Kerfe's Reviews > The Book of Chameleons

The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa
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's review
Jan 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in January, 2009

The narrator of this book is a gecko. In his former life he was a man. Now he lives in Angola, in the house of Felix Ventura, a man who makes his living constructing new pasts for people.

In a series of short vignettes, Agualusa tells a loosely connected chronicle with conversations and dreams. But the book is really about how all humans constantly reinvent who they are. Memories, dreams, stories, photographs, relationships--whether conscious, or unconscious, our context never remains the same.

"Memory is a landscape watched from the window of a moving train...Things happen right before our very eyes, we know them to be real, but they're so far away we can't touch them. Some are so far, so very far away, and the train moving so fast, that we can't be sure any longer that they really did happen. Maybe we merely dreamed them?"

Truth is ever elusive, under constant renovation. A word, a story, an image can reinforce or undermine belief.

A book full of careful observation, of words and phrases and sentences that continue growing and moving through ther reader's own inner narrative.
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