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Tierra del Fuego

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  175 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
These nine stories of adventure, exploration and voyage are peopled with ravenous explorers, fortune hunters, foreign revolutionaries, ill-fated seafarers, intrepid ship's captains, and ruthless smugglers.
Paperback, 187 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Europa Editions (first published 1956)
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Aug 05, 2009 brian rated it really liked it
four reasons i dig this book:

1. maggie swung her tail and knocked over a glass of merlot. like a sponge, the back half of tierra del fuego soaked it up and now the pages are deliciously crinkled and warped and stained red. as w/all of us, i'm wildly romantic about books -- coffee rings, wine stains, yellowed pages, dusty fingerprints... all good stuff.

2. blurb from ALVARO MUTIS. author of one of the best books ever written and all-around badass. if y'all haven't read the adventures and misadvent
Jul 28, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
Chile is a discontinuous country: One can drive all the way from the border of Peru near Arica, but one's southward progress is halted by the Andes marching all the way to the shore. Beyond Villa O'Higgins, there are no roads. All travel must be by plane or boat. South of the Torres del Paine, you encounter roads and population once again, but not very much.

It is this Southernmost extension of the Chilean mainland and the islands of the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel that are the loca
Dec 01, 2015 Fran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Protagonista primaria di tutti questi racconti brevi è la natura, descritta in modo straordinario, bella ma sopratutto aspra e dura, che porta allo stremo chi vuole vivere in questa regione.

C'è una strana atmosfera cupa e irreale nella maggior parte delle storie, dove le persone sono trasformate dal vivere in isolamento, ma anche dalla corsa all'oro, che dà tanto solo a pochi e toglie umanità a tanti.
Ben Winch
Dec 16, 2011 Ben Winch rated it really liked it
This left a palpable yet ghostly impression in my mind. These are stories of extreme geography: ice, mountains, desert. Alvaro Mutis calls Coloane the South American Jack London; I think this may be understating the case. The story 'How the Chilote Otey Died' is an all-time classic, a picture of true heroism - if a story could be an anthem this is it. The rest vary in tone and rove around restlessly and turn up surprises enough to suggest that Coloane may have a fair few more tricks up his sleev ...more
Jun 26, 2009 David rated it really liked it
Here is the magic of libraries again, those fathomless oceans of story that cast up rare marvels and monstrosities, and unimagined jewels lost to time in their obscuring depths, for us beachcombers to find. Coloane was a much beloved writer in his native Chile, and is only just now reaching America with this and one other collection of tales. I think there are some other things in English, and hopefully much more to follow. A jacket blurb compares him to Jack London, which is apt in a number of ...more
Jan 20, 2010 Samhita rated it it was amazing
I love short stories and I read this book while I was traveling in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego which is where most of the stories here are set. The stories are dark, adventurous, profoundly disgusting in their brutal honesty of the treatment of indigenous people in the southern tip of the Americas and full of old school style morals and lessons. But he paints vivid worlds of a long ago time that make you want to learn to horseback ride and dig for gold.
Dec 15, 2013 itpdx rated it it was amazing
What a delightful collection of short stories. Coloane weaves tales of sheepherders, sailors, builders, gold miners and others set in southern Chile. Humor, suspense, bravery and craziness drive these wonderful stories of adventure in a beautiful, bleak and challenging part of the world.
The stories seem to be set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and provide some interesting history. Labor strikes, mining the beaches for gold using tidal hydraulics, the tenuous link of coaster steamers
Ann Klefstad
Jan 22, 2013 Ann Klefstad rated it really liked it
Please read blurb first. Any book both Alvaro Mutis and Pablo Neruda love is aces. For starters.

Coloane has the initial great gift of a vast and terrifying beautiful landscape on which human beings stand as if on the moon. And he does it justice, mostly, in his tales of human beings living their lives out, scratching small marks in this country. Many lives-and-deaths he depicts as single events-- it's a scale issue. This is instinctively brilliant, and limns the true size of his real character,
Feb 12, 2015 Betsy rated it it was amazing
These stories were atmospheric and opened up Patagonia and the Tierra del Fuego region.
Sep 18, 2013 Cliff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-shelf
Wonderfully descriptive short stories set in the brutally beautiful landscapes of Tierra del Fuego. Harsh descriptions of how this desolate landscape, sat between two hammers, the sea and the Andes, crushes all humanity before the west wind comes through to blow away the dust. I would have to believe that these stories have strongly influenced the writing of Cormac McCarthy.

A beautiful read, and I really, really want to go to Tierra del Fuego now.
Jan 12, 2010 Stephen rated it really liked it
Shelves: chile, 20th-century
Memorable tales of a distant world that's been overlooked and forgotten. Almost like the Wild West but with bustards, whales, oceans of gold, and November nights that last only a couple hours. Strong, sullen men with weather-beaten exteriors and tumultuous minds, and artfully delivered themes of greed, revenge, forgiveness, and isolation. Beautiful descriptions and good plotting. Coloane deserves more recognition.
Jun 10, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing
There is something simultaneously comforting and sad about Coloane's stories. He captures the harsh reality of life and nature in Chile in a way that is both concise and lyrical, and manages to tell exceptionally emotional tales of people hardened by the landscape. There is a timelessness to the stories, and it is jarring when a detail reminds you that they are set in contemporary or quite recent times. Amazing.
Phenomenal storyteller. As the reader, you are present as an active observer at all times. You feel the wind on the hilltops and marvel at the sharp blue ocean. You feel the emotions and agonies and silence. Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are introduced and you come to know them well. A true literary experience.
Kit Fox
Jul 19, 2010 Kit Fox rated it really liked it
Pretty rugged tails about bearded, manly men surviving--and often dying--in various harsh and barren landscapes. The cover quote refers to the author as "the Jack London of our times." I'd say that's a pretty fair assessment. Just another indication that almost anything Europa editions puts out is worth reading.
Dimitris Hondropoulos
Apr 27, 2013 Dimitris Hondropoulos rated it it was amazing
An exceptional work. 9 allegorical stories about the life of people in Tierra del Fuego. The simplicity of the words and the power of the stories is very difficult to find in other books. An author with so much passion, a country with so much surprises. A philosopher from Chile.
Canard Frère
Un recueil de nouvelles ayant pour cadre la Patagonie, une terre qui remodèle tous ceux qui s'y frottent, Indiens, chercheurs d'or, marins et autres gauchos. Le format court me semble être plus adapté au (beau) style de Coloane que ses romans.
Ant Atoll
Mar 09, 2015 Ant Atoll rated it really liked it
This is the first book of short stories I've read in a very long time. As with almost all such collections, it's rare to like them all… but I liked almost all of these.
Jul 01, 2009 Aengus rated it it was amazing
Blurbs describing Coloane as the "South American Jack London" are spot on. Nine stories, all memorable, depicting life at the end of the world. Reminds me of Saki a little, too.
Feb 17, 2008 Pamina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read many years ago but as for many south Americans writer, I'm in love with atmospheres described in the book.
I read the first 3 stories, and enjoyed them well enough. Nothing exceptional.
Feb 09, 2014 Cathy rated it really liked it
Fabulous stories
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"The Jack London of South America"

He was born in the southern Chilean island of Chiloé. Among his most famous works (translated into English, French, Italian, Greek, German, Polish and Dutch) are: "La Tierra del Fuego se Apagó" (Tierra del Fuego Has Burnt Out, 1945), "Golfo de Penas" (Gulf of Sorrow, 1957), "El Camino de la Ballena" (The Whale's Path, 1962), "El Guanaco Blanco" (The White Guanaco,
More about Francisco Coloane...

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