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Le più fortunate

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  689 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Cosa sappiamo della Colombia? È un paese lontano che in noi evoca quasi solo l’immagine spaventosa quanto stereotipata dei narcos col mitra in mano. Gli undici episodi che compongono questo romanzo sono un viaggio nella sua storia recente, dal 1993 al 2013, raccontata con un taglio inedito, e cioè attraverso le vicende di un gruppo di ragazze privilegiate, figlie di diplom ...more
Paperback, Big Sur #30, 250 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Sur (first published March 7th 2017)
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3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  689 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I freely admit to loving this trend of connecting stories to tell a whole. This book centers on a group of wealthy school girls and the people that surround the. Taken together we get a candid look at Columbia during the height of their most terrible times. Filled with images of the drug wars, drug lords, paramilitary and insurgents, and the naivety of youth, these stories span two decades in this often dangerous environment. As we read we recognize a name from a past story, or a situation told ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This isn't an easy book to read. It's more like a collection of intertwining short stories than a comprehensive story. Each chapter captures a different character and a different time. All deal with the time of the Columbian drug wars, taking place either in that country or NYC. They are inter-connected - the man in the second chapter is the English teacher of the girl in the first, another girl is the daughter of friends of the first girl’s parents, the childhood friend of this girl grows up to ...more
Karen Whittard
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley. A massive, massive thank you to Faber and Faber for granting my wish to read this book and to Julianne Pachico for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.


You will find my review on Goodreads from today under Karen Whittard and on Amazon on publication date under k.e.whittard.

This is a truely captivating read. I devoured it in one setting. This really is a literary jigsaw of a read. Julianne is a master of her craft.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nobody seems particularly lucky in The Lucky Ones – not the teenager who declines a country house party invitation and finds herself alone with a menacing man right outside the door, not her former eight-grade teacher who is held prisoner and pontificates on Hamlet to the sticks and leaves, not Mariela, cruelly nicknamed Fatty by her peers who now exacts revenge on troops and prisoners and certainly not her father, a big wig executive who profits from the illegal drug trade.

Its blurb calls it a
switterbug (Betsey)
The Colombian conflict lasted over half a century, pitting the government against guerilla groups, paramilitary factions, drug syndicates, and splinters from each party. The voices of the innocent victims, often children or teachers, are part of what makes up the narrative in Pachico’s novel. If it seems confusing at times—i.e. not being able to definitively point out the violent perpetrators and tyrants from the tagalongs and paper tigers, or the reason for the inclusion of grade-school antics ...more
Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award shortlist review #3
(I am on the official shadow panel of book bloggers.)

(4.5) Marketed as a novel in America but as a short story collection in the UK, The Lucky Ones is really somewhere in between: it’s a linked story collection in which the 11 chapters could stand alone but are so much richer together. Each generally adds a layer of meaning to the others by filling in the background or following a certain character a decade or more into the future. T
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a book is described as "drug fueled" I think of something fast paced with wild mood shifts. This debut is drug fueled in a very different way. These interconnected short stories (a style I love by the way) tell the slow, aching truth of the tragic consequences of Columbia's unrest/insurgencies/drug wars/kidnappings at the turn of the 21st century. Primarily focused around the female students of a private wealthy school, each story stands on its own as a stinging rebuke of that world. Togeth ...more
Bonnie Brody
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Julianne Pachico may be a newcomer to the literary scene but her debut novel is a tour de force. On the surface it deals with the horrific times in Colombia when FARC, paramilitary groups, splinter groups and the military itself are creating havoc and terror for the residents of the country. The novel takes us from 1993 to 2013 as it explores the impact of terrorism on various Colombians. Some reside in cities and are wealthy beyond imagination. Others are prisoners in the jungle, marching from ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to get a proof copy of this book at a book festival event, and raced through it in less than a day, such was the compelling writing and desire to see the various threads fit together. The book is somewhere between a novel and short stories -- what you read are non-chronological episodes in a set of characters' lives, as the focus changes and other characters fall into the background. Set mainly in Colombia, the book mainly follows children and teachers in youth and grownup, the long ...more
Heather Fineisen
Told in a series of interconnected stories, The Lucky Ones follows the not so lucky. From a kidnapped professor who teaches Hamlet to twigs to stay sane to a cocaine leaf addicted rabbit, Pachico creates an imaginative yet poignant narrative exploring the political and social climate Colombia. Stunning as a debut, a favorite for the year that I read in one day.

Copy provided by publisher and Net Galley.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I finished this but only because I had invested so much time in it already. The first story lulled me into a sense of security and I really enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed the next one about the teacher who was beginning to go crazy in captivity and began teaching “alternative children.” The rest of the stories were meh. The crazy train derailed at Watership Down on drugs and I should’ve stopped there because I half read/half skimmed the rest of it because it wasn’t making sense to me anymore ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Some things don’t ever deserve to be told.”

We come upon the characters in this novel in a sort of disarray of time. Usually I am bothered by disorder in a novel, wait, is this the present or the past? But it worked here. In a war torn country, memories torture the survivors and time doesn’t much seem like a straight line anyway. The reader doesn’t really know for fact who the bad or good guys are, because all seem a bit of both. Military, drug lords, privileged schoolgirl darlings- all we kno
Trang Tran (Bookidote)

The marketing campaign describes it as “a jigsaw puzzle”. Oh my god. Hell yes it was! Julianne Pachico not only tells a single story but many stories from different point of views and… in the same chapter. It was very confusing to me. I never knew who the narrator was or how it changed from one event to another, and slowly, it started to only make sense after a few chapters. I think the fact that it was all over the place ruined the reading experience for me.

I have to admit it was fun in the fir
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't enjoying this book per se, but it was going along inoffensively enough for me to keep reading when something very strange happened. There was a scene, told from the perspective of rabbits, where an older rabbit just ejaculates everywhere. Literally just jizzes in the middle of the scene. I was pretty much over the book at that point. It was off-putting to say the very least.

As for the rest of the book (which bills itself as a novel, but is written in the now inescapable style of interwo
Lucy Baldock
I liked this book, it was one I was fascinated so much with that I didn’t want to put it down. I’ve learned a lot about Columbia in this time period that I didn’t previously know about which is good. I also liked the overall message of the story. My favourite chapter was probably M&M.

My criticisms is only that it’s hard to follow at times. Since we are moving through time and different characters, sometimes the characters names aren’t mentioned or animals are used to reference whats happenin
Dane Cobain
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for free to review as part of my position on the Young Writer of the Year Award shadow panel.

This is the first of the five books that I’ve read so far from the Young Writer of the Year Award shortlist, and it sets a strong precedent that it’s going to be tricky for the others to live up to. What we have here is a collection of short stories that span several decades and take place in Latin America, and it’s interesting because it’s kind of interconnecte
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a series of short reviews of the Young Writer of the Year Award shortlisted titles. Spoilers ahead.

Julianne Pachico’s book The Lucky Ones is a collection of interlinked stories, set in Colombia between 1993 and 2013. During that time, the country was convulsed by drug wars, and Pachico focuses on the effect of those conflicts on a loosely connected group of characters: mostly schoolgirl friends (and frenemies), with forays into characters such as their English teacher, a maid who might or
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Terrifying doesn't feel like the appropriate word here but the stories are incredibly suspenseful and feature gruesome (but necessary) details. The author does not flinch from portraying the reality of the civil war in Colombia and I think her decision to primarily showcase wealthy Colombians and the effect the war had on them is an interesting one. The author illustrates what we readers have long known to be true, wealth cannot protect you from everything. Most of the girls are touched by the v ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this series of connected stories, Pachico tells the bigger story that is the tragedy of Columbia's drug conflict. She burrows deep into the lives of a group of schoolchildren, their teacher, and their parents. The writing is strong, specific, and often dreamlike without ever being confusing. As a reader, I was there in the house with the teenager who finds herself mysteriously and frighteningly alone; I was in the jungle with the guerilla fighters; I was in New York with a Columbian emigree a ...more
Andrea MacPherson
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This is marketed as a novel, but it's really a series of linked stories about the conflict in Colombia. Pachico's writing is muscular, vigorous, and the stories were engrossing. Stylistically, this book is very adventurous, using a variety of devices (2nd person, stream of consciousness, non-linear narratives, collective chorus, animals as narrators) and sometimes this is very effective, while at other times it seems a bit too purposefully quirky (the story told from the POV of a bunny
This is not like any book I've ever read, which is good. But it's also very violent and sad, so not something I would want to read every day or one that I could recommend to every one.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Columbia between 1993 and 2013, the drug cartels are terrorising the country and no-one rich or poor are left untouched.
Julianne Pachico's interlinked stories are unflinching in their portrayal of the impact the drug wars had on the various characters. There is the teacher held captive for 5 years in the jungle teaching literature to twigs and rocks, an attempt at some kind of normality, of passing the time. In a later story we learn that he escaped but with physical and mental scars, living his
Tara - Running 'n' Reading
As a student of Latin and South American history, and intrigued by the historical events during this time period (the novel is set in Colombia in the late 90s-early 2000s), I was excited to delve into this story.

Readers may find this one comparable to interconnected short stories, rather than a novel with a prominent throughline, but Pachico shockingly illuminates the affects of the battle between paramilitary groups like FARC, the drug trade, and the government military on the residents of Col
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How does one live in a country during a constant war? How does one stay safe, sane and whole? The war is in Columbia and it has been going on for years. Different factions – FARC, guerillas, warlord wannabes, drug kingpins, gangs, the military – are all seeking victory. But the war has been going on for so long, no one even knows what victory will even look like.

Julianne Pachico has taken this relentless war and chosen young students, teachers, families, and servants as the ones who try to carv
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel started out strongly but the story is told in such a fragmented way that it was hard to maintain interest in the ever evolving cast of interconnected characters. Each segment was well written but they were like pieces of a puzzle that didn't satisfyingly fit together. A little bit too clever by half.

Thank you, Netgalley, for the e-review edition of this novel.
Ok, that's it. I gave it 5 stories but I don't want to invest anymore. These stories aren't badly written by any means, they're just not for me. I was lulled into a false sense of security by the first story. 'Lucky' I liked, it intrigued me enough to hold out for nearly half way through this collection. But I didn't enjoy anything else I read sadly. Such a beautiful cover as well! I wanted so badly to love the contents.
Polly Krize
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Fueled by drug cartels, the military, and warring gangs, Colombia's twenty-year war had a profound effect on so many people. Chilling and well written, Ms. Pachico writes sensitively, presenting the consequences of this struggle in a very human way, through the characters she offers. Recommended.
May 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This felt like an experimental novel, with narratives from a multitude of characters (including rabbits...) and I found myself feeling dissatisfied, confused and frustrated. Rather than learn more about a place and period in recent history, I learnt only that I should stay away from experimental writing!
Mandi MacDonald
Researching the history of the conflict in Columbia was way more fun than this book. The narrative tracked too many characters and it was hard to orient when, where, and who I was reading about. the writing is great, the story... not so much.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They say that without a body, the memories of the dead stay alive. They’re countless, nameless; hovering around the living like horseflies on cattle, flitting at people’s hair like birds.’

Julianne Pachico’s debut ‘novel, The Lucky Ones, [ pub. Faber & Faber, 2017] is occupied with the memories of the dead, and the traumatised and like large horseflies hovering around cattle, her stories and their bite hang around long after you have read them.

The book is a dichotomy, hovering somewhere with
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Julianne Pachico was born in 1985 in Cambridge, England. She grew up in Cali, Colombia, where her parents worked in international development as agricultural social scientists.

In 2004 she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she completed her B.A. at Reed College in Comparative Literature. In 2012 she returned to England in order to complete her M.A. in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia i
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