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The Dancer and the Thief: A Novel
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The Dancer and the Thief: A Novel

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  46 reviews
This "powerful, humane," prize-winning novel of politics, ballet, and a spectacular heist by a reluctant master thief and his eager young protégé, "conjures...a contemporary Santiago, Chile, where the memory of Pinochet's reign and the 'disappearing' of citizens still looms" (Publishers Weekly). With prisons overflowing in Chile, the president declares a general amnesty fo ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 2nd 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published November 1st 2003)
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Suzanne
I have to say this book started out interesting but a few chapters in and it really started to annoy me. I finished it only because it was such an easy read and just to get it off my mind. It wasn't terrible, just not my kind of novel.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is not my type of book at all, but I loved it anyway. It's a plot driven suspense novel with a bit of a love story thrown in for good measure. The story is extra good, I think, but then I don't read enough plot driven stuff to be much of an expert on that. Some of you might find it predictable. The ending was not fabulous, but neither did it just wrap things up in a nice ribbon and send you on your way. The writing is marvelous. Works translated from original Spanish have a different rhythm ...more
Rusty
Good story! Weaving politics, ballet and a spectacular robbery together, Skarmeta helps one understand Chile in the days it was recovering from political chaos. One begins to adore the young dancer/student, Victoria, and her romantic boyfriend, Angel, who loves her with all his heart. In addition, the sophisticated gentle thief who is adept at cracking safes, Vergara Gray, is so charming. This is a most delightful read!
Carola
Me sorprendió Skármeta y su estilo narrativo. Jamás me aburrí con su historia y me sorprendió mucho el final, no me lo esperaba.
La trama gira en torno a Victoria Ponce, hija de un profesor asesinado en dictadura (como fue el caso de M. Guerrero) y de una mujer cuya depresión jamás logró superar; un alma en pena que solo vivía (a ratos) gracias al ballet. En un momento muy crítico de su vida le llegó un angelito con nombre y apellido: Ángel Santiago. Este ex-convicto (inteligente, hermoso y con
...more
Ana Ruiz
Strangely enough, in all my 18 years as an avid reader (or more like 15, to be fair to my analphabet babyhood) I had never read a book as utterly Chilean as this one. You know, one where I recognized the streets, the monuments, the foods, the coloqialities, etcetera. And it was marvelous fun every time I read about a Santiago commonthing to point at the page and go "ohhh, I know that!" and then people on the bus would look at the crazy bookworm who talks to her literary partners.

So, star for tha
...more
Kelsey
There was some great lyrical writing in this book, even with the translation. It was a quick read and interesting enough to keep it moving.
Karen
this book was a hideous trip into the mind of a latin pig
Lacey
Read this because we visited Chile. Hated it.
Ann
I liked the lyrical language and descriptive pieces, especially the short chapter where Angel is riding the horse.
A few too many sex scenes, and although young love is involved, some were tender and passionate, yet some of the other descriptions I felt were crude.
Some others have commented on the ending. The story does end abruptly, as though the author suddenly got sick of trying to tie it all together. When I first finished the book, I felt this way, but on reflecting on the conclusion, I fe
...more
Hannah
Couldn't get my hands on this one in Spanish, so I read it in *gasp* English. From my amateur point of view, the translation seemed good, but I think I would have enjoyed it more in Spanish. Although the translator handled the small nuances well, those are the sorts of things that I tend to appreciate most in the original language. Also, there's the very good chance that, if I read this in Spanish, I might not have realized how much sex there was in this. ^^' Yeesh. I know three of the character ...more
Beth
I really enjoyed this book. I think it was how vividly the characters and their emotions and thoughts were described.

Don Nico is released from prison, only to find out that the world has changed. He went to prison for a robbery and kept silent on his partner the whole time, only to find out that his half of the robbery was spent by his partner. His wife, who he hasn't see in five years, refuses to be back with him and he has no money. And Angel wants to him to return to his days as an expert th
...more
Manne Necker
Bueno, he de iniciar diciendo que no soy muy fanática de los libros nacionales. El estilo me deja un gusto agridulce. Este libro inicia interesante, no que bruto que bárbaro, pero bueno, no pude dejar de leerlo porque la curiosidad me entró, aunque luego de que pasaban los capítulos y ya cuando se llega al clímax, todo lo demás se me hizo demasiado obvio.
Con un final que esperaba casi al inicio, no faltó más que leer el remate para darme cuenta que podría haberlo dejado a la mitad y no me habría
...more
Olga Milemis
Excelente novela (en mi opinión mucho mejor que "El cartero de Neruda"). Skármeta imprime una velocidad al relato cargado de ingenio y notas humorísticas que contrastan con el fondo agobiante de lo que nos está narrando. Nos atrapa desde el principio y rebosa de calidad literaria.

Personalmente, no me terminó de convencer el uso masivo de palabras de jerga chilena (le quita “universalidad” al libro).
Michael
enjoyed this novel. It grew on me. The characters are simply drawn and in the context of Chile they tell a story both of the people of Chile and of the nation. The main characters are an experienced (and very talented) thief and a young thief who wants to learn from him and work with him. The young thief falls in love with a young dancer (who doesn’t have much money). He tells a story near the end of the book that made the whole book worthwhile. It reminds me of the way that one has the power t ...more
Nikos79
The dancer and the thief is the kind of novel that almost any reader will like. It's fast paced, it has nice characters especially for anyone who enjoy Latin style, the plot is intriguing and intersting which makes the book an enjoyable reading. In general I liked the book and I read it with pleasure, it's not something special or memorable but not bad at all. Skarmeta is a nice writer and he uses nice sense of humor at times. However if I had to recommend a book by him, this would have been "Th ...more
Gabriela Vargas
El final no es de mis favoritos por dejarlo tan abierto, si quisiera inventar mi propio final hubiera escrito un libro. El libro no me terminó de enganchar; no tiene ni emoción para ser llamado thriller.
Marianne
I heard the Antonio Skarmeta interviewed on NPR and thought this book sounded interesting. It was promoted as an adventure/suspense novel, and maybe I've read too many John Grisham or Dan Brown-like books because I found this novel slow-moving and too character focused to be placed in this category. The ending was a let-down and I couldn't get invested in any of the characters. Kept hoping it would get better but it never did. It is a fast read though, and a huge hit abroad -- I thought it was j ...more
Mike
En el Chile actual, dos ex-convictos viven bajo la presión de la recesión económica planean hacer un robo final para dejar la vida criminal y huir por los Andes hasta llegar a Argentina. Mientras se deciden en hacer el trabajo la vida les trae complicaciones que deben resolver antes del robo. Entre esas complicaciones, la vida de la joven Victoria esta en peligro. Como pueden salvarla simple con otro magistral plan que solo ellos pueden lograr.
Maria
Al salir de la cárcel, un imaginativo joven y un famoso ladrón tienen dificultades para rehacer su vida. El dispar dúo decide que la única salida que les queda es dar el Gran Golpe. Pero en la vida de ambos se cruza la joven Victoria, un talento natural para la danza, hermosa y sensible, asediada sin embargo por el desamparo familiar.
Como aburrido, bastante lento y como q no pasa nada.
Ercira
May 31, 2014 Ercira rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ercira by: Carola
Shelves: autores-chilenos
Es entretenido y rápido de leer.
Kxv
Típica historia de perdedores que quieren dejar de serlo. Sueños, causas justas, casos perdidos, la dura realidad... Una novelita entretenida para bebérsela en una tarde y poco más. Ni siquiera tengo muy claro si tiene moraleja. Notable el fresco del Santiago postpinochetista que ofrece Skármeta. A ver cómo adapta Trueba la novela al celuloide. Seguro que la mejora...
Daniela Ponce calderón
Jul 06, 2014 Daniela Ponce calderón rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daniela by: Carola
Shelves: autores-chilenos
Muy lindo
J.Ashley
Now I want to visit Santiago! "The shopping passages in downtown Santiago are labyrinthine. Tiny caves of businesses, facades that hide something much more sinister. There, the city is a no-man's-land, a constant trafficking of trivialities and mediocrities. Everything is ordinary, everything is sexualized."
Mia
A compelling novel that appears to eloquently express the struggle of modern Chile to deal with its recent past through the symbolism of its characters. Though it isn't hard to figure out what various people represent, it never felt forced or unnatural.
Ryn
THE PROS: Wonderful writing, full of Latin American magical realism. Nuanced insight into the Chilean spirit--distinct from Argentina, Peru, Brazil, etc.
THE CON: The plot line unravels into a resolution that's more typical of a TV drama.
Michelle
I rarely read any South American Fiction, but I really enjoyed the story and the historical references regarding the corruption of the Pinochet dictatorship. I am look forward to reading "Il Postino"- the movie was quite good.
Andrea
Mar 15, 2008 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrea by: Antonio Skarmeta
I only bought this book because Skarmeta gave a lecture at UVa, and I wanted him to sign my copy. I loved _El cartero de Neruda_ so I assumed I would enjoy this too, which I did, but WHAT was that ending?! Seriously?!
Cordelia
I have mixed feelings about this book. At first I loved it, then half way through I really wasn't not enjoying it. Three quarters of the way I began to like it again, buuut I did not like the ending.
Alejandro
Muestra una versión de Santiago de Chile a la que se aferran algunos escritores pero que desapareció hace mucho. No había leído a Skármeta, y probablemente no vuelva a leerlo, pensé que era distinto.
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Antonio Skármeta (born Esteban Antonio Skármeta Vranicic) is a Chilean writer, born November 7, 1940 in Antofagasta, Chile. He was born to Croatian immigrants from the Adriatic island of Brač, region of Dalmatia.

His 1985 novel and film[1] Ardiente paciencia ("Ardent Patience") inspired the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie, Il Postino (The Postman). Subsequent editions of the book bore the title El
...more
More about Antonio Skármeta...
The Postman: Il Postino The Composition Los días del arcoíris No pasó nada عرس الشاعر

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