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The Informers

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  802 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
A virtuosic novel about family, history, memory, and betrayal from the brightest new Latin American literary talent working today.

When Gabriel Santoro's biography is scathingly reviewed by his own father, a public intellectual and famous Bogotá rhetorician, Gabriel could not imagine what had pierced his icy exterior to provoke such a painful reaction. A volume that catalo
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 30th 2009 by Riverhead Books (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,038)
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somuchreading
Jul 16, 2015 somuchreading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
αυτό το βιβλίο μιλά για τις προσωπικές και τις συλλογικές αφηγήσεις, συμπληρώνει την Κολομβία του συγγραφέα που εμείς στην Ελλάδα γνωρίσαμε πρώτα με τον Ήχο τον πραγμάτων όταν πέφτουν, μιλά με ρεαλισμό και αυτοαναφορικότητα για το πως η καταγραφή των γεγονότων επηρεάζει τα ίδια τα γεγονότα και όλα αυτά τα κάνει με τρόπο που εμένα μου κεντρίζει ιδιαίτερα το ενδιαφέρον

πολλοί θα ρωτήσουν "είναι Οι πληροφοριοδότες τόσο καλοί όσο και Ο ήχος των πραγμάτων"; όχι, δεν είναι. έχει αυτό σημασία; όχι, δεν
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Despoina Despoina
Apr 11, 2016 Despoina Despoina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Οι πληροφοριοδότες μου άρεσαν περισσότερο από τον Ήχο των πραγμάτων όταν πέφτουν.
Ο Βάσκες είναι ένας εξαιρετικός συγγραφέας, ελπίζω ότι δεν έχει γράψει ακόμα το καλύτερο βιβλίο του, το περιμένω.
Panagiotis
Jul 25, 2015 Panagiotis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Δεν ξέρω αν αυτό το βιβλίο είναι χειρότερο από το ''Ο ήχος των πραγμάτων όταν πέφτουν'' που όλοι μου το εκθειάζουν. Αυτό που ξέρω όμως είναι ότι αυτό είναι ένα πολύ καλό βιβλίο. Η Ιστορία επίσημη και ανεπίσημη και η μνήμη συλλογική και ατομική διατρέχουν το βιβλίο.
Τι είναι αυτό που χαράζεται μέσα μας και μας καθορίζει. Πόσο υπεύθυνοι είμαστε για αυτά που κάνουμε όταν τα κάνουμε; Γνωρίζουμε όλες τις παραμέτρους και το πως μπορεί να επηρεάσουμε άλλες ζωές; Μια ιστορία προδοσίας ηθελημένης, επιπόλα
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David
Dec 23, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! This is Vasquez's first novel which Mario Vargas Llosa proclaimed "One of the most original new voices of Latin American literature." This book backs that claim. Although he has only three novels, I have read two (one in Spanish and English translation) and he is securing my vote. His writing is clear and concise and yet, very human dialogue but his plots weave wonderful tales of "What's next?" They are a form of human detective stories, with the main characters searching and reflecting on ...more
ΠανωςΚ
Aug 23, 2015 ΠανωςΚ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αναρωτιόμουν αν θα με αρέσει όσο κι ο Ηχος των Πραγμάτων Όταν Πέφτουν του ιδίου. Στην αρχή έλεγα «μπα, όχι». Στη συνέχεια έλεγα «μάλλον ναι». Ελάχιστα πιο φλύαρο απ' ό,τι θα ήθελα. Πέραν τούτου, αψεγάδιαστο. Το φινάλε καταπληκτικό.
Georgina Coutroud
Dec 02, 2015 Georgina Coutroud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5*

Ένα πολύ ξεχωριστό βιβλίο,μια άγνωστη πτυχή της Ιστορίας του Β' Π.π,μια ιδιαίτερη γραφή,μια υπέροχη μετάφραση.

Ξεκίνησα την ανάγνωσή του πριν ένα μήνα,ίσως και κάπως λιγότερο.
Στην αρχή είναι πολύ δύσκολο να "μπεις" στην υπόθεση του βιβλίου:η εύθραστη σχέση πατέρα-γιου με αφορμή διάφορα γεγονότα στη ζωή τους(που άτυπα συνδέονται)καταλαμβάνει τις πρώτες 100+ σελίδες.Βέβαια,το γεγονός ότι η μτφ. είναι εξαιρετική σε συνδυασμό με την υπομονή του αναγνώστη που αναζητά αυτό το "κάτι" σε όποιο βιβλίο
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Malcolm
Jul 31, 2013 Malcolm rated it it was ok
Shelves: blech
If you like to stare into the mirror for hours until you see your parents, this book might be for you.

With at least a small amount of deference to Sr. Vasquez, I have to say that this book was a dull journey through self-reflection that likely lost a tremendous amount of flavor in translation.

The fact that this book is based on Colombian history from WWII put me at a disadvantage, because I know nothing about Colombian history. Thus, without further research, I found myself feeling as if I was t
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Dergrossest
Feb 09, 2013 Dergrossest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have not been to Latin America, you really should go. It can be hot or cold, jungle or desert, urban or rural, Spanish or Portuguese, European or Indigenous, or any infinite number of other variables. However, the one constant everywhere is the feeling that anything could happen at any time and none of it would surprise you in the least. This book captures that unique feeling which the author attributes to Colombia, but really exists everywhere in South and Central America, which can look ...more
Rick
Jan 06, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Informers is the story of two Colombian men, a father and son with the same name, whose estrangement over the father’s caustic, dismissive review of the son’s oral history of a family friend, a German Jew, who came to Colombia in the 1930s, ends when the father has heart surgery. However, the wounds from the estrangement and from the surgery have hardly healed when the father dies in a car crash on the road from Medillin to Bogota and what the son understood about the father is suddenly and ...more
Christinesoli
Nov 08, 2015 Christinesoli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μετά και από αυτο το βιβλίο του Vasquez μπορώ να δηλώνω και επίσημα φαν του.
Gregory
From http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2011/...

Juan Gabriel Vásquez's The Informers annoyed me at times. It sagged in the middle, but is beautifully written and engaging enough to continue on. The plot centers on Colombia during and just after World War II, as Germans (both Jews and Nazis) arrived and sought refuge. The main character Gabriel Santoro published a book on the topic, based on the story of a family friend. His father, a famous professor of rhetoric, trashed the book publicly, and the
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Maria Altiki
Oct 01, 2015 Maria Altiki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Με δυσκόλεψε αρκετά στην αρχή μέχρι να μπω στο πνεύμα του βιβλίου, δεν συγκαταλέγεται στα ευκολοδιάβαστα. Η γραφή του αρκετά πυκνή που απαιτεί απόλυτη συγκέντρωση. Το θέμα του όμως αρκετά ενδιαφέρον κ πρωτόγνωρο για μένα, πραγματεύεται τις συνέπειες του Β' παγκοσμίου πολέμου για τους Γερμανούς αλλά και Γερμανικής καταγωγής πολίτες στην Κολομβία. Οι"Μαύρες λίστες", οι πληροφοριοδότες, η κοινωνική απομόνωση κ ο εγκλεισμός κάποιων στα κέντρα κράτησης στην Φουσαγασούγα και στο πολυτελές ξενοδοχείο S ...more
PDXReader
Sep 22, 2009 PDXReader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like DeLillo and/or Hazzard
Recommended to PDXReader by: Bookbrowse.com
I found this book exceptionally difficult to follow. The narration was at times three layers deep (one person relaying someone else's story, telling a third person's tale -- all three ing the first-person), with no change in narrative voice. The story was told in flashbacks, but was non-chronological (flashbacks within flashbacks, the plot going back or forward in time, "stream of conciousness" style). It will probably appeal to those who love books based on writing quality, as the writing is, w ...more
Rob Kitchin
The Informers is a reflexive novel that explores a little known period of Colombian history when many Germans living in the country were blacklisted and interned at the insistence of the United States and its subsequent effects. Using a plot device of a falling out between father and son over the publication of a biography of a family friend – a German Jew who fled to Colombia in the 1930s – Vásquez’s narrative charts three intertwined family histories: a Jewish German family who has fled from N ...more
Jim Coughenour
Dec 27, 2009 Jim Coughenour rated it did not like it
I made it 3/4 of the way through this book. Another reviewer used the term "soldiered on" – and it's an apt description of my own exhaustion. Characters refuse to come to life, surprising tragic turns fail to be tragic or surprising, endless episodes of constipated reflection fail to move either the mind or the imagination. Written with an obvious and deliberate intensity, it succeeds in being intensely inert. It appears to have been written by an (unfortunately) articulate zombie.
Konsumschnecke
Ich habe das Buch vor Ärger jetzt auf Seite 309 abgebrochen. Ich geb ihm trotz alledem drei Sterne für die Schreibe und auch den Plot bis zum letzten Kapitel. Diesen Epilog hätte sich her Vasquez sparen können. Der Protagonist ist in seiner weinerlichen Suppe, hätte ich es doch anders machen sollen etc. pp. Ich will nicht spoilern. Ich mag solche Charaktere nicht, die im gesamten Buch als Typen mit Charisma und mit Zielen daher kommen und dann im Epilog einfach in sich zusammmen fallen. Mögliche ...more
Pickle
Apr 06, 2014 Pickle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow could I eat the themes of this book up with a spoon. Testimony, truth-telling, the role of the novelist, making sense of horrific past events, overcoming violent traumas… “The Informers” is written by the Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez, whose “The Sound of Things Falling” I also loved. This book I may have loved even more, I think, because I feel like it does something even more surprising and challenging, by writing about an unexplored and relatively unknown (at least by me) facet ...more
Isla McKetta
Jul 01, 2011 Isla McKetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s novel, The Informers, is a collection of three stories wrapped together in a brilliant structure. Rather than three consecutive books forming a trilogy, the action of the second book (the one we are reading) takes place after the first has been published. Vasquez reveals little of the text of the first book, the story of the exile of a family friend from Germany in Colombia during and after World War II, to the reader. Instead, its action is revealed in counterpoint to the ...more
Lambeam
Jun 11, 2010 Lambeam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
During the second world war, the Colombian government created a "black list" so that no one of German descent or anyone sympathetic to the Axis powers would be in a position to aid and abet the enemy. People found themselves on the list for acts as random as the Japanese grocer who happened to make a delivery to the Spanish Embassy. Others found themselves on the list through acts of betrayal. The book centers around the guilt of an "informer" who exposed a friend and never came to terms with w ...more
notgettingenough
After the first 60 pages.

Tedious turgid crap. As a matter of principle I don't take recommendations from the sort of person who goes to book clubs. I suppose I deserve what I got.

I could do this as a pair with the City of Thieves - both about a 'writer' deciding that his book will be about somebody who survived WWII. There the two part company. After the first sixty pages of this book nothing has happened. NOTHING!! If there is a story to come, I can't be arsed waiting for it.

City of Thieves ha
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Barbara
Apr 11, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library, lesekreis
Auf einer Kurzstrecke im Zug angelesen und nicht mehr davon losgekommen, obwohl es kurze Längen (ist so!) gab. So viele Themen, so viele Gedanken dazu, und eine ziemlich komplexe Erzählstruktur machen es mir gerade unmöglich, eine spontane Besprechung zu schreiben. Ich werde das Buch in den nächsten Wochen noch ein zweites Mal lesen, dann mehr dazu.
Lefteris
Πολυ ωραία άποψη , χωρις υπερβολές , για την ενοχή .
Πολυ καλός συγγραφέας , φαίνεται και σ αυτο το βιβλιο .
Και μαθαίνω πολλα γι αυτη τη χώρα που εχει βγάλει τον Μάρκες αλλα και τον Εσκομπαρ !
Αλλα και για την λογική της μαύρης λίστας ...
Tasos
Jun 19, 2015 Tasos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Σε αντίθεση με τον μαγικό ρεαλισμό του Marquez, ο Vasquez κάνει για δεύτερη φορά το θαύμα του επιμένοντας στην απομάγευση.
Nshslibrary
May 22, 2014 Nshslibrary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How does it feel like to know someone so well, but really not to know him at all? Now think about that person being someone who is very close to you, for example, your father. That is the case in Juan Gabriel Vasquez’s The Informers. Personally, I think that The Informers is a great read because of all the mysteriousness surrounding the plot. One morning, Gabriel Santoro, who’s the narrator of the book, is informed that his father has to go into a critical surgery very soon. Even though Gabriel ...more
Misanagi
La narrativa de Vásquez transporta al lector inmediatamente a Bogotá en los años noventa, o a finales de los cuarenta, o a Fusagasuga, o a la carretera hacia Medellín, o a un cuarto de hospital, o a las páginas de un libro. Esta historia está tejida de manera magistral, cada hilo entrelazado y palpable. En este libro lo que no se dice, lo que queda por fuera y es imaginado es tan tangible como aquello que se narra. Es una historia que se queda en la memoria, adictiva y perturbadora a la vez.
Clio
Difficult and rewarding.

"I could have said that there were things I needed to come to understand. That certain areas of my experience (in my country, with my people, at this time that I happened to be living) had escaped me, generally because my attention was taken up with other more banal ones, and I wanted to keep that from continuing to happen. To become aware: that was my intention, at once simple and pretentious; and to think about the past, oblige someone to remember it, was one way of do
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F.R.
Oct 31, 2009 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel deals with German emigrants to Colombia in the forties and the blacklists that sprung up as a response. It’s certainly a part of history I knew nothing about (although, admittedly, Colombian history is not my strong point) and it has some interesting points to make. However, I found the prose – or at least this translation of it – to be dry and wilfully dense, so that a lot of my initial interest had evaporated by the time I staggered to the finish.
Ivana
Feb 13, 2014 Ivana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Les cuento mi experiencia, porque de verdad no sé cómo explicarles este libro...

Empezamos con los personajes. Se desarrollan lentamente. Hay párrafos y párrafos, monólogos enteros. Precisamente así es el estilo de J.G. Vásquez. Cuando empecé leer, esperaba un 'thriller', o algo por el estilo. Las páginas se me escapaban, estaba devorando los párrafos, y todavía no llegaba a la médula de la novela. Empecé a odiarlo (me refiero a Vásquez). Lo odié porque me agarró con su narrativa de opio, y no me
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Mercia McMahon
An interesting reversal of a standard trope: rounding up of Germany emigres into concentration camp in 1940s Columbia. It is told as a book written by a Columbian about a German Jewish friend's life that the journalist's father takes exception to. This leads to a sequel in which the journalist explores those who informed on German friends suspected of Nazi sympathies. There is also a closing section that the journalist is not allowed to put into any book. The radical structure impressed me less ...more
Tatiana
Amo a este hombre! Un hermoso texto con una gran mancha periodística...
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73034
Estudió Derecho en su ciudad natal, en la Universidad del Rosario, y después de graduarse, partió a Francia, donde se instaló en París (1996-99). Allí, en La Sorbona se doctoró en Literatura Latinoamericana. Luego se mudó a un pequeño pueblo de la región de Ardenas, en Bélgica. Después de un año de vivir allí, Vásquez se instaló en Barcelona, donde reside hasta hoy.

Vásquez es autor de tres novelas
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More about Juan Gabriel Vásquez...

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“The gradual and imperceptible subsidence of the waters, that’s the alluvium. Thus am I gradually left alone, thus have I been left alone.” 1 likes
“también, al mismo tiempo, sé que lo pasado no es inmóvil ni está fijo, a pesar de la ilusión de los documentos: tantas fotografías y cartas y filmaciones que permiten pensar en la inmutabilidad de lo ya visto, lo ya escuchado, lo ya leído. No: nada de eso es definitivo.” 0 likes
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