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The Movies of My Life

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  444 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Beltrán Soler is from Chile, a land in constant movement. A seismologist who knows more about the science of tectonic plate movement than about life, he is cocooned in a world of seismic data, scientific articles, and natural disasters. Beltrán believes he can protect himself from the world around him by losing himself to theoretical pursuits, but thousands of feet above t ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 14th 2003 by Rayo (first published October 1st 2003)
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Avery
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alberto Fuguet é um chileno dedicado a criar um novo movimento nas letras latino-americanas, um movimento disposto a se contrapor ao realismo fantástico de Gabriel García-Márquez e que se chama... McCondo. Rarara.

Fuguet escreveu um livro chamado "Os filmes da minha vida", que não causa surpresas estilísticas nem consegue inaugurar nada de novo, mas tem a capacidade de gerar lembranças em gente que viveu algo parecido. Eu, por exemplo, e minha infância na Venezuela.

O fato de ter vivido noutro paí
...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Alberto Fuguet, The Movies of My Life (Harper, 2003)

A trick does not a book make, no matter how interesting it is. And the trick ehre is interesting; Fuguet takes the structure of a noted director (can't remember who, because my brain is swiss cheese; Elia Kazan?)'s autobiography and turns it into the story of a family trying to make it. The beginning works very well, being a series of emails between the narrator and someone he met on a plane about why he's decided to simply abandon his career a
...more
Ari
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A slight dissappointment.

I just have to read novels which are about movies. There was a time when I was almost obsessed with films and filmmakers. I still have on my sofa table the book "1001 movies you must see before you die". About half of those are still unseen :-)

Fuguel's novel is only loosely touching the subject. Most of the chapters are named after movies and the film in question is mentioned in the chapter. But in most cases it's just an extra without any real significance or real meani
...more
Susan
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chile
I loved this book, unlike many Goodreads readers who gave it very negative reviews. I'm quite interested in Chile, Latin American in general, immigrants, refugees and exiles. I remember vividly the hope that many had in Allende and the tragedy of his overthrow - the disappeared and lost forever. So in part it was interesting to read - fiction though this is - about a family that can hardly wait for Allende to disappear from the stage. I was also interested in this boy/man who doesn't belong in L ...more
Valentina Atehortua
Es muy interesante el paralelo que hace el autor desde California (USA) con Nixon y Pinochet en Chile. Se viven esos periodos desde otra perspectiva. Ese tipo de datos hacen que uno se interese mas en la historia.
Siempre es bueno cuando se logran unir dos obras separadas, y la pequeña intersección que tiene el final de este libro, con el comienzo de "Mala onda" se me hizo muy interesante.
Valeria Wicker
As well as being the first book I read by Fuguet, the back flap of the cover was the first reference to McOndo that I have ever heard. Judging by the brief definition of the genre, I was expecting a work that blatantly attacks Gabriel García Marquez, Alejo Carpentier, Isabel Allende and other writers of magic realism while celebrating McDonalds and Coca-Cola. After all, McOndo declares the death of magic realism, a literary staple among the fiction genres of Latin America. What I found was a wor ...more
Héctor
En nuestra vida, existen momentos que nos acompañaran para siempre, y no será necesario que sean memorias. Perfectamente podríamos estar hablando de aquel libro que marco tu infancia, aquella polera que ocupaste en el concierto de tu artista favorito… o la película que viste con la polola.

Y en Las Películas de mi Vida encontramos esto último justamente, películas que han marcado la vida de una u otra forma, o que fueron lo suficiente para no pasar desapercibida en los recovecos de la memoria. Un
...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chilean-authors
A novel about a native-born Chilean who grew up in Los Angeles and then moved back to Chile. The innovative structure of this novel gives us a narrator who is an avid movie-goer and tells us of the films he saw during his formative years (1966-1978) and how they related to what was going on in his life at that time. These are Chilean folks who are relatively high-end immigrants. (I'm reminded of the Bengalis in Unaccustomed Earth: Stories. They migrate back and forth between the two countries ba ...more
Ryan
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
So I wasn't too crazy about this one. It started off with some intrigue as you get to know the main character and begin to wonder how he got so intense, lonely and estranged from his family. I started to wonder, perhaps he felt that his intelligence alienated him from everyone else and he sought the kind of solace you can only get from a physics book. Perhaps there was a terrible tragedy that befell his entire family and he was the cause. Perhaps a he caused a terrible accident and has been guil ...more
Nicole
For starters I had a hard time dealing with the absurd amount of typos in the Spanish edition. Fuguet seriously needs to find a new editor. Secondly, the biggest problem with this book (as with Fuguet's movie Música Campesina) is pace. The first 3/4 of the book is SLOW and pretty uninteresting. The last 1/4 was a huge improvement but was ultimately too little, too late. Although the book is largely tedious, there is some sage advice and witty dialogue peppered in that I enjoyed. The concept of t ...more
Heather Mize
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Alberto Fuguet goes out of his way to alienate his reader, which made me wonder why he thought a reader would care enough to read his memoir. I felt like his title "the movies of my life" was also deceiving. While there is a list of movies it is essentially meaningless in the scheme of the stories. They have little or nothing to do with the movies, and the impact they had on his life, but rather are used like markers in a timeline. A more realistic title would be the "years of my life" and his s ...more
Guatón
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gustó la pequeña intersección que tiene el final de este libro con el comienzo de Mala onda.
Christina
Feb 14, 2009 marked it as abandoned
I stumbled across The Movies of My Life on the way out of the fiction section of my library. I’m not exactly a movie-buff — though I recognized Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Earthquake! — but the premise sounded interesting and added it to my stack. The Movies of My Life started off with some intrigue as you get to know the main character and begin to wonder how he got so intense, lonely, and estranged from his family.

But the intrigue is quickly dissipates, and the story loss any mom
...more
Aurora
il libro si legge velocemente e se non fosse che - giustamente - cita solo film degli anni 70, beh... darebbe anche un po' di spunti.
è molto interessante vedere come certi schemi si ripetono al di là delle nazionalità, dei luoghi dove si vive, dei rapporti sociali che si hanno. ovviamente invece altre cose non sono assolutamente ripetibili, e certi dolori, certe strutture sociali sono vissute solo in quel luogo, in quel tempo, da quelle persone.

idea non banale, scrittura buona.

"l'orrore dello s

...more
Joshua
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Kind of an interesting premise, especially if you happen to love movies--of which I'm guilty. The execution of the story is what lets this down in my opinion. There's just absolutely no cohesion between various aspects of the story...it should have completely scrapped the stuff w/ the woman on the plane and the conversations with the sister and just been about memories attached to films throughout the life of this kid who is growing up in Los Angeles and in Chile. That would have been a lot more ...more
Lize
Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
It's a coming of age tale about a Chilean seismologoist who, on the way to Tokyo for a conference, stops over in LA and decides to hole up in a hotel room and write about his childhood and adolescence in Chile, Los Angeles and back to Chile, with each chapter headed by a movie he saw at the time as a trigger for his memories. It's a neat trick, and since the main character was born in 1964, a lot of the films he references are from a time I remember as well. And it's also how I happened to know ...more
Bria
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh, I didn’t really understand the connection between the movies, earthquakes and the character’s up-brining. They seemed more of a throw away device rather than something integral to progressing narrative. I didn’t find myself very interested in the character’s life nor did I understand the significance of LA and why he did not continue on his travels at this point. Was this to do with happy memories of his childhood and parent’s marriage before they returned to Chile? Many of the secondary ch ...more
Minni
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Välillä tuntui että luin tätä kuin Iisakin kirkkoa: silmä alkoi luppaa melken joka ilta 10 minuutin jälkeen. Okei, maanjäristykset ja elokuvat on epätavallinen viitekehys kasvukertomukselle, mutta ensimmäistä olisi voinut vähän rajoittaa. Onneksi loppupuolella Chilessä päästiin varsinaisesti vauhtiin teini-iän toilailuineen. Usein tosin teki mieli guuglata mitkä lukuisat historialliset viittaukset ja henkilöt olisivat voineet olla totta Beltránin elämässä: heidän kotonaan illallistaneella Yul Br ...more
Jonfaith
I read The Movies of My Life by Alberto Fuguet yesterday. Fuguet is one of the leading representitives of McOndo ( a pun on the mythic region of Garcia Marquez's Cien Anos) which is known for being hyperviolent, bilingual and self-referential. The book started strong, noting the mindest of the seismologist protagonist. It has an unconvincing turn and then the subsequent narrative appeared under-developed. That said, I remainc urious about this contemporary movement. I am unsure where to proceed ...more
Pabloamn
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creo que esta novela es la mejor lograda de Fuguet. A pesar de sus tintes autobiográficos, los cuales son itinerantes en cada creación de este escritor, es interesante el recorrido que hace el autor desde los sesenta ambientados en California hasta los ochenta de Pinochet en Chile. Se viven esos periodos desde otra perspectiva. Como siempre creo que esos datos hacen más rica a la historia, y hacen que uno se adentre en la novela.
Silvio Curtis
Tiene esa tema favorita de las novelas realísticas, una familia que por razones completamente triviales no es feliz. El protagonista narra su experiencia como un niño en ese familia en el formato de comentarios sobre las películas que veía. Por cada película, cuenta qué pasaba en su vida cuando lo vio y quiénes fueron las personas que lo vieron con él. (¡Yo podría hacer lo mismo con los libros que he leído!) Pero seguro ver las películas me hubiera aburrido menos que leer este libro.
Libicni
Un libro que te hace analizar las miserias y complejos que marcan a las diferentes sociedades, las similitudes con nuestras propias experiencias y circunstancias son asombrosas más de una vez te sentirás identificado con los personajes, me encanta como comparan los terremotos con la vida misma "durante una época las cosas estuvieron bien, luego todo se vino abajo, y todavía seguimos sintiendo las réplicas"
Judy
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing, unexpected twists with earthquakes and seismology an integral part of the main character's life. Interesting take on growing up in the USA as the child of immigrants and then living the life of an immigrant in the parent's homeland later in life. The character saw LOTS of movies that were used as reference points as he tells his story. Jogged many memories for me although many were not my type of movie: Westworld, Earthquake, etc. It is also available in Spanish.
Zulma
This semi-autobiographical novel by the Chilean writer has received a significant amount of critical attention. Using the films he saw as a way to characterize this time in his life, the protaganist rather suddenly finds himself back in Chile, coming home to live under Augusto Pinochet's regime.

Jennifer
The book did jump around a lot and possibly include unnessary details about the conversations with the sister and woman on the plane, but overall I enjoyed the parallels that were being drawn between chile and the States. This was done with examples from history, the structure and cohesiveness of the family, popular culture, and how each culture views "foreigners".
Kika23
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chilenos
Tres y medio, de nuevo. Entre los errores de estilo (en serio, ¿dónde está el editor aquí?) y la desarticulación de algunos capítulos, me cuesta ponerle más estrellas a un libro que tenía potencial para ser mucho más, sobre todo porque la premisa es buena. El libro me gustó, pero quedé con la sensación de que pudo haber sido mucho mejor.
Maria
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lozano-book-club
I hated this book in the beginning, but it started to turn around by the second half. I read if for a book club. I didn't finish reading in time for the book club, but our discussion was interesting enough that I wanted to see how it turned out. In the end I liked it okay.
Denise
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Usually when I like a book, I fly through it. This one took me several weeks to read, and I think it's because I wanted to savor every word...and that I did. I would definitely recommend it.
Nereyda
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nereyda by: DRH
I really loved this book, didn't expect much...but i loved the way he narrated his childhood/adolescence combined with movies. It made me laugh at some points and brought me close to tears in others.

I also liked a lot the references to the history of Chile.

A page turner.
Donald Quist
Oct 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Better left a blog entry. A disappointing effort from one of the leaders of one of the biggest literary movements in recent memory, Mcondo.
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30240
Antiguo abanderado de la generación McOndo, cineasta, guionista, periodista y autor de novelas como Mala Onda, Tinta Roja y Missing.
More about Alberto Fuguet...
“La gente termina pareciéndose a sus amigos, por lo que es clave elegirlos bien.” 2 likes
“Estaba condenado con la maldición del que sabe dos idiomas y entiende, secretamente, que no domina del todo ninguno de los dos. Ahora era capaz de comparar; todo se me multiplicaba por dos. En cada sitio terminaba optando por el punto de vista ajeno. Ahora veo todo, esté donde esté, como un extranjero.” 1 likes
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