Tough call on this one—a very tough call.
It’s become commonplace for me to begin or end these meager reviews with the caution: Not for everyone. Or, a recommendation to “the few.” The same caveat applies to Varamo; this is not fiction for the casual reader. I know, I know, arrogant, but there it is. For those who are story-dependent, this would not be my first suggestion…or third…or one hundredth. Better, perhaps, is to recommend this one to those who like books about books or writing—FICTION a...more
“Nonostante si presenti come un romanzo, questo è un libro di storia letteraria; non è un'opera di fantasia, perché il protagonista è esistito, ed è stato l'autore di un famoso poema tuttora studiato come un momento cruciale nella storia delle avanguardie ispanoamericane. […] La nostra invasione nella coscienza di Varamo, tuttavia, non è magica, e nemmeno fantasiosa o ipotetica. E' una ricostruzione storica. Il fatto è che l'abbiamo presentata a rovescio, mettendo all'inizi ...more
Well, that doesn't seem to be happening any more, except perhaps in some whodunits. It certainly isn't happening in the slim novels of César Aira, an Argentinean from Coronel Pringles who writes the way a Roomba vacuum cleaner robot cleans: He just moves ...more
Even so, I'm giving it 5 stars, because I think it's that good. This is a very complicated, very slim, novel about abstraction and critism. Many ...more
The basic plot of the book concerns the titular character, Varamo, a 1920′s government employee in Panama. In the opening ...more
Varamo is “a third-class clerk” working for the Panamanian government. In the year 1923, during the ten- to twelve-hours described in this novel, he will be inspired an ...more
It describes less than twenty-four hours in the life of a Panamanian civil servant in the 1930 ...more
This was the first of Aira's books tha ...more
Aira presents this story as an essay written in the style of a fictional narrative. The narration even muses on its own use of the free indire ...more
Het draait om een merkwaardige dag uit het ...more
Here, for your sampling, a passage where the bureaucrat considers how to go about having a rational conversation with his troubled live-in mom: "but how could he have a civilized conversation with that barbarous, instinctive, inhuman being: The Mother? How had other men man ...more
Ik lees geen Spaans en er zijn amper twee boeken van hem vertaald in het Nederlands - misschien lees ik nu net dat éne boek dat mij niet aanspreekt? Misschien is nu nét het minst toegankelijke van ...more
In the ninety pages of slim volume, you find nuggets galore, woven exquisitely into a narrative that begins to get a hold on you. It's about many things, including myth and nation, but all of them to do with language and imagination. Above all, it's about the art and craft of writing. Do read it.
I'll leave you with the closing pa ...more
Sucedió que Perec me volvió a atrapar y el libro de Aira quedó varado. Solamente al concluir La vida instrucciones de uso volví a su lectura.
Mencionada la dificultad que acarrean las comparaciones con la escritura de Perec, me gustaría destacar varios el ...more
it was introspective and randomly hilarious without feeling gimmicky. i liked the length too. overall, did not disappoint.
this is strange but the way the action was laid out sometimes reminded me of homestuck.
"Beware of procrastination; it's the bane of literature."
Državni službenik imena Varamo jednoga dana odlazi na državni šalter po svoju (ničim zasluženu aludira autor) plaću. Odmah primijeti da su novčanice krivotvorene, ali ne reagira, ni sam neznajući zašto. Kad ih uzme u svoju torbu, shvati da je sad kasno za bilo kakvu reakciju jer će on biti optužen za krivotvorenje (više nema dokaza). Cije ...more
He has published over fifty books of stories, novels and essays. Indeed, at least since 1993 a hallmark of his work is an almost frenetic level of ...more