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Preview — Bonsái by Alejandro Zambra
There are some books that can be consumed in a singular hour, yet remain within you to be digested by the intellect for days or weeks. Alejandro Zambra’s Bonsai is such a book. The precise simplicity of the novel makes it a difficult book to talk as the novella feels as fragile as an intricately colored moth’s wing—admire its beauty but don’t touch it lest it turn to dust. There is a feeling of weightlessness to the prose ...more
And better still after the third reading. If anyone is interested in reading this one and needs a copy of Macedonio Fernandez's Tantalia, feel free to give me a shout and I'll email you the 5-page story pronto.
Even better after the second reading.
The world is of tantalic inspiration.So begins Macedonio Fernandez’s fantastic story Tantalia. Zambra makes reference to it. I encourage readers to get a copy and read it—bizarre and an incredible complement to this novella (c ...more
2.5 "perplexed, indifferent, what-is-the-fuss-all-about ?!" stars.
I am at a loss as how this book won Chile’s Literary Critics’ Award for Best Novel. Was it a very bad year? Were there no other novels published? Were the critics all first year double majors in post-modern literature and philosophy?
I don't get it!!
Don't get me wrong...this is not a poor book but I found nothing that interesting, or moving, or interesting, or profound, or interesting, or humorous, or interesting, or meaningful, ...more
For me, it's essentially about reading about a distant 'me', the identity of this 'me' to be an inhabitant of past corridors or a tenant of future roads being inconsequential. As ...more
Alejandro Zambra, Bonsaï
Alejandro Zambra’s, Bonsai, is as delicate as the miniature tree it’s named after. It is a stunning accomplishment. Zambra accomplishes in 86 pages what other writers take hundreds of pages to accomplish. Just as the silence between notes in a musical composition can define a work so too do the silences in Bonsai define this work.
Bonsai is the story of Julio and Emilia, a young Chilean couple who b ...more
This is a philosophical, thought provoking novella (so I have a tautology here but I like it even though it’s extraneous as it adds necessary substance to the wording) and I was charmed and delighted by it all.
This is not really a novella but a short story and it can be read in little more than an hour. Nevertheless, in spite of its brevity, it runs the ga ...more
It isn’t always easy to find, in the texts, some impetus, however sm ...more
In any event, the story's first paragraph is enough to pull even the most reluctant reader in. How's this for a promise?
"In the end she dies and he remains alone, although in truth he was alone some years before her death, Emilia's death. Let's say that she is called or was called Emilia and that he is called, was called, and continues to be called Julio. Julio and Emilia. In the end Emilia dies and ...more
Μέσα από μια πυκνότατη αφήγηση, παρακολουθούμε πια δύο παράλληλες ιστορίες: της Εμιλία, που τελειώνει κάπου στην Μαδρίτη, και του Χούλιο, που συνεχίζεται σχεδόν ανάπηρα. Οι υπόλοιποι ήρωες που κινούνται γύρω τους θα μπορούσαν να είχαν ο ...more
A book that reads like a quote on life.
A book that starts with a seed and grows into miniature version of a giant tree - an apt metaphor for the content Zambra put in this tiny novella that many authors take volumes to express. "Bonsai" is a fitting title for the story that Zambra narrates and the elegant beauty that is the book itself.
We follow Julio and Emilia - the two people who in the span of less than hundred pages became people I was more than acquainted with. Zambra pulls you into the ...more
The way the author talks about and describes the characters is so great, not to serious but loving and the same time. The story about love and loss and the connection between sex and literature is heartbreaking and true.
I can only recommend this to anyone.
“This, then, is a light story that turns heavy. This is the story of two students who are enthusiasts of truth, of scattering sentences that seem true, of smoking eternal cigarettes, and of closing themselves into the intense complacency of those who think they are better, purer than others, than that immense a ...more
No sé qué pensar de este libro. Quise leerlo porque vi una reseña que me llamó la atención, a la chica no le gustaba y decía sus "por qué", luego un amigo me comentó que no estaba tan mal y quise leerlo, pero sinceramente no sé qué me esperaba.
Creo que el libro estuvo bien, pero no me entregó nada. Es todo tan trivial y poco definido, el lector debe adivinar aquellas historias que quedan inconclusas y que es mejor olvidar para no quedarse en blanco pensando qué podría h ...more
"Bonsai" cuenta de manera algo disgregada algunos acontecimientos en las vida de dos jovenes chilenos, durante los estudios de literatura en la universidad y un poco después. La mayor parte transcurre en Santiago, unas pocas partes en Madrid. Desde el primer parrafo del libro nos cuentan que la mujer, Emilia, morirá joven, y que ahí se acaba la historia.
When Cervantes wrote Don Quijote, one of his aims was to attack a certain kind of literature of his day. He plotted the story with a character that reads too much, becomes crazy, and subsequently imagines he is part of one of these books himself. Don Quijote is in a sense a book about books. Jumping several centuries ahead, modern Latin American writers are obsessed with the thematic of writers within their novels, with variable outcomes. The big succ ...more
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(...) la vida sólo tenía sentido si encontrabas a alguien que te la cambiara, que destruyera tu vida.”