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La Grande

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  43 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Saer’s final novel, La Grande, is the grand culmination of his life’s work, bringing together themes and characters explored throughout his career, yet presenting them in a way that is beautifully unique, and a wonderful entry-point to his literary world.

Moving between past and present, La Grande centers around two related stories: that of Gutiérrez, his sudden departure
Paperback, 497 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Open Letter Books (first published 2005)
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Open Letter Books
23rd out of 73 books — 22 voters
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2015 Best Translated Book Award Longlist
11th out of 25 books — 9 voters

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Nov 22, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing
[Note: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway .]

He was among the men who thought they could change the world until they realized that the world changed on its own, and dizzyingly, but in the opposite direction toward which they’d worked, and even in unexpected and strange directions, at which point, neither innocently nor cynically, they started working for what was worth saving, even if that attitude sometimes made them seem antiquated or even conservative—at least compared to those that,
Jul 27, 2015 Tonymess rated it liked it
Juan José Saer passed away in 2005, in Paris. During his final days in the hospital he worked on the book “La Grande” which was published posthumously in October of the same year. In Amanda Hopkinson’s obituary published in The Guardian, she says:

Born outside the literary nexus of the capital, to parents of siriolibanes (Middle Eastern) origin, his writing had nothing to do with the world of tango and extravagant baroque, nor with the streets of Buenos Aires and Latin American magical realism.
Oct 07, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
A brutalizing slog punctuated here and there by surprising brilliance, like life. The exquisite last section, and the insightful translator's note, left me feeling much more positive about this book than I might've otherwise. Happy I read it, but it was a lot of work.
Jul 18, 2014 Nancy rated it it was ok
"With the rain, came the fall, and with the fall, the time of the wine." My favorite sentence in the book, and not just because it is the last. It's actually interesting to me. Not so the rest of the book. While the author does have some lyrical sentences, reading this book was not "like dancing inside the mind of someone who see everything through the looking glass, always the skeptic," for me. For me it was like dancing with someone who has two left feet.
(translator's note)

PS My numerous upda
Gary Homewood
Jun 01, 2015 Gary Homewood rated it liked it
A wine salesman philosopher and a large, confusing cast of characters, some with multiple names, a thin plot over the course of a week, some politics, literary movements, parties, and occasionally some strong, vivid scenes. Not sure what it was driving at.
Aug 14, 2010 Veterini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argentina
Un de ces romans argentins mélancoliques. Un riche exilé qui revient en Argentine et s’interroge sur sa vie passée, tout comme un marchand de vin philosophe qu’il rencontre et avec qui il partage une relation commune.
A noté que c’est le dernier roman de Saer et qu’il mourut avant de finir les derniers chapitre ; ce qui ne gêne pas spécialement vu l’absence d’intrigue principale. Ca reste agréable à lire, José Saer ayant un talent indéniable et certains passages sont même plutôt mémorable, mais
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Jun 15, 2014 Aaron (Typographical Era) rated it really liked it
...the decomposition of continuos movement...
Chad Post
Jul 20, 2015 Chad Post rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.
Sep 26, 2015 Brooks rated it really liked it
It's gorgeous. So many of the scenes are dense and beautiful like a Tarakovsky film (the opening section with Nula and Gutierrez walking through the rain reminded me very powerfully of Stalker). So many involved seemingly mundane happenings, but still I enjoyed the characters and the book in general.
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Juan José Saer was one of the most important Argentine novelists of the last fifty years.
Born to Syrian immigrants in Serodino, a small town in the Santa Fe Province, he studied law and philosophy at the National University of the Littoral, where he taught History of Cinematography. Thanks to a scholarship, he moved to Paris in 1968. He had recently retired from his position as a lecturer at the U
More about Juan José Saer...

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