned the treatment of women in this novel. There's a fine line between building despicable (and believable) characters and writing characters that seem to embody (reinforce) misogyny and violence. I see the brilliance in Scars and found Ernesto's chapter particularly compelling. The book troubled me though, even taking into consideration what year it was written.
Juanjo Conti
http://www.juanjoconti.com.ar/2013/01...

Unas semanas atrás, cuando concluí mi maestría, mis familiares me regalaron un lector de libros digitales. En particular un Papyre 613. Nunca había tenido uno, pero el último mes había estando hinchando con comprarme un Kindle usado. También aconteció que por esos días quería comprar el libro Cicatrices de Juan José Saer. Me daba vergüenza no haber leído al máximo escritor de mi provincia y que además es tocayo mío. Recordaba haber escuchado a Beatriz Sarl
...more
April
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I had a hard time staying interested in this book. At first I thought that maybe it was just the cultural differences that were keeping me from really getting into it, but the further I got into the book, the more I realized that it was the repetition and the detailed descriptions on things I felt were not important. For example, all I knew about baccarat was that it is a game at some casinos, but now I can walk into a casino and gambl
...more
Simone Subliminalpop
Quattro storie, quattro protagonisti, quattro voci narranti: un giornalista, un avvocato, un giudice e un omicida. Vicende che si sfiorano, entrano in collisione a volte, per poi continuare sulla linea tracciata da ogni singola esistenza, nella propria personalissima ossessione.
Ottima scoperta, almeno per me, Saer riesce a creare atmosfere spesse, avvolgenti, conscio e abile nel muovere i suoi personaggi e ad incastrare le parole una dietro l’altra. Una spirale, come dice benissimo la quarta di
...more
Agustín Fara
Cuatro nouvelles que forman una novela, cada una desarrolla el punto de vista de un personaje distinto. Angel, un joven periodista; Sergio, un abogado timbero; Ernesto, un juez que ve gorilas por todos lados y Luis, un obrero femicida. El punto de unión de las mismas es el asesinato cometido por Luis. Pero la verdadera genialidad del libro es la prosa de Saer. Cada nouvelle tiene sus propios códigos que ayudan a retratar los personajes. Se me ocurre por ejemplo la repetición de frases y situacio ...more
Marie
The whole idea is very well presented, the episodes are brought in like parts of a movie, they can be read separately and still makse sense. But it was disgustingly perverted at times.
Hank
The story of a crime told by 4 different people is just an excuse for this novel which explores a group of wounded, wounded people -- a young journalist tortured by his mothers actions, a judge undertaking a superfluous translation of Dorian Gray, a lawyer who'd rather make cultural essays through comics, and the murder. It's monotonous, and slow, and brutal. Perhaps the biggest surprises here are that there aren't any and the slow churn of the Rashomon-esque style elicits not the new but the mo ...more
Francesco Marchetti
questo libro mi ha lasciato interdetto. e' difficile dire come una scrittura cosi' fluente possa allo stesso tempo essere a volte cosi' noiosa. Ho trovato parti delle prime tre storie veramente irritanti (la cena a casa di Tomatis, le mani delle partite di baccara', la descrizione stile mapquest del girovagare stradale del giudice) ed alla fine dell'ultima storia, non me ne importava molto.
Jesús
Me sorprendió la fuerza y la personalidad de la prosa de Saer al comenzar el libro. Sin embargo, al final me he alegrado de que por fin termine. Entre lo que más me gustó, la historia del ludópata de la segunda parte. Seguiré leyendo a Saer.
Anna Groman
This book is divided into 4 different sections and although I enjoyed how the sections then all came together, I didn't enjoy 2 of the sections and wanted to speed through them. That's a lot of pages to not like.
Karen Wilson
I'm not going to rate this, because I couldn't get "into it." I tried a few pages, but couldn't give it a fair try. I might come back to it later...
Amanda
I had high expectations of this book so maybe that was my problem. It was ok. A little too predictable at times for me.
Madge
I need to find my notes on this, or re-read it so I can actually post a review. I'll probably just re-read it, though.
Lucas Rentero
Nuevamente por el litoral ahora en una santa fe inperdible.
Donna
Boaring and hard to read. I did not finish it.
Megan
YEAH STEVE
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199815
Juan José Saer was one of the most important Argentine novelists of the last fifty years.
Born to Syrian immigrants in Serodino, a small town in the Santa Fe Province, he studied law and philosophy at the National University of the Littoral, where he taught History of Cinematography. Thanks to a scholarship, he moved to Paris in 1968. He had recently retired from his position as a lecturer at the U
...more
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“«Credo che la maturità non porti nessuna esperienza» disse. «O dovrei dire che l'esperienza non porta nessuna maturità?»” 2 likes
“il brusio di un milione di menti che ronzano / di continuo, / in lenta disgregazione” 2 likes
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