Alex's Reviews > Autonauts of the Cosmoroute

Autonauts of the Cosmoroute by Julio Cortázar
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's review
Sep 30, 2008

really liked it
Recommended to Alex by: Robert Johanson
Read in November, 2008

The premise of Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is enchanting: man (Cortazar/el Lobo), woman (Dunlop/la Osita), and van (Fafner/Dragon) spend a full month on the Paris-Marseilles autoroute, recording their observations, experiences, and resultant literary flights of fancy on two trusty typewriters.

As the book's subtitle implies, their journey takes them out of time. Perhaps it is this timelessness or the venue itself--at once wholly familiar to the average reader, yet hardly known--that imbues this chronicle with a fantastic, child-like quality. Or, perhaps, it is the playful nature of its protagonists.

Despite its lightheartedness, I read la Osita and el Lobo's tale with a nagging sense of dread. The journey was made in 1982, the same year as, according to the bio on the back cover flap, Carol Dunlop's death. I intentionally avoided doing any research on the authors, in order to prolong the mystery of her end. This resulted in a rather odd reading experience: I was constantly looking for clues, bits of subtext that might explain what happened to this young, apparently vibrant, happy person. I found little save various mentions of "demons", though a postscript does provide some explanation.

Recommended, yes! There are copious photographs and wonderful little maps of each rest-stop. [As anyone who knows me knows, I am a sucker for maps!]

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Reading Progress

11/10/2008 page 53

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