Mark Staniforth's Reviews > Kamchatka

Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras
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's review
Mar 21, 11

Beautiful and elegaic, this book tells the heart-breaking story of a family torn apart by the Argentinian military junta in the 1970s. It's told from the point of view of a 10-year-old boy, who uses superheroes and board games to keep the truth at bay in the best way he can. At times it's both funny and chilling, but in a certain respect its beauty and cleverness is also its slight failing: the plot sometimes plods; the terror, always there in the background, never quite comes to the fore; some of the philosophical chapters make for tough going. All of which criticisms are not intended to make this review especially negative: the author and the translator are clearly exceptional talents, and it's a worthy long-lister for the 2011 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
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