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3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  80 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
When a Brazilian man's face is disfigured, he attempts a grisly self-surgery in thisnovel of survival. ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Wings Press (first published 1985)
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Best Fiction With Disfigured/Disabled Leads
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(showing 1-30 of 134)
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Michael Grafals
Nov 05, 2014 Michael Grafals rated it liked it
The style of Pineda's novel echoes Camus', with its existential appropriation of Hemingway's sparse, action-and-surface oriented sentences. Like Camus' Meursault, Pineda's protagonist is alienated from the start from his surroundings, in this case a Brazilian shanty town. When he severely disfigures his face in a fall, his alienation becomes complete. He loses his job as a barber and is forced to scavenge in the night for food. We see him navigate a tortuous health bureaucracy and suffer anonymo ...more
Martin Fossum
Jan 11, 2015 Martin Fossum rated it liked it
An intriguing story told with in the voice of a man who has been disfigured in a landslide accident near his home in (I'm guessing) Rio or Sao Paulo. He is tormented by his poverty, government bureaucracy, and his loss of intimate love. An existential dilemma.

Pineda formed an theater company in San Francisco in the '70s and her prose has an unmistakable likeness to stage direction. "There is a bed in the corner of the room. There is a run-down table with a missing leg propped against the wall. A
Nov 25, 2013 Vonnie rated it liked it
This book has stared at me for years on my shelf calling me to read it. I don’t recall where I got it but I remember that the cover grabbed my attention. Not knowing what the story was about, I started reading this complicated but hauntingly story of a man who lost his face.

The story was told poetically but confusing at the same time. Though this was a narrative, the story developed as if it were a prose. The story of Helio Cara unfolded as Helio ran out to seek his dying mother but instead fell
Gabriel Oak
Jun 03, 2014 Gabriel Oak rated it really liked it
Pineda's first novel--this is about a Brazilian man named Helio Cara whose face is horribly disfigured after an accidental fall. He becomes an outcast from society, losing his job, his home, and his girlfriend, and because he can't afford reconstructive surgery, decides to take it upon himself to reconstruct his own face. Once Helio begins fixing himself, the novel picks up and becomes more interesting, but the first half or so really drags, partly because of the abstracted, episodic narrative s ...more
Haebitchan Jung
Nov 14, 2013 Haebitchan Jung rated it it was ok
Unfortunately, I did not find this novel to be extraordinary or provocative in totality. Yes, there were tragic moments here and there, but the narrative as a whole failed excite me. The trope of what is a face vis-a-vis identity was interesting to muse on, but the ruminations were quickly spoiled by excess of mundane details of his everyday life and his observations. They were distracting, uninteresting, and in my point of view, elongated the novel more than necessary. I do understand that the ...more
Rob Gall
Jul 08, 2013 Rob Gall rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Face is a novel about a man after he suffers a horrific, disfiguring accident set in a undefined South American country. He is poor and, in "The Capital", lacks most means of support either familial or governmental in looking for help out of his travails. It is a very somber but meaningful and insightful rendering of how one might feel and, out of desperation, approach resolution. The characters were well drawn and interesting. I usually give more than three stars to any book I finish but, in th ...more
Dec 07, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it
'Face' is an extraordinary and haunting story on the nature of identity and social norms. Based on a true account, Pineda's work functions as an incredible social commentary on identity politics and societal relations with the labeling of bodies. Go read this. It will traumatize you, but you'll be the better for it.
Miranda McDonald
Apr 03, 2009 Miranda McDonald rated it really liked it
The face is the summation of human value. Nothing could illustrate this more than this painful, based on true events, novel. What an amazing, tragic, read.
Dec 14, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it
WTF, man. I really wish I hadn't read this. I'm gonna have even more nightmares than usual.
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