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A Distant Father

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  60 reviews
From the prize-winning Chilean novelist Antonio Skármeta, author of Il Postino, comes this soulful novella about a son and his estranged father

Jacques is a schoolteacher in a small Chilean village, and a French translator for the local paper. He owes his passion for the French language to his Parisian father, Pierre, who, one year before, abruptly returned to France withou
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Other Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.36  · 
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 ·  250 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
مشاهد لحياة بسيطة وهادئة بين شخصيات محدودة
يحكيها مدرس شاب في قرية في جنوب تشيلي
تتناثر فيها مشاعر الحب والحزن والافتقاد
رواية صغيرة تنتهي بالأمل في عودة الغائب
Diane S ☔
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
An opening scene that really left an impression on me. A son, having completed his education, returns to his village, gets off the train. As he gets off, his father gets on, same train, same car. A father leaving his wife and son. Of course there is also that beautiful paragraph that I quoted in the update section.

A short novella about the relationship between a father and son, told almost tenderly and with a great deal of insight. A young man, a schoolteacher, wanting only to be a better man,
Kati Heng
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Other Press again. This house just knows how to find stories people need to read, especially if it means they have to travel outside the U.S. to find them. I’m smitten.

Take A Distant Father. It’s tiny, easy to underestimate again. You almost have to call it a novella with it clocking in at about 100 palm-sized pages. Still, in such a short space, so much is said, so much pain and longing and emotion is felt.

The story revolves around Jacques, a Chilean schoolteacher in a small village. At 21, he’
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, translation
a slim work by antonio skármeta, the chilean writer perhaps best known for ardiente paciencia (the basis of the oscar-winning film il postino (the postman)), a distant father (un padre de película) is the tale of jacques, a young village schoolmaster and translator (queneau!). with a cinematic style, a distant father is a touching story of filial longing, sexual maturation, and emotional development. skármeta's characters are well-drawn, if tending towards quaintness. there is a certain delicacy ...more
لا بأس بها. كأنّي أشاهد فيلما سينمائيا.
Angela M
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful novella , a quiet story of a young man , from a small village in Chili . Jacques returns to his small village from the university to teach . Upon his return , he and his mother are abandoned by his father. Through his hurt, he becomes a wise and caring man.

The largeness of life and the people in this isolated village have been captured fully in spite of the fact that this is a small book .I really enjoyed the writing and I have just added Il Postino to my to read list .

Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Es un libro que se lee en una sentada

Tiene una prosa bella que te invita a reflexionar sobre gran variedad de asuntos
Maria Carmo
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
An interesting book which I read in it's Spanish original (did not find the edition here on Good-reads so I used another).

There is a sort of authenticity and wonder in the way the Author writes and "constructs" his main character. A certain austere tenderness that is almost palpable through the pages. A somewhat unexpected finish helping the reader to feel hopeful.

I enjoyed reading it!

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon Th November 2012.
atom_box Evan G
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shorter than a single chapter of a GG Marquez book. Masterful compactness, like a portrait painted on a grain of rice.
عبدالله ناصر
Dec 29, 2014 rated it did not like it

كيف لهذا الكاتب العظيم أن يكتب مثل هذه النوفيلا السطحية والتافهة!!
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
ചിലിയൻ എഴുതതുകാരനായ Antonio Skármeta-യുടെ 2010-ൽ പുറതതുവനന നോവലാണ "A Distant Father". "Postman" നോവലിലൂടെയാണ അദദേഹതതെ ആളുകൾ അറിയുക, ഒളിവിൽ കഴിയുനന നെരൂദയകക എഴുതതുകളെതതികകുനന പോസററുമാനാണ അതിലെ പരധാന കഥാപാതരം. അത സിനിമയും ആയിടടുണട. വളരെ ലളിതമായ ശൈലിയുളളയാളാണ Skármeta. എനനാൽ തരിമാന കഥാപാതരങങളെ സൃഷടികകുനനതിൽ അത എഴുതതുകാരന തടസസമാകുനനിലല.

“My life is made up of rustic elements, rural things: the dying wail of the local train, winter apples, the moisture on lemons touched by early morning frost, the pa
Mahmoud Masoud
رواية لطيفة ، أخرجتني من جو الكئابة ..

تصلح كاستراحة قصيرة ..
Michelle Lancaster
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
A Distant Father, Antonio Skármeta, Translated from the Spanish by John Cullen
Other Press
ISBN: 978-1-59051-625-6
$15.95, 101 pages

A Distant Father by Antonio Skármeta is a spare but arresting novella. A master at work, Skármeta proves that it isn’t necessary to painstakingly draw every individual brick in a wall; a few suggestive brushstrokes, mere scaffolding, can deliver full impact.

The author of Il Postino: The Postman, which inspired the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, Skármeta w
Alexandra Pedro
[PT] Uma história interessante com uma narrativa simples e acessível.
Apreciei a quantidade de referências a literatura e cinema, que me fizeram querer investigar mais.
Embora em geral aprecie este tipo de conclusão nos livros que leio, neste caso, provavelmente devido à brevidade da obra, pareceu-me tudo muito repentino e gostaria de ter sabido mais acerca do que aconteceu às personagens, embora consiga imaginar o resultado para cada personagem.
Um livro para ler em duas horas. Não é tão bom como
Glaucia Miranda
Prefiri o filme! Por várias razões, eis algumas: fotografia limpa e clássica, trilha sonora é um primor, com Nina Simone entre outros e Selton Mello, consagrado ator, se mostrou um diretor sensível.

Agora vamos ao livro! A leitura é fácil e corrente. O autor se desloca muito bem entre um fato e outro. Os capitulos são curtinhos mas bem preenchidos com a história.

Gostei da trama, para mim mais um romance onde nos remete a recordar os monentos vividos em nossa infância, adolescência e já adultos. N
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to kasia by: Jeff Waxman
This winsome little book is full of surprises. The charming tale of a schoolteacher and translator frustrated by small-time woes and family tragedies; many element seems familiar (two enchanting sisters, a young man yearning to visit a prostitute, a renegade father) but Skarmeta wields them in unexpected ways. The result is a strangely soulful story: sad yet joyful, dreamy yet practical. A very pleasant read.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
In a very short concise story author Antonio Skarmeta tells the story of love, betrayal and forgiveness. In a small village in Chile, a young man comes home from school to find his father leaving and his mother abandoned. He becomes the schoolteacher for the village children, while growing up himself. He learns about life, how to love and let go. His mentor is the local miller, who knows more than he is saying. This is a sweet story about maturity of the son and second chances.
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am always impressed by writers who can express a lot within a short number of pages. This is a good little book. The writing is crisp. The story has ups and downs, but it builds several interesting characters and provides a few amusing and heartfelt moments. I'm not sure why it's a standalone novella versus part of a collection (I'm never really sure how publishers decide when something short is worth publishing alone).
Yesenia  Balay
Dec 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dios... ¡Pero qué mierda de libro! Me cuesta creer que una mente como la de Skármeta haya escrito esto. Debí habérmelo figurado desde la misma promoción del libro, donde en la parte de atrás no sabían ni cómo mercadearlo y se llenan la boca con fragmentos de promesas que tendrás al leerlo, pero ni al caso.
Gabrielle Joyce
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A surprising book for being so short. Although the ending leaves me unsatisfying, the honesty within the pages is humorous and sad all at once. Dramatic in the way that people often forget that their lives are full of drama.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Estuvo bastante bien, fácil de leer e interesante, pero el final fue demasiado abrupto.
نوفيلا لطيفة وبسيطة، قريبة من ثيمة وأحداث ساعي بريد نيرودا لنفس الكاتب .. تمنيت لو أنها طالت قليلاً ولم تكن بتلك النهاية المفتوحة.
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a lightweight novella, barely a novella if we’re being honest, 13000 words so, technically, a novelette but despite all its length it covers a fair bit of ground. In his review in The Independent Jethro Soutar points out that the original title for the work was, Un padre de película which, he says, translates literally as “A father from film” and films are a definite touchstone in this book. So where do we get A Distant Father from? As far as the book’s protagonist goes his father has re ...more
Alysson Oliveira
Vivendo por inércia

“Eu quero ser protagonista de minha própria vida”, diz uma personagem num momento climático do romance – na verdade está mais para um conto longo ou novela – UM PAI DE CINEMA, do chileno Antonio Skármeta (Trad. Luís Carlos Cabral), e que Selton Mello acaba de adaptar para o cinema. A frase dela, no entanto, resume bem o sentimento de todas as figuras que transitam pelas páginas do livro – especialmente o narrador-“protagonista” Jacques, um jovem professor numa pequena aldeia
Un livre que je qualifierais de sympathique : idéal pour un voyage en train, il ne demande pas une concentration intense! Certes, on a une histoire, au Chili qui plus est, et on apprécie cet air d'Amérique du Sud en plein hiver européen!
Et bien que la chute du livre soit plutôt cohérente avec sa longueur, le style d'Antonio Skarmeta fait qu'on aurait finalement aimé en lire un peu plus. On reste un peu sur sa faim, comme certains films dont on a du mal à comprendre pourquoi le générique de fin
Therese Wiese
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, fiction
I admit I was concerned when I saw how small the book was. But wow - the author packs a lot of emotion into this novella. I think this would be a great choice for a discussion group - fathers and sons, mothers and sons, being a mentor, that "aha" moment when you become an adult.

Thank you to Goodreads, the author Antonio Skarmeta, and the publisher Other Press for providing this first reads edition.
Rachel Parrott
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Skarmeta’s novella “A Distant Father” is a haunting story of a family, a village, the choices we make. Having lived in northern Chile a little while, it was lovely to read a moment of life in southern Chile shared history yet shaped by very different landscapes. Skarmeta’s work is all the more compelling due to being sparsely told, just enough to hold you and plenty left to keep you thinking of the reading is done.

My copy came through Goodreads First Reads.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, 2014ba, first-reads
I got this one on first read contest. This book was a very quick read with it being a short book. However, it does pack a lot in a little package. Many parts of this book effected me especially the first scene. That being said I don't love this book but it is worth a read. What I do really like is this authors writing style I find it pretty beautiful. I will definitely be picking up the authors other work.
اذا كنت قد قمت بقراءة " عرس الشاعر " او " ساعي بريد نيرودا " من قبل فسوف تشعر بالقليل من الاحباط بهذا العمل ، لكن لل يزال يحمل لمسة انطونيو الجميلة في السرد والتداخل ، هذا الانسان لا يعرف البدايات الهادئة
كتابته مثل الحلم " تجد نفسك في الحدث " ولا تعرف كيف وصلت الى هنا
العمل جميل و ممتع وانا مدين لهذا العمل بالكثير
على الاقل جعل انتظاري في المشفى ممتعاً للغاية
Francisco Cardona
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this in Spanish, Un Padre de Pelicula. It doesn't work as a novel, it's a short story, but not a very good one. The story seems part of a larger project I suspect. I don't know why they would publish such an incomplete work. I flipped through the English translation and it seemed decent enough.
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Antonio Skármeta (born Esteban Antonio Skármeta Vranicic) is a Chilean writer, born November 7, 1940 in Antofagasta, Chile. He was born to Croatian immigrants from the Adriatic island of Brač, region of Dalmatia.

His 1985 novel and film[1] Ardiente paciencia ("Ardent Patience") inspired the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie, Il Postino (The Postman). Subsequent editions of the book bore the title El