Breves Rencontres Avec Che Guevara
Half the stories are set in Haiti. Others are in Sierra Leone, Colombia, Myanmar and there is even one in Europe. They tel...more
The stories are original and superbly written. They reveal different facets of the human condition against the volatile backdrop of revolution. From the diamond mines of Sierra Leone to the Bolivian jungle the chosen settings, like the stories themselves, are rich and evoca...more
An eclectic mix of quirky and creative slice-of-life short stories set in such diverse geographical settings as Haiti, Columbia, Myanmar, Burma,...more
Excellent collection of short stories for reading, interesting encounters within the world that spins in and around Che Guevara and others.
Some of the eight stories briefly reviewed.
As I read the first story, “Near Extinct Birds of the Central Cordillera,” I was afraid that I would not enjoy this book. It seemed that the author was reductive and just plain mean-spirited as he picked on easy targets—morally reprehensible leftist guerillas, a hapless American student, a...more
Fountain has done an impressive job of transporting us readers to various dark and ugly corners of the globe, usually in the context of war, genocide, greed, exploitation and textbook examples of man's inhumanity to man. And in spite of the claims made...more
Unlike a lot of good modern-day American literary fiction where the gaze is mostly turned inward, this is a delightful amalgamation of stories situated in different parts of the globe connected by the sole premise that they all happen to be eternally blazing hot spots replete with action and misery. The fact, that the author hasn't even visited some of these places and yet managed to capture them in such fine detail...more
I liked that each of the stories were written in different points of view and different styles. I strongly identified with the cynicism of a female aid worker in Africa alt...more
I applaud the author for not languishing in lurid descriptive episodes, a modern temptation. The stories are highly readable, employing an often rich vocabulary, without descending into unwelcome and unneeded grittiness.
The settings of the stories range from Haiti to Sierra Leone to Columbia, and these settings drive plots which reveal the human situation in the midst of political and social upheaval. Sometimes fun...more
Ben Fountain has practiced and practiced and perfected the art of telling the reader everything that needs to be known about the characters and the worlds in which they exist with dead-on descriptions and perfectly-paced dialogue.
I gave this book four stars, mainly because I did not love all the stories, my least favorite being the last in...more
"...the realization of how dumb, how utterly clueless you were to think you might control anything about your life" ((67).
"It seemed, rather, that reality itself had gone made, and she was riding her own little scrap of sanity through the cosmic whirlwind" (76).
"...Melissa had softened the package as best she could with azaleas and flower beds planted along its length like piles of oversized throw pillows" (77).
"...she reflected on the therapeut...more
seriously, though, the prose is beautiful. you should read it just for that.
i liked that he didn't try to tie his stories up in an artificially neat (or messy) way.
i had the same problem i often have with (to be blunt) white americans' writing about the dilemmas of white americans living in / visiting other countries: i want to scream at them, "dude, your moral dilemma is hardly something to complain about. look at the people around you!" whic...more
”…I had no idea God and the Devil live so close together. They’re neighbors, in fact, their houses are right beside each other, and sometimes when they’re sitting around with nothing to do they play cards, just as a way to pass the time. But they never wager money—what good is money to them? No, it only souls they’re interested in…[Che Guevara]”
Che Guevara never actually makes an appearance in these stories—just sightings of him—but his philosophy gets a workout. Sometimes events just have a way...more
Tales of Americans subsisting in the third world and discovering new ways to think and behave are commonplace. But Ben Fountain's lively, humorous treatment of his troubled characters earns generous praise. Instead of focusing his deft choices of words and inventive metaphors on a character's internal experience, the author uses his literary prowess to examine the uncomfortable complexities of life outside the United States. He also takes time to portray the "dunes of garbage _